Youth Media Initiative

The Alliance′s Youth Media Initiative programs convene, connect, nurture and sustain strategic development in the Youth Media field.

THE ALLIANCE YOUTH MEDIA INITIATIVE

The Alliance′s Youth Media Initiative convenes, connects, nurtures and sustains strategic development in the Youth Media field. We support innovative and emerging models of practice within the fields of youth media, creative youth development, and media literacy. We do this through the collaborative production of a youth media magazine, ongoing Collective Action work, hosting national Video Roundtable conversations, designing and producing youth media conference content with global partners, and through the leadership of an international network of youth media organizations. All of the programs of our Youth Media Initiative use an intergenerational, co-creative approach as a means to demonstrate the possibilities and impact of a range of youth and elders working collaboratively and inclusively, interrogating power and privilege across program areas. Check out our FAQ here.

OUR CORE VALUES

The core values of the Alliance for Media Arts + Culture  are: community, creativity, equality, accountability, and inclusion. We creates and convene our Youth Media programs centered in these core values. We strive to integrate these values into the work we do, the stories we tell, and the relationships we nurture. We support artists, storytellers, and practitioners as they speak truth to power and light the candles in dark times.

THE ALLIANCE YOUTH MEDIA PROGRAMS

The core work of The Alliance Youth Initiative lives in three programs.

THE ISSUE: An Intergenerational Youth Media Magazine
The Issue is a model of intergenerational collaboration and mutual reciprocity, where diverse voices are artfully represented and joyfully celebrated — an arts + culture magazine, designed to inspire a creative future where we all belong. The Issue Magazine is available as a beautiful book, for libraries, youth media centers and personal gifting. Purchase The Issue here.

See Issue #1 here.
See Issue #2 here.

YOUTH MEDIA NETWORK: Serving a global network of youth media organizations, The Alliance builds capacity through access to resources, tools, innovation and mentorship.

COLLECTIVE ACTION: a multi-year collaborative program inspired by Collective Impact. We work with national youth media partners to identify shared goals, and emerging and tested practices in Youth Media pedagogy, with the intention of creating a responsive, visionary framework for the future of Youth Media training.

THE 2019 YOUTH MEDIA FELLOWS  

The Alliance Youth Media Programs are  co-developed and co-lead by a cohort of four Youth Media Fellows in collaboration with Senior Consulting Producer Jason Wyman. One Fellow works specifically on The Issue, one supports the Youth Media Network, and two Fellows collaborate on the Collective Action program.

The 2019 Fellows were selected based on a range criteria:  geography, age, length-of-time practicing youth media, identities, and engagement with The Alliance Youth Media Initiative. The Alliance is committed to intergenerational,  co-creation, and we wanted our Fellows to be geographically diverse as well.

Olivia Evans

Olivia Evans

Youth Media Fellow
Olivia Evans is a Multidisciplinary Visual artist based in Spokane, WA, working in video, photography, drawing, and film. She is an Associate Producer with The Alliance, working on exhibition programs in the Pacific Northwest. A recent graduate of EWU with a BFA in Studio Art, Olivia was selected to participate in Saturate 2017, a competitive, city-wide collaborative exhibition in Spokane for artists of color, galleries and local businesses.
Kapi’olani (Pio) Lee

Kapi’olani (Pio) Lee

Youth Media Fellow
Kapi’olani (Pio) Lee is a visual artist and arts educator based in Oregon. Dedicated to social justice and cultural equity, she has helped create and support youth-centered curriculum and arts programming that values inclusion, accessibility, ownership, and intergenerational collaboration. As a practicing artist working with contemporary Pacific Islander-centered narratives and themes, Kapi’olani has screened several...
Gemikia Henderson

Gemikia Henderson

Youth Media Fellow
Gemikia Henderson has garnered national acclaim for her RYSE music videos using powerful imagery and storytelling to bring to life the music of her peers. Her award-winning first video, Street Literature, was made in response to the murder of Oscar Grant, and along with her other videos, Ryse Up and Change Gon’ Come, have screened at film festivals in New York, LA, New Orleans and Philadelphia.
Aden Suchak

Aden Suchak

Youth Media Fellow
Aden Suchak is a director, writer and visual artist from Albany, New York. He has been writing and directing films since he was 12. Aden’s art is focused on themes of identity and belonging; his images and stories emphasize kinetic energy, color and flow, and representations of diversity and empowerment. His short Make it Float premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Aden is the official brand photographer for fashion house Head of State and is a co-editor of THE ISSUE magazine, published by The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture.

