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      The Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program offers Baltimore City residents ages 16 to 29 the opportunity to learn camera skills, refine storytelling techniques, and create films and photographs to be shared at public screenings and exhibits and on the program website.  Participants are paid stipends and receive certificates for successful completion.

    Our mission is to build an online archive of Baltimore voices; a representation of our city, historical and current, real and imagined.  Be part of the project.  We want to hear from you!

                  The Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program is made possible by the support of the Johns Hopkins Film and Media Studies Program and a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


A very open environment, encouraging.

I love the variety of ages.

FALL 2017


Open to Ages 18-29
Thursday, September 7, 6-8pm; Saturday, September 9, 10-6; Thursday, September 14, 6-8pm; Saturday, September 16, 10-6; Saturday, September 23, 10-6; Sunday, September 24, 12-5; Motorhouse (map) and on location

In this intermediate-level documentary filmmaking workshop, fellows will be introduced to the stages of professional documentary development, from concept to initial pitch to research and preliminary interviews, to shooting and editing a trailer.  Enrollment for the workshop will be by application, with accepted fellows each bringing to the table something of value to the larger project.  This may be experience in nonfiction writing; experience in filmmaking; unique knowledge of a story or unique access to a person, location, or materials, including archives, that are worthy of study.  Fellows will consider together what makes a good story, how best to shape it, and to what kind of audience it is likely to appeal.  They’ll view and discuss clips from documentaries in a variety of categories--expository, observational, participatory, poetic-- learning what makes the films successful.  Fellows will apply to the workshop by submitting their story ideas and establishing what skills and/or materials they have to offer the group.  9 fellows will be admitted; 3 story ideas will be developed; 1 trailer will be shot.  While limited class time will demand a selection process, all fellows will be encouraged to develop their individual subjects on their own time, using what they learn during workshop meetings.  This workshop meets in a concentrated schedule and includes long days.  Fellows must commit to attending every workshop meeting without exception.  During workshop hours they’ll work collaboratively as a professional development team and film crew to create a polished, professional trailer.  The trailer will be shown at a program screening and shared on the program website.  The workshop will include a review of camera and audio equipment, but participants should have basic videography skills.  When contacting the program via the website contact page or directly at youthfilmarts@jhu.edu, interested fellows should include a brief description of their filmmaking or other relevant skills.  Limited to 9 student fellows.

Annette Porter is a documentary filmmaker and co-founder, with Helen Morell, of Nylon Films, UK.  Comfortable with her camera in a corporate boardroom or on a high altitude trail in Chile, she produces, directs, and shoots both stills and moving images.

Alec Jordan is a Baltimorean and a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where he was president of the Dunbar Baldwin Hughes Theatre Company.  He plans to develop his creative skills in order to pursue a career in photography and filmmaking.


Open to Ages 16-24
Saturdays, September 9-October 21, 1:30-5:30, JHU-MICA Film Center (map)

In this animation workshop, fellows will learn action-based storytelling, creating characters with well-defined desires, and exploring how to set these characters in conflict with each other and with their environments.  Fellows will experiment with stop-motion in claymation and pixilation as they learn to move their figures through space, exploiting real and animated settings and props.  They’ll learn the principles of story design, and how to balance personal expressiveness with the demands of effective narrative.  The workshop will include a brief history of animation, with short screenings of sample works.  Fellows will be exposed to a variety of styles, cultures, and techniques for inspiration, but will ultimately draw from their own experiences and their own imaginations in creating their animated worlds.  In a series of weekly in-class assignments, they’ll sharpen their powers of observation and their senses of timing and motion.  They’ll also learn the basics of sound recording and editing.  While fellows will work independently on individual projects, they’ll work together as a group to analyze screened animated films and to review and constructively critique each other’s animations.  Each fellow will create a final project to be shared at a program event and on the program website.  Limited to 9 student fellows.

Zoe Friedman is a multimedia installation artist.  She loves to explore, travel, and collaborate, and has created art projects all over the world.  She holds an MFA from MICA and is proud to call Baltimore home.

