The Griot’s Eye Program: Arts and Advocacy
In West African traditions, ‘Griots’ are revered storytellers that use music, poetry, and history to celebrate the collective identity of the people. Hence, the Griot’s Eye program seeks to do the same through community-produced media programs that, as visual storytelling projects, celebrate positive social change in Baltimore city. The Griot’s Eye program is a Media Arts and Youth Advocacy program in which youth are equipped with technical and creative skills to produce media projects that address issues of immediate relevance in the lives of Baltimore city youth through film, photography, graphic arts, and web design. The goals of the program are to:
- Utilize Arts Integration principles to strengthen cultural education among urban youth.
- Provide youth with professional media design skills to develop positive, income generating activities.
- Develop social awareness among youth through participatory media projects in collaboration with local businesses and organizations.
- Provide youth with a platform for artistic expression and social justice
- Advance academic performance, public speaking, critical thinking, and creative writing skills.
The Griot’s Eye program is one of the premiere youth media programs in Baltimore city, serving the cultural and creative needs of urban youth. Our success is demonstrated in the several awards and accolades the program has earned including:
The Griot’s Eye program partners with local schools, community organizations, and social service agencies in Baltimore city to facilitate media programs for youth and community residents.
The length and duration of each program varies according to the partnership and the population to be served. Program participants receive instruction in Digital Video Production, photography, graphic design, and web design with a strong emphasis on community development.
The Griot’s Eye staff will work with participants to produce short films and media programs that address various community issues, such as teenage pregnancy, gang violence, the plight of homeless youth, peer pressure, drug abuse, etc.
Upon completion of the media programs, participants will organize a public screening of their work in which community leaders and city officials will be invited. This youth-led event will include a discussion forum, which seeks to raise awareness and encourage action towards the various topics presented in the films.