THE 2019 ADVISORY GROUPS

Each Youth Media Program also has a volunteer Advisory Group that provides support to the Fellows, helps shape our programs, and assures relevance to the field and for our members. The Advisory Groups are composed of representatives from Alliance member organizations and independent youth media practitioners who have been involved in our programs, including Video Roundtables, The Issue, The 50-State Dinner Party Project and the Chicago Youth Media Summit.

If you would like to join an Advisory Group, please contact Senior Consulting Producer Jason Wyman at jason@thealliance.media.

 

Kafi-Ayanna Allah

Kafi-Ayanna Allah

THE ISSUE
Kafi-Ayanna Allah is a professional librarian working for Orange County Public Library in Hillsborough, North Carolina as the Adult and Teen Program Coordinator. She works to create and facilitate programming for patrons from middle school age to elders. Much of her work with youth is centered on the Teen Advisory Board, a group of young people who act as liaisons between the teens in the community and Library staff to ensure that it is a welcoming, nonjudgmental space for teens and teen expression as well as a resource for information of particular interest to teens.
Elisa Barrios

Elisa Barrios

COLLECTIVE ACTION
As an Oregon local, I have dedicated my career path to working with various community organizations. I consider myself to be a passionate and artistically inclined individual, who shares alike the vision for creating and facilitating unique opportunities for youth and adults to use media arts as a means of expression. As the Head of...
Julia Berghammer

Julia Berghammer

COLLECTIVE ACTION
A Southerner, salsa lover, type enthusiast, traveller, and perfectionist, Julia manages NOVAC’s Born Digital Youth Media Program. Operating at the intersection of design and programming to create new learning experiences for young people and adults alike, the Born Digital Youth Media Program develops young future creatives, ages 8 to 24, from diverse background in South Louisiana who can use digital media training opportunities to develop high wage and low barrier entry to careers.
Crystal Cavalier-Keck

Crystal Cavalier-Keck

THE ISSUE
Crystal Cavalier-Keck is the Optical Communications Global Information Security Officer at Corning, Inc, in Hickory, NC. Crystal is a water advocate and activist, motivational speaker, the founder of Saponi Stickball Association and showing youth the importance of the preservation of their ancestral lands and traditions. Crystal graduated with a Master's in Public Administration with a concentration in Emergency Services from UNC-Pembroke in May 2011.
Lee Edwards

Lee Edwards

THE ISSUE
Lee Edwards is a multimedia/digital journalist who recently became the program manager of The Real Chi, an experimental "learning newsroom" based in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood for enterprising young adult journalists.Prior to joining the Free Spirit Media, Lee spent the last six years as a digital journalist covering a wide spectrum of news beats across the Chicagoland region as a former reporter with Block Club Chicago, The Chicago Defender, Austin Weekly News, and Times Republic.
Aimee Espiritu

Aimee Espiritu

YOUTH MEDIA NETWORK
Aimee Espiritu, M. Ed launched Espiritu Consulting in October 2017 based on her 10 years of experience providing Management in the Arts as well as Strategic Planning and Partnerships, for non-profit organizations and school districts. Prior to this, Aimee was an Arts Educator and Administrator for 14 years with a primary focus of engaging young people in classrooms, museums and arts programs through creative youth development, curriculum design, exhibit development, and peer-to-peer training.
JALENA KEANE-LEE

