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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!

                  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.


Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, February 9-March 30, 10-2, Morgan State University, Holmes Hall (map), and on location at the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum, 1320 Eutaw Street (map)
Saturday, April 6, 10-2, must be reserved by fellows as a snow date

In this experimental documentary workshop, student fellows will explore Baltimore’s Civil Rights history, while learning animation techniques and refining their storytelling skills.  They’ll work with visual and print archives, and interview both historians and the activists who drove the movement.  Inspired by animated documentaries like Chicago 10 (link) and Waltz with Bashir (link), they’ll apply a range of techniques to reimagine and revivify the stories they uncover, even as they respect the integrity of the historical record.  They’ll be introduced to ToonBoom, Cinema 4D, and the Adobe Creative Suite, including After Effects and Premiere.  They’ll experiment with composite animation, rotoscoping for stop motion and frame animation, and digital illustration.  With the instructors, they’ll engage in the ethical considerations that must be addressed when recreating nonfiction transcriptions.  They’ll create several, short, collaborative animations, and their work will be shared on the BYFA website and at a public screening.  The workshop will include a location production day at the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum.  Limited to 12 student fellows.

Nonfiction Animation: Recalling Baltimore’s Civil Rights Movement is a co-production with Morgan State University.

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.

Kyle Yearwood is an assistant in Morgan State University’s Screenwriting and Animation program, with proficiency in cinematography, editing, photography, special effects, and animation.  He has worked as a videographer for the Baltimore MTA, interned for HBO’s Show Me a Hero, and currently freelances in visual production.

Open to Ages 16-29
Saturdays, February 23-April 20, 1:30-5:30, JHU-MICA Film Center, 10 E. North Avenue (map)
Saturday, April 27, 1:30-5:30, must be reserved by fellows as a snow date

In this journalism workshop, student fellows will explore the possibilities of print, photo-, and video journalism to tell the stories of their city.  Social networking platforms like Instagram and Twitter have overtaken traditional media in the coverage of breaking news, and video news packages have become the norm online.  In line with this trend, fellows will create “Dateline Baltimore,” a virtual visual news journal that captures the pulse of Baltimore.  Fellows will learn the news coverage process from identifying news and feature stories, to research and interviews, to the fundamentals of photo reportage, video production, and editing to inform with purpose.  Working together and with the instructor as an editorial team, they'll decide which stories to pursue and how to shape them for maximum impact, all while adhering 100% to facts in their reporting. Visiting instructors will provide hands-on instruction in lighting, video and audio recording, and editing techniques, as well as insight into journalistic ethics. Captioned work will appear weekly on dedicated Instagram and Twitter feeds, with longer form stories and portfolios appearing over time on the program website. Selected pieces will be shared at a public exhibition and in a limited print edition. Limited to 12 student fellows.

Zoraida  Díaz, a Colombian-born photojournalist, covered some of the most impactful Latin American stories of the 80s and 90s for Reuters.  Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Libération, O Globo, The  Guardian, Dagens Nyheter, Clarín, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts at the University of Baltimore.

Ceci Freed is a Film and Media Studies and Spanish double major at Johns Hopkins.  She is interested in pursuing a career in the television and film industry. 

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.

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, March 2-April 20, 9-1, Harambee Center, 1622 N. Carey Street (map) and on location
Saturday, April 27, 9-1, must be reserved by fellows as a snow date

In this production workshop student fellows will create 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 create original theme music, design opening and end titles, and promote the series through social media.  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 12 student fellows.

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

Essence Smith is Executive Director 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.

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. 

More 2019 workshops coming soon!