VISUAL STORYTELLING: MEMOIR
Ages 18-29
Summer 2017, New David Baptist Church of Christ, 1401 N. Milton Avenue & the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, 1601 E. North Avenue

In this short, concentrated filmmaking workshop, fellows will explore the possibilities of memoir for digital video.  They’ll work from their own personal stories and from those of people close to them, and while they’ll draw from real-life events, emphasis will be on effective storytelling as well as on facts.  They’ll consider which events from their lives, positive or negative, have been most formative and why, and they’ll consider how to deliver a chosen event in a way that is both meaningful to storyteller and engaging for an audience.  Working with each other and with the instructors they’ll experiment with ways in which images and audio can evoke place, personality, emotion; how a story on film creates an experience distinct from that of a story that is spoken or written.  The workshop will meet at the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum on North Avenue, giving fellows an opportunity to consider the biographies of African Americans prominent in politics, science, and the arts; and also less visible figures, influential in their own way; farmers, soldiers, business owners, students, “ordinary” men and women of color who have helped build the world we live in.  What parts of the stories of these “greats” stand out?  How were these shapers of history themselves shaped?  And how did they come ultimately to change the culture, not succumb to it?  Fellows will be encouraged to consider their own potential roles as shapers of a future that is not inevitable, not foreseen.  They’ll work in teams to create one or more short collaborative films, and their film(s) will be shared on the program website and at a public screening.  Limited to 12 student fellows. 

Visual Storytelling: Memoir is a co-production of Baltimore Youth Film Arts, The Megaphone Project, and Root Branch Productions.

Vonnya Pettigrew is CEO of Root Branch Productions & Film Academy.  A writer and filmmaker, she has produced content for a wide range of clients, including the Discovery Channel, Disney, and Starz.

Jimmy Powell, Jr., an alumnus of the Maryland Institute College of Art, is a freelance videographer and editor.  His clients include the NAACP, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, and the University of Maryland Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

Gwen Richards is an award winning writer-producer with extensive experience in broadcast journalism and in community-based health care.  She sits on the board of The Megaphone Project.