Les Gray studies Cinematic Arts at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and hopes to inspire the community that inspired her.


Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, September 9-October 7, 10-2, Towson University, CFA 1003 (map); October 14, JHU-MICA Film Center (map)

In this experimental movement and videography workshop, students fellows will be introduced to the art of dance for the camera, in which dance and video are both integral to a work.  Through a variety of movement exercises, fellows will explore personal movement and gesture, and also “movement conversations” with others, and they’ll experiment with how these exchanges translate into moving images.  The movement and gesture may refer to a fellow’s personal history, including events and relationships, or may spontaneously respond to an in-the-moment movement of another fellow. Choreographer Wayne MacGregor calls this “physical thinking,” a collaborative process that builds “on the power of fast intuitions” (more on MacGregor).  Fellows will work on both sides of the camera—in front as movers and behind as director-videographers—developing stylized stories told without words.  As videographers, fellows will be “visually thinking,” as well, exploring how framing and camera movement can inform the actions being recorded.  They’ll work in teams and edit their own footage, with montage adding another dimension to the choreography of the works.  In addition to "physical thinking," they'll learn the basics of formal composition, camera operation, and the editing program Adobe Premiere.  Their films will be shown at a public screening and on the program website.  The workshop will be invaluable to actors and directors, as well as to dancers.  No prior dance training required.  Limited to 8 student fellows.

Susan Mann, a former dancer and choreographer, is Professor in the Towson University Department of Dance.  She has performed leads in classical ballets and modern dances, and choreographed works for professional companies.  In collaboration with her husband John Mann, she has also created the dances for the camera, Do You Like That?, Breathe in…Breathe Out, and It Goes Without Saying.  The projects have screened at a variety of festivals, and It Goes Without Saying was selected as Best Experimental Film in the California International Short Film Festival.

John Mann is a documentary filmmaker and Senior Lecturer in the Film and Media Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University.  Works include the documentaries Shelter: Conversations with Homeless Men, Nicodemus, and Locust Point; the dance for the camera shorts Breathe In…Breathe Out and It Goes Without Saying; and the recent autobiographical short "if...then...”

Christina Dunnington is a junior studying Dance Performance and Choreography, along with Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, at Towson University. She hopes to pursue a career as a professional contemporary ballet dancer.


Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, September 16-October 28, 9-1, Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus, BLC-4040 (map)

The spaces we inhabit frame our lives.  In this photography workshop fellows will develop a creative awareness of their environment through careful observation of Baltimore’s buildings and other man-made structures.  Bridging theory and practice, they’ll study the urban photography of artists such as André Kertész, Gordon Parks, Roy DeCarava, and Hélène Binet, and discuss short readings by Teju Cole, Susan Sontag, and Henri Cartier-Bresson.  They’ll be encouraged to consider themselves in the context of an expansive canon, and to respond to the photographers they admire, to the city they live in, and to each other through their own creative work.  They’ll hone fundamentals, such as shot discipline, composition, and tripod technique, as they explore and recreate the streets of Baltimore with a discerning photographer’s eye.  Participants will each choose one type of structure (for example: row houses, corner stores, or monuments) as a subject, and create a portfolio of digital images with a consistent, compelling visual style.  Each fellow will write an artist’s statement that speaks to the personal experience of making the images.  Artists’ statements and a selection of photographs will appear in a photo book, as well as on the program website and at a program exhibition.  Limited to 10 student fellows.

Somer Greer is a poet and photographer who, since moving from Florida, is happy to call Baltimore home. He teaches writing at Johns Hopkins University and Loyola University, and pursues photography all over the Mid-Atlantic and beyond. He is thrilled to help make Baltimore stronger through art.

Daniela Zapata is a neuroscience and French major at Johns Hopkins University.  She is a photographer, working with The News-Letter and with Visual Resources Collections.  She also works independently on shoots for student groups and campus organizations.




Save the Date!
November 11
Saturday, November 11, 5-8:30, Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus
Doors Open to Photography Exhibition at 5
Opening Remarks at 5:15
Film Screenings at 5:30
Followed by Awarding of Certificates and a Reception with Light Refreshments