February 29, 2016

Film festival helps students
‘find their voice’ digitally

Leah Hammond

The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning and Cleveland Metropolitan School District unveiled student digital stories at Cleveland State University on Feb. 17.

“Find Your Voice: Student Film Festival” presented stories developed in a program that involved more than 250 students from 12 schools.

“Find Your Voice” combined traditional storytelling techniques and modern technology to address social issues students faced every day including bullying, teen pregnancy and gang violence.

The purpose of the program was to teach students how to create a multimedia presentation with still images, video, music, narration and voice.

Throughout this process, students learned how incorporating digital media adds impact and dimension to their stories.

In a press release obtained from Tom Poole, director of marketing for The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL), the purpose of CAL is explained further — “The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (formerly known as Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio) enriches the lives of children and promotes creative learning by uniting arts and education.

“Organized in 1953, CAL is the only multi-arts resource for schools and communities in the region whose primary purpose is to make learning through arts an essential part of young people’s education,” stated in the press release.

Based in Shaker Heights, its programs take place in public, private and parochial schools throughout Cleveland – as well as libraries, hospitals and other civic spaces including Cleveland State.

Marsha Dobrzynski, executive director of CAL, said the Center has a long-standing partnership with Cleveland State.

“We have worked for many years with Katie Shames, director at Center for Arts and Innovation at [Cleveland State,] doing professional development for teachers,” Dobryznski said. “Additionally, through Greg Sadlek, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, we will be holding the ArtWorks program at [Cleveland State] this summer.”

The ArtWorks program targets 10th through 12th grade students seeking a part-time job that aligns with their interest in arts.

The program teaches students 21st century job skills, including teamwork, leadership and critical thinking.
Participating students will have the chance to work with other students across Northeast Ohio, learn skills from an expert teaching artist and have fun — all while earning a paycheck.

Tom Poole said the students would use Cleveland State facilities including empty classrooms and open auditoriums.

Poole encourages students at Cleveland State who might like to become involved with CAL to inquire about volunteer work or even apply for a paid position.

“Volunteer opportunities are most definitely open to students at [Cleveland State,]” Poole said. “We also encourage them to apply for current paid positions with us.”

For more information about volunteer and employment opportunities with the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, visit www.arts-inspiredlearning.org.



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