JALENA KEANE-LEE

COLLECTIVE ACTION
Jalena Keane-Lee is a director, dp, and producer, dedicated to democratizing storytelling through uplifting underrepresented voices behind the scenes and in front of the camera. Jalena is the co-founder of Breaktide Productions, an all women of color video production company that has created national campaigns for clients like Nike, Bright Pink, and THINX, as well as producing original short films. She is a 2018 NeXt Doc Fellow and a 2018 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center, which has supported shorts that have premiered at SXSW, HotDocs, and Sundance. Jalena is directing a documentary short highlighting the mother daughter relationships of the Ku Kia’i Mauna, native Hawaiian activists standing for their sacred mountain, Mauna Kea.
Kate Fowler

Kate Fowler

COLLECTIVE ACTION
Kate Elizabeth Fowler is a photographer and filmmaker from Richmond, Virginia. She is currently working on a project entitled Confederates in the Attic: A Revisitation, an exploration of Southern & Confederate rhetoric in 2015. Kate holds a BFA in Photography & Filmmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and was the director of the Appalachian Media Institute, a project of Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Recently, Kate worked as the program coordinator of Magnum Foundation's Photography, Expanded initiative, which investigates documentary practice at the intersection of social justice and technology. She co-curated and produced their 2015 Photography, Expanded symposium at Parsons The New School for Design.
Seth Gadsen

Seth Gadsen

YOUTH MEDIA NETWORK
Seth Gadsden is an artist, filmmaker, and the current director of Indie Grits Labs in Columbia, SC. Focusing on public art, documentary filmmaking, and media installations, Seth has exhibited his personal work across the US and has completed murals and outdoor sculptures in places like Mexico, North Dakota, Boston, Houston and his hometown of Clover, SC. His work has been featured in Vimeo Staff Picks, the Tribeca Film Festival, Indie Memphis Film Festival, Oxford Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, and the Blackstar Film Festival amongst others. Through Indie Grits Labs, Seth has curated a range of projects and produced works with over 80 artists including documentary films and new media projects over the past five years.
Yolanda Gamble

Yolanda Gamble

COLLECTIVE ACTION
Yolanda Gamble is the Youth Media Specialist for the Austin Film Society. She specifically oversees all youth programs including AFS Film Club After School and Summer @ Austin Public camp . Previous to joining AFS, she was a Program Manager for a nonprofit organization in San Antonio, Texas, overseeing their afterschool and summer camp programs located inside a city-owned community center. She holds an Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Prairie View A&M University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Willa Johnson

Willa Johnson

YOUTH MEDIA NETWORK
Willa Johnson is the daughter of a retired middle school teacher and coal truck driver, Willa Johnson grew up and has returned to her home community in Letcher County. She has served as an Appalachian Transition Fellow, is a co-founder of the Stay Together Appalachian Youth Project (STAY), and is a licensed foster parent. Willa recently worked for the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) Community Engagement team where she created FIREshare, a program designed in collaboration with The Holler to train teachers and students to use multimedia tools to tell their own stories about their schools and communities.
Darrel Swan

Darrel Swan

COLLECTIVE ACTION
After getting his BA at Boston College, Darrel studied screenwriting at New York Film Academy. If memory serves, his screenplays included a lot of music from The Cure and Radiohead. Darrel’s perfect movie would be a musical coming-of-age story where a con artist forms a band and if he ever had to air guitar for his life, he would perform The Eagles’ One of These Nights (though he otherwise doesn’t love The Eagles.) He enjoys the links and the slopes but can always just curl up with a good audiobook.
Tara Malik

Tara Malik

Since 2001, Tara Malik has worked with community-based arts organizations that center racial justice and youth power in Rochester, New Orleans, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Richmond, CA. She is passionate about supporting young people in exploring their identities and roots, constructing and sharing their own narratives, and advocating for the issues that matter to them most. In 2006, she co-founded One Bird, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with local communities to build media arts programs for children. One Bird projects have developed in partnership with community-based organizations in New Orleans, LA; Dharamsala, India; and Carrefour, Haiti.
Noah Martin

