“My generation is losing a sense of creativity because everything we could possibly need is at the click of a button. At Dorkshops I learned that media can be used not to degrade our imagination, but to enrich it. I made a piece that captures a moment in time, that maybe others can relate to.” — Sade Swift, mentee Facebooking, Tweeting, Tumbling, Pinning, Blogging: our mentees are already fluent in the digital world. Our digital media programs bring writing and mentoring into the mix.
In our mentoring program, we boost girls’ tech savvy and creative potential through digital media. With guidance from the MacArthur Foundation-funded Hive Learning Network NYC, we implemented a plan to digitally integrate our core Mentoring Program. In bringing our curriculum and writing approach into the digital age, we are more fully preparing our mentees to serve as the next generation of writers. At all Studio Workshops, which now contain exercises, prompts, and skills related to digital writing, learning, and editing, facilitators lead exercises that are built to be continued, shared, critiqued, and edited in secure online portfolios for mentors and mentees.
Digital Media Mentoring Program
In 2012, with the support of Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in the New York Community Trust and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, we launched a three-semester long pilot in which select mentor-mentee pairs participated in a series of hands-on intensives or “Studio Workshops”:
- In Remix, mentees and mentors reimagined original writing into multi-media works of video, audio, and animation.
- As writers, we know that if a story is going to be good, it has to have a page-turning plot, enchanting characters, and alluring player choices. Well, the same goes for games. In Narrative Gaming, mentees and mentors used blog posts and QR codes to build narrative online games playable from any mobile device.
- Creative Publishing turns the focus on e-publishing as mentees and mentors write, then design and publish, e-books. Using InDesign, workshop attendees play around with formatting, images, hyperlinks and typography to enhance their own original writing.
In Fall 2013, we brought the program to scale, matching aspiring teen writers one-to-one with multimedia professionals and New School graduate writers and digital storytellers. Together we embark on a journey of creative workshops, public readings and showcases, opportunities for publication, and more, all to give girls the tools to advance their writing through digital media. This work is supported with leadership funding from the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in the New York Community Trust, with additional support from the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations and The Pinkerton Foundation.