I'm Invaluable Too

Summer Arts Academy, Day 6

I’m Invaluable Too, Day 6

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Media and Music (and Murals, oh my!), Day 6

Another start to a wonderful day! Marissa and Uhey began this morning touching up the “For One and All” mural and painting the backdrop. They blended colors together to create a fade effect and applied washes to coat the mural and protect it from dust.

Christine prepared the media room and some filming equipment to help have the students practice their filming skills. She introduced the students to various camera equipment and styles to fit the music video and explained how camera angles could project power or perspective on the object being filmed.  The students watched a tutorial video on a variety of subjects, but Christine focused more on camera movements, lighting, and stabilizing shots.

She led the class out to the main room after her explanations, where she had the interns set up the lighting equipment and the stabilizer for the camera. After passing around the equipment to each of the students to let them get a feel of the machinery, Christine adjusted the lights and had each student practicing and experimenting with different effects with the recording function. Other students who were not recording were being filmed dancing to music and each person had their turn to either dance or become a filming crew person for the day. I had the opportunity to film some of our younger students dance and can I say, they can move!

Soon after, the students were led back into the media room where Instructor Christine released the updated version of the song and asked each student to voice his or her opinion on what event should be happening during that part of the music video. The students suggested to have a mock protest, complete with signs or a food drive to show bonding between the community. Once ideas were exhausted we all took a break for lunch and everyone ate their fill of pizzas.

Re-energized, the class followed Instructor Randy inside the classroom and sat around three tables. Randy had the students talk about themselves via the ‘Mr. Me Too Game’ where a person talks about themselves until someone else can relate a thing they said and they stand up to talk. After everyone went, Randy spoke about his own experiences and encouraged students who could relate to his story to raise their hands at various parts of his life. 

Afterwards, he moved on to explaining the origins of Hip-Hop and how key elements of the Hip-Hop scene such as DJ’s, break dance and emcees all encourage both individual expression AND community movements. Randy related this back to the idea behind our “Turn up the Value” song, and had us begin filling a flip book with inspirational quotes around the concept. He added, “This flip book is inherently invaluable since there’s only one of it made from all of you guys.” Finally, everyone wrote down their favorite quotes and Mr. Randy recorded each student reciting their sayings one by one. After the events of a long day, we all dispersed with smiles on faces.


Valerie Freedom

My story begins in Franklin Delano Roosevelt School in Lower East Side. I was a small little sapling back then, fermenting in a growing, warm community. I germinated when Generation Xcel began its mural ideas. Over time I flew on the wind to other schools to plant saplings and create murals through them. Likes: Outdoor activities, Painting, Basketball, Socializing, Superhero movies, Communal unity, Dislikes: Violence, Biases

All stories by: Valerie Freedom

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