Noah Martin

COLLECTIVE ACTION
Noah Martin is a teaching artist, director, and theatre maker based in Austin, Texas. His work with youth and adults is focused on collaborative theatre-making processes and arts experiences that build community and foster meaningful social dialogue. He is Director of Teen Programs at Creative Action and the Artistic Director of Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble, a creative youth development program that brings together teens from around Austin to create and tour original shows about violence prevention and healthy relationships.
Myah Overstreet

Myah Overstreet

THE ISSUE
Myah was a co-producer of The Alliance Youth Media Initiative and the Editor-inChief of The Issue. She currently works for the California Sunday Magazine.
Triana Patel

Triana Patel

COLLECTIVE ACTION
Triana Patel is an arts and museum educator with 10 years of experience focusing on informal arts education for youth and families in museums. She is a passionate advocate for youth development and opportunity within the arts, museums and alternative learning environments. In 2016, Triana received her MA in Museum Studies and MBA with a focus on Education and Interpretation from John F. Kennedy University. She wrote her master’s thesis on engaging teens in social justice through art and programming in museums. She is currently the Educator for Youth and Family Public Programs at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco where she manages the museum's paid teen internship, Art Speak.
Matt Rios

Matt Rios

COLLECTIVE ACTION
Matt Rios began interning with the Austin Film Society in May of 2018 and as of September became involved in the education department as a part of its after school Film Club. Still with the Film Club Program, Matt has worked at 5 different schools in AISD teaching film to students from 8-12 years old. He also leads Summer @ Austin Public camps and teen workshops. In addition to his work with youth and education at AFS, he is a studio tech at the Austin Public location. Prior to his involvement with AFS, Matt attended St. Edward's University, where he studied psychology.
Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte

COLLECTIVE ACTION
Liz began her artistic career in the tangible arts; oil painting, metal sculpture, prosthetic makeup for zombies. Her love of art evolved to the digital media arts. Liz attended Salt Lake Community College (Associate of Applied Science, Visual Arts and Design Emphasis, Associate of Applied Arts, Animation Specialist, Certificate of Proficiency, Web Graphic Design and Certificate of Proficiency, Motion Graphics) and Utah Valley University (Bachelor of Applied Science, Digital Media Emphasis). Liz continues to combine traditional art and digital media art.
Aylee Shomali

Aylee Shomali

THE ISSUE
Aylee Shomali is a teen digital artist and filmmaker and a member of the advisory group for The Issue. She was a content contributor and a Youth Engagement Specialist for The Issue #2. Based in Portland, Oregon, Aylee was a teaching assistant, intern, content creator, and a participant of the Echo AiR program at Open Signal PDX. While being an intern at Open Signal, Aylee helped to prepare submissions for The Issue #2.
Carly Short

Carly Short

COLLECTIVE ACTION
Carly Short is a filmmaker and artist. Her work meshes personal and collective histories through the exploration of portraiture and cultural landscape. In addition to teaching at Venice Arts, Carly has taught at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and is currently teaching at the Otis College of Art and Design. Carly received her MFA at the California Institute of the Arts in 2013 and her BFA at the Massachusetts College of Art in 2007.
Larissa Stephens

Larissa Stephens

COLLECTIVE ACTION
Larissa is an illustrator, muralist, and educator from Galveston, TX. She is currently an Artistic Associate at Creative Action, and Assistant Director of Color Squad where she co-facilitates the public and community art teen program. Larissa studied Advertising and Graphic Design at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and received her BS in Communication Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. She continues to dedicate much of her time honing her craft, building relationships with artists and community members, organizing arts events, and painting murals.

THE ALLIANCE YOUTH MEDIA INITIATIVE 2016-2018

From 2016 to 2018, The Alliance Youth Media Initiative was co-led by Jason Wyman and Myah Overstreet, an intergenerational producing team. Together, they created and implemented a range of youth media programming for The Alliance, including The 50 State Dinner Party Project, which brought youth, adults, and elders together around shared meals to talk about their desired futures, and Video Roundtables, where a national network of Youth Media organizations and independent practitioners gather online for facilitated conversations to explore their practice and connect with one another. Myah and Jason also co-created and co-produced the first and second issues of THE ISSUE, the Alliance for Media Arts + Culture’s intergenerational youth media magazine.