The Leo S. Guthman Fund has awarded a $25,000 grant to Urban Gateways to support a Digital Audio/Community Journalism Program in a South Side Chicago neighborhood.
The year-round media literacy program will take place after-school and on weekends at Perspectives Charter School in Auburn Gresham. The purpose of the program is to address the large gap that exists between the way stories about youth in our communities are reported, and the capacity of the young people involved to recount them.
Participating students will research, report, and produce community journalism pieces focused on prevailing issues in their communities. In addition, the students will write, produce, perform and record original sound pieces in response to the issues. The students’ audio and video reporting and documentation of the community’s issues will then be shared through Auburn-Gresham’s community web portal.
The story and sound subjects will be chosen by the students with guidance from Urban Gateways teaching artists. Students will learn interviewing and writing skills, as well as music/audio recording techniques, basic signal flow and electrical theory, and music theory/arranging and performance techniques.
The Digital Audio/Community Journalism Program was started at Perspectives Charter School in 2009, thanks in part to an initial investment from the Guthman Foundation. The program has proven to effectively integrate the arts into community development efforts to affect positive change and prevent violence.