Results tagged “arts”

Aspire Judge Meredith Lavitt Sees AYV Youth as “Changemakers”

I remember the first time I picked-up a video camera and created a story. It was an empowering experience that opened up a new world to me and allowed me to creatively express myself and share my ideas and passions with others. With the Adobe Youth Voice’s (AYV) Aspire Awards competition, Adobe is creating the opportunity for youth to come together and share original digital media projects that bravely and creatively address issues most important to them in their communities and beyond.

My personal passion for filmmaking was sparked in high school when I tried out for my senior year’s dance theatre workshop and did not make it. I was devastated, but when I found out that I could still participate by creating a documentary film about the process of choreography a seed was planted inside me. As that idea germinated, I became more and more excited to be able to combine my passion for dance with the art of storytelling and filmmaking.

AYV ImageToday, I am the Director of the Film Forward Initiative for the Sundance Institute and a filmmaker. I am also the founder of Swirl Productions, an independent production company focusing on documentary films for the theatrical and broadcast markets. I have been very fortunate to work as both a filmmaker and film professional supporting directors and producers in their art and craft. Having the opportunity to be the artist, mentor and executive has afforded me the insight that the key to success is not losing sight of your story. We each have many stories to tell and finding your authentic voice and staying true to your vision is what makes your story rise above the rest.

I am excited to be a judge for the Aspire Awards and be involved in a program that has the potential to help inspire and facilitate the development of the next generation of storytellers. As adults, we have to remind each other how important it is to listen and learn from youth. It is incredibly rewarding to work with youth as they discover their voice and that sense of empowerment from creating and sharing their unique digital work. These are valuable and practical skills that will translate into their next pursuit and/or career path.

Digital art making not only allows for participant’s stories to be expressed but provides a valuable entrée into the minds and concerns of young people today. What are they consumed by? What do they feel strongly about? And who is captivating their interest? It’s exciting to see so many youth concerned about community, social and global issues from women’s health and safety issues in India to managing physical disabilities in Morocco to standing up to bullies in Canada. Film is a powerful medium to connect people and effect change, and it is quite clear, through this year’s finalists, that there are more than a few “changemakers” out there.

It is an honor to be involved in the Aspire Awards as a judge and I look forward to the tremendous task ahead of helping to select a winner in each of the content categories.

I encourage you to participate as well and help select the Audience Award winners. Not only will you be part of this engaging process, but you will learn more about the issues that truly matter to today’s youth. Please visit the Aspire Awards Website to watch the extraordinary talent of our AYV youth and vote for your favorite entries!

Audience Voting Now Open for 2013 AYV Aspire Awards

AYVAA_03Today we’re excited to kick off audience voting for the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Aspire Awards, our annual competition inviting youth around the world to creatively express their vision for driving change in local communities.

Over the past 12 weeks, we’ve received more than 1,100 submissions from 51 countries – a record high! We’ve narrowed the field to 20 finalists in each of our content categories, including animation, documentary, music video, narrative, poetry, photography, collage, and collaboration.

Beginning today through June 8, finalist entries will be showcased on our Aspire Awards website. We encourage you – our community members and supporters – to get involved by helping to select our Audience Award winners. You can cast your vote by viewing, commenting on, sharing, “liking,” tweeting, and retweeting your favorite entries.

AYVAA_04During the audience voting period, an international panel of professionals working in art, film, and other
creative fields will additionally select first- and second-place winners in each content category and a special category for this year – the UNICEF Challenge – which invites entrants to develop a youth-led project utilizing innovative digital tools and/or digital engagement to bring positive change to their communities.

Winners in our standard content categories are eligible to win software, hardware, and a charitable donation to a cause of their choice. In addition, the UNICEF Challenge winners will receive grants valued at up to $40,000(USD), dedicated to implementing the winning project proposals. Winners’ entries from all categories will be featured at distinguished exhibitions, including international film festivals and other arts organization events.

We’ll announce winners in all categories in mid-June and celebrate the winners and their achievements at the 2013 AYV Summit in August.

To learn more about our commitment to igniting creative confidence in youth, visit our Adobe Youth Voices website. And be sure to watch this space to keep up with what’s happening with the AYV Aspire Awards!

 

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