By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
The Visions Blu Institute is hosting a fundraiser Thursday at the University of Chicago Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts for its “Say Something” Youth Digital Media Summer Program.
Each summer, Visions Blu, a Chicago-based digital media and news literacy organization, hosts a summer program to help youth between the ages of 9 and 17 understand how to use the web, video, writing and audio to produce a story.
The fundraiser will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at the Logan Center, 915 E. 60th St. Event highlights include a silent auction, live entertainment by the Kenwood High School sax quartet, a poet and a singer. There will also be a screening of last year’s media project and awards will be given to Clarence Waldren, award-winning senior writer of JET Magazine, and Leslie Briars, founder of the Safe Passages program. The cost to attend the event is $30 and proceeds will help pay for production equipment and other expenses for this summer’s program.
Karon Hamlet, founder of the Visions Blu Institute, is an alum of Kenwood Academy, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., who has produced commercials, music videos, film and television shows in Chicago and L.A. She said her visit to a career day event at the school inspired her to create the summer program.
“A lot of the students said they wanted to be in the media production field – they see the glamour part, not the gritty part,” Hamlet said. “They are avid consumers of media but they don’t do so well at developing media. They have great ideas but don’t know how to effectively get their point across.”
The summer program is five weeks long and features a rotation of instructors, including journalism professors from The Medill School at Northwestern University and Columbia College, a video editor from Jet Magazine and a news editor from The Chicago Defender, who teach different topics each week. At the end of the five weeks, there is a student showcase of a story the students produced using the researching, interviewing, writing, editing and video and audio skills they’ve learned through the program.
The Visions Blu Institute is accepting applications for this year’s “Say Something” summer program. The deadline to apply is July 1. For more information on how to apply for the program, or purchase tickets to the fundraiser, visit visionsblu.com.