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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 for their contributions
and receive certificates for successful completion.

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

             Baltimore Youth Film Arts is an affiliate program of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, and is made possible by the financial support of Johns Hopkins and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


A very open environment, encouraging.

I love the variety of ages.


Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, June 1-July 13, 1:30-5:30, JHU-MICA Film Centre (map)

In this experimental animation workshop, student fellows will use exquisite corpse techniques to deconstruct and reimagine their environment and its inhabitants (exquisite corpse samples). Inspired by the work of multimedia artist Nathaniel Mary Quinn (sample work), and working with original and archival photographic images, hand-drawn images, and other paper materials, they’ll assemble, disassemble, and reassemble representations of Baltimore faces, buildings, and neighborhoods, creating short animations of their collage “transformations.” They’ll record voiceovers and experimental soundscapes to accompany their visuals. Animations may be grounded in either narrative or lyrical progressions, and might explore personal or sociopolitical concerns, addressing changes in self or city, whether positive or negative. Fellows will learn the basics of digital photography, create stop motion animations with Dragonframe software, record original audio with Adobe Audition, and pull everything together using Adobe Premiere Pro. Final projects will be shared on the program website, with selections shown at a final screening. Limited to 12 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.

Yiran (Eva) Guo is a freelance illustrator and animator originally from the plains of northern China. She is a graduate of the MFA program in Illustration Practice at Maryland Institute College of Art, and in her time in the States, has created award-winning window displays, GIFs, animations, and illustrations. 

Alfonzer Harvin has a B.A. in Computer Animation from Morgan State University and is skilled in all phases of production.  He believes knowledge is power.  

Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, June 1-July 13, 10-2, Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, Miller Research Building 182, 733 N. Broadway (map)

In this storytelling workshop, student fellows will explore stories from the African oral tradition, using them as inspiration for their own original “storyboards,” visual outlines for short films.  Storyboarding is an essential part of preproduction for film and animation, and consists of a series of images that map out the main ideas and key compositions for a moving picture.  Storyboards are often hand-drawn; in this workshop they’ll be photographic, encouraging fellows to enter into their stories through the lens from the start.  The African oral arts are rich in history and myth and offer insight into universal human experience.  Fellows will collectively analyze a range of stories, discovering and connecting with their principles, finding reflections of their own lives and interests.  They’ll create individual narratives grounded in the African tales, and design three-shot storyboards for exhibition and for possible future development into short films.  Each fellow will also write an artist’s statement highlighting the qualities and principles expressed through the work, and including a brief story synopsis.  Storyboards and statements will be shared on the program website and at a public exhibition. Limited to 12 student fellows

David Fakunle, Ph.D. is Co-Founder and CEO of DiscoverME/RecoverME: Enrichment Through the African Oral Tradition. A Baltimore native, David is currently a research fellow at Morgan State University. His career as an African storyteller, African drummer, and researcher operates at the intersection of arts and public health.   

Olugbenga Osikomaiya, a Morgan State University graduate, is a freelance cinematographer and photographer who focuses on creating compelling images that also tell a story.  

Siddhi Nargund is a grad student at Johns Hopkins University who indulges in video content writing and creation. She has created YouTube videos and believes in learning through multidisciplinary fields and contemporary methods to make the best of her love for videography.

Open to Ages 16-29
Sundays, June 2-July 14, 1-5, Johns Hopkins Homewood, 50 Gilman Hall (map)

This film studies workshop will emphasize close observation and critical thinking.  Through in-class screenings and group discussion, student fellows will practice noticing: seeing and hearing with fresh eyes and ears, and taking nothing on screen for granted.  And they’ll learn to reflect on and contextualize what they find, drawing evolved conclusions about how film texts communicate ideas and what those ideas may be.  They’ll consider representations of gender, race, and class; and take into account an array of analytical frameworks including genre, historical era, authorship, and mode of production.  They’ll explore all elements of cinematic form, learning the vocabulary to help them grasp and talk about the complexities of mise en scène and editing, and they’ll have the option to develop oral presentations and short critical writings about their discoveries.  They’ll also have the option to share their written critical analyses on the program website.  Limited to 12 student fellows.

Lucy Bucknell teaches screenwriting and film studies in the Film and Media Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University.  She is the founding director of Writing Outside the Fence, a writing program for returning citizens and their extended community.

