Medill Matters: A Renaissance 2010 Story is an audio documentary that explores the effects that the closing of Chicago Public School Medill Elementary in June 2009 has on its community. This project evolved from the idea that those who are being affected the most by these recent policy changes, the students, should have an opportunity to voice their opinions on the matter. Led by Aura Brickler, Co-Director of Project FOCUS and School Social Worker with Chicago Public Schools, and Bret Hoekema, a documentary filmmaker, three Medill middle school students set out with audio recorders into their community to document the story of their school’s closing. Through interviews with teachers, administrators, community members, each other, and leading educational activists, the students discovered quickly how deep this issue runs and how greatly it impacts their education and their futures.
To learn more about this project please visit www.medillmatters.org.
ProjectFOCUS India is a collection of students, artists, activists, and aspiring educators who were inspired by Project FOCUS to utilize art and self expression as an educational tool and as a means to create cross cultural dialogue. We use participant captured photography as a method to teach students about community awareness, civic engagement, and critical thinking skills, as well as to create awareness of children's lives in India among people in the United States. Our first project took place during the summer months of 2009 in Dehradun, India. Our future goals are to continue showcasing the art of the children of Dehradun in galleries around the Chicagoland area, to continue the cross-cultural dialogue that we have initiated between Chicago and Dehradun, and to inspire other youth to take responsible action by spreading the Project FOCUS philosophy into our communities.
To learn more about this project please visit...www.projectfocusindia.wordpress.com/
Jonathan St. Clair, Director of Stick and Move Dance Crew, a Chicago Based Hiphop movement, traveled to Uganda to work collaboratively with Breakdance Project Uganda, a grassroots arts organization that uses breakdance for Social Change. Through the Breakdance Project, Jonathan was also invited to work with In-Movement, a NGO that also promotes using art for social change with youth in the capital city, Kampala. While in Uganda, Jonathan taught the basic principles of Hiphop to the youth, as well as advanced Hiphop dance workshops to professional and aspiring artists and other local Hiphop instructors. Jonathan also assisted in planning, promoting, and hosting an event called "Hiphop for the Society" in which 1,600 people were in attendance. Jonathan is now fundraising to return to Uganda in 2010 to teach more courses in Kampala & Gulu, participate in Hiphop 4 the Society 2010, and use his media training to further document hiphop in Uganda. Through this work, Jonathan is uniting international Hiphop artists to strengthen and empower each others' work in order to find positive, creative solutions to common social issues.