This week Next Gen concluded its fall semester with a Winter Celebration hosted at BAVC Media. The event began with a gallery walk through works-in-progress curated by students and their teaching teams.
Families, friends and program participants explored works ranging from audio stories made by Sound Bytes to choose-your-own-adventure-style computer games by G:URL Gamers. They also participated in a photobooth run by The Factory’s advanced filmmaking students. All the while, in between, many new friendships and connections were forged as people mingled in the hall over warm pizza and refreshments.
After the gallery walk, the guests gathered together for a lantern lighting ceremony where students created their own votive candles, lit them, and shared one word with the entire group that signified their intention for the new year. Maker, creative, inspired, and smilingwere just a few of the words shared that evening. BUMP Records recording artist Day-Day told the group that her word was Five, which has a special significance in astrology and represents her drive to realize her dreams.
We also announced the newly elected GEARS youth leadership council composed of two representatives from each of the five Tracks. GEARS will start meeting in January.
As we make a transition into 2015, Next Gen has a lot of incredible accomplishments to reflect upon including:
- Starting the first-ever all-girl G:URL Gamers game design track.
- A successful pilot of the GEARS Youth Council Track over the summer.
- Having esteemed guest speakers, such as Glynn Washington of Snap Judgement, work with our students.
- Celebrating the 10th anniversaries of BUMP Records, our advanced audio engineering track, and The Factory, our advanced video production track.
- Incorporating student voices in evolving and developing ideas for Next Steps, our in-house soft skills workshop series.
- Building a transformative experience for students, teachers and tech industry professionals at the AYV Live pitch event that was supported by an incredibly powerful keynote by hip hop artist, Dregs One.
I look forward to starting the next semester in partnership with all the incredible personalities and dedicated individuals who make Next Gen possible!