Open to Ages 16-21
Saturdays, June 1-July 13, 9-1, Johns Hopkins Homewood, Brody Learning Commons 4040 (map)

Nature Photography is the investigation of the natural environment with a strong emphasis on aesthetics.  In this workshop, we will focus our attention on grand scenic landscapes, "The Big Picture," but we will also focus on the little things: interesting details, rich textures, and vibrant colors.  Our photographic explorations will allow student fellows to focus on details about the natural environment including plants, animals, water, and sky, as well as on times of day and weather.  Field trips will take us to Cylburn Arboretum, Jones Falls Trail, and Lake Roland.  Fellows will learn practical location photographic skills, and will be introduced to iconic works by canonical artists and to new work by contemporary artists who may be unknown to them.  Through analysis of their own work and the work of established artists, they'll explore the diverse ways in which nature photography can be created and understood.  Each fellow will create a portfolio and write an artist's statement reflecting on their work.  Photographs with statements will be shared at a public exhibition and on the program website.  Limited to 9 student fellows. 

Colette Veasey-Cullors is Chair of the Photography Program at MICA.  Her work, which investigates race, class, education, and identity, has been widely exhibited.  Her collaborative interest is in social and creative engagement with individuals and communities, particularly those that are underserved and underrepresented.

Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, June 1-July 13, 11-3, Youth Opportunity YO! Baltimore, 1212 N Wolfe St, 21213 (map)

In this personal filmmaking workshop student fellows will focus on the events and people that have shaped their lives, developing their stories through a collaborative process, then creating individual films.  They’ll share their stories in a constructive setting, and through group exercises and discussion, help each other identify key elements in their material: the most telling details, the most moving moments.  Fellows will be encouraged to challenge each other’s and their own perspectives.  And they’ll consider a range of ways to frame their experiences for an audience: through images, words, music; in an interview, a narrative, a montage; in styles ranging from gritty and realist to lyrical or abstract.  No two films will be the same as no two storytellers are the same.  They’ll learn the basics of videography, including shot composition, audio recording, and editing; and they’ll refine critical thinking and storytelling skills.  Each fellow will create a short (2-3 minutes) film. Films will be shared on the program website, with selections shown at a public screening.  Limited to 8 student fellows.

Taelor Clay, a Morgan State University graduate, is an independent film producer and screenwriter, largely focused on stories that address and attempt to heal infighting in struggling communities. She is Program Coordinator for Baltimore Youth Film Arts.

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.

Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, June 1-July 13, 10-2, Morgan State University, Holmes Hall (map)

This screenwriting workshop will take student fellows from concept to story to short script.  Through analysis of screened films and discussion of produced feature screenplays, they'll learn about structure, visual storytelling, character and scene design, and effective dialogue.  They'll consider what makes a good story with respect to genre and form, and what kinds of stories can best be told in short format on a small budget.  Then through in-class and at-home writing exercises, group table readings, and constructive critiques of one another's work, each fellow will develop a complete screenplay for a short film (5-10 minutes).  Some attention will also be given to preliminary production concerns and planning for how fellows might follow through independently to bring their visions to the screen.  In addition, a fall workshop, Script to Film, will develop one or possibly two student fellow scripts as collaborative productions.  Portions of videotaped readings from the writers table, as well as individual screenplays or outlines may be shared on the program website and at a public exhibition, according to each fellow's preference.  Limited to 10 student fellows.

Keith Mehlinger is Director of the Digital Media Center and Coordinator of the Screenwriting and Animation program (SWAN) at Morgan State University.  A producer/writer/director, he produced episodes of the syndicated series, Story of a People, and recently completed a short documentary about parents of sons lost to street violence for the Morgan multimedia project, Mother's Lament.

David Warfield teaches filmmaking and screenwriting at Morgan State University. He has been an AFI Fellow, an advisor to the Sundance Screenwriters Lab in Prague, and a V.P. of Production at Propaganda Films in Hollywood. He has sold scripts to and done assignment work for Warner Brothers, MGM, Sony, and ABC. His films include Linewatch (Sony Pictures, 2008) and the independent feature Rows (2015).  

Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, June 1-July13, 9-1, Harambee Center, 1622 N. Carey Street (map) and on location

In this production workshop student fellows will contribute to a documentary web series focusing on Baltimore’s West Side; the streets, the music, the businesses, and the personalities of their neighborhood.  They’ll work together with instructors to identify and pursue the stories they find most meaningful, and continue to collaborate as professional crew to shoot and edit four short episodes.  They'll build on a series created in a prior workshop, but all the content will be new, reflecting their unique vision and interests.  (The first four episodes will be released on Facebook and YouTube starting in May.)  They'll learn interview techniques and the basics of digital video production, both practical—camera operation, audio recording, editing on Adobe Premiere—and aesthetic—visual and sound composition, narrative design.  The series will be shared on Facebook, YouTube, on the BYFA program website, as well as at a public screening.  Limited to 10 student fellows.

West Side: The Series Continues is a co-production of Baltimore Youth Film Arts and Harambee Center.

Jim Mahjoubian, Video Production Coordinator for the Baltimore City Public Schools, believes any young person with an interest in film should be given an opportunity to explore and find their voice. In fifteen years of production and education he's helped many former students move into the industry with passion and integrity.

Darian Jones is currently working towards his associate's degree in Digital Media Production at the Community College of Baltimore County.  He is interested in documenting unique and authentic stories, and he hopes to give back by teaching others. 

Essence Smith is Coordinator at the Harambee Center.  She has a passion for empowering today’s youth through education and leadership development.  Essence believes you should be the change you want to see.

Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, June 1-July 13, 1:30-5:30, Johns Hopkins Homewood, Gilman Hall (map)

This workshop will explore the wide world of podcasting, from storytelling to reporting, from cinematic drama to roundtable discussion, from the personal and quirky to the newsworthy and informative. Fellows will be introduced to a panoply of styles and voices in current podcasts even as they design their own shows. They’ll learn how to create a podcast concept and turn it into a signature sound. They’ll learn about different microphones, how to edit digital audio, and where to find archives of sounds and music to use in their work. At the end of the session each fellow will present the first episode of their own podcast, complete with a tagline and graphic design to make it ready to stream across platforms. Along the way, they’ll get tips and techniques for interviewing, constructive comments on concepts and scripts, feedback on recording and sound quality, and all the tools needed to finish their projects. Podcasts will be shared on the program website, with selections shared at a public exhibition.  Limited to 12 student fellows.

Kyle Stine is a lecturer in the Film and Media Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University. He has studied cinema and media on research fellowships at Media@McGill at McGill University in Montreal and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

Katherine Paul is a Johns Hopkins University Film and Media Studies rising senior. With a background in fine arts and digital media, she aspires to further pursue her creativities and broaden and deepen her established expertise. 

Open to Ages 16-29
Sundays, June 16-30, 1-5, JHU-MICA Film Centre (map)

In this short animation clinic, student fellows will learn the basics of lip-syncing for animated characters.  Working with a simple hand-drawn figure or with a tracing of a photographic image, and drawing from a selection of short texts, fellows will create individual short animations of talking characters.  Photographs will be portraits of the fellows.  Drawings may be human, animal, technological; anything the fellows dream up.  Texts may range from historical speeches to traditional song lyrics to literary excerpts in the public domain.  Fellows will be provided brief anthologies to choose from, and will record their own voices reading or performing the texts using Adobe Audition.  Fellows will learn symbol creation, animation techniques, rendering, recording and importing audio, lip syncing, and facial animation using Adobe Animate. Final projects will be shared on the program website, with selections shown at a final screening.  The concentrated schedule requires that all fellows be present on time at every meeting, no exceptions.  Some prior knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud is preferable, but beginners are welcome if they’re ready to work hard and catch on fast.  Limited to 8 student fellows.

Alfonzer Harvin is a graduate of the Screenwriting and Animation program (SWAN) at Morgan State University. He has created animations for Comcast and for the Baltimore Parking Authority, and is skilled in all phases of production.  He believes knowledge is all we need to change the world.




Monday, June 10

BYFA Town Hall: Responding to Street Violence Through Art
Monday, June 10, 5-8
Glass Pavilion, Johns Hopkins Homewood (map)

How might storytelling and the lens-based arts respond to street violence and loss of life?  How can young voices shape our awareness and our culture?
Join BYFA friends and fellows for a town hall meeting to share experiences and aspirations, and to explore ideas for future workshops and special projects.

Light Supper Served


Save the Date! — Saturday, June 29

Born in Baltimore Film & Photography Festival
Saturday, June 29, 3-7:30

Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Avenue, 21224 (map)


Save the Date! — Saturday, July 27

Final Screening and Photography Exhibition for Summer Workshops
Saturday, July 27, 4:30-8
Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus (map)

Followed by Awarding of Certificates and Reception
Light Refreshments Served