The TAC Productions Dare to Dream “Video-Pals” project & curriculum is an initiative created for Brooklyn and Central American youth developed by mentors Joél Mejia and Katy Walker. Providing adolescents and young adults with hands-on artistic training and opportunities for creative expression, the Cultural Exchange Program is an initiative that facilitates a cultural connection between American and Central American youth to specifically encourage communication and discovery between their communities and their natural environments. The four week curriculum noticeably improves communication, geography, literacy, and creative skills; we use the exposure to photographs, documentaries, and other important cultural elements of their pen-pals, so they may learn about the different issues that affect their lives as members of their community and as the future generation on this planet. For the initial three to four week period, participants are required to develop and create short video diaries, 2 to 5 minutes long, with the goal of sharing with their “pen pal” various aspects of their lives and answering questions each may have for the other. The initial video diaries will be with the assistance of Katy and Joél, but the goal is to empower them to create their own videos and maintain the connection between friends across the world.
TAC & participants from Red Hook Art Project kicked off the workshop in November. Using GoPro cameras, they created videos to be shared with “video pals” from youth serving organizations in Nicaragua.
RHAP’s mission is to help children and youth who have shown previous dedication to their talent to develop their self-esteem, self- expression, creativity, and responsibility through mentor relationships with working artists, musicians, and writers.
Atelier Favela in Nicaragua is a humanitarian organisation that supports the poverty-stricken children of Ticuantepe Nicaragua. Through lessons in Arts, Music, Dance, Theatre, Circus and Capoeira at our cultural centre we hope to stimulate personal development in our students. In this way these children can grow up to become independent adults with a future in the arts or whatever their passion may be.
RHAP will be sharing their videos with participants from Nicaragua in January 2015.