Storicraft: A Community Digital Storytelling Youth Project

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 by Jeff Gray, KET


Ms. Felice Salmon, of Common Good (a local Lexington community service organization begun by John and Laura Gallaher), along with artist-assistant Jennae Legg, the assistance of KET Media Lab staff, and other volunteers, recently completed a LexArts grant-funded project to help under-served North-Lexington youth tell digital stories about themselves using still cameras and video editing software.

Called the Storicraft project, it served elementary through high school-level students in a free after-school program that put multimedia production equipment in their hands for a multimedia artistic activity combining pictures, spoken narratives, and video. Based on artist-educator Wendy Ewald’s book, The Best Part of Me: Children Talk About Their Bodies in Pictures and Words, the project resulted in a collection of self-affirming and esteem-building self-portraits that can be seen online at the KET School Video Project website grouped by 3rd-5th grader and middle-high school student video collections.

KET’s Cynthia Warner and Sara O’Keefe visited the Common Good location and used KET Media Lab digital cameras to give workshops in basic photography and to help the students shoot some of their self-portrait imagery. Ms. Salmon and others then helped the students take more pictures, storyboard their projects by arranging images, and prepare a self-descriptive narrative to record later over their pictures. Finally, the groups were brought to KET’s Media Lab for afternoon workshops in video editing for digital storytelling projects by Jeff Gray, assisted by Sara O’Keefe, Ms. Salmon, Ms. Legg, and Common Good volunteer adults. At KET, the students learned about timeline editing using pc software: importing and assembling content pictures, arranging them in the editor timeline, adding transitions, adding narration, adding music, saving and exporting files, and sharing their videos.

In addition to the Storicraft student videos appearing online at the KET School Video Project webiste, the videos will also be presented by the students themselves at the Farrish Theater in the Lexington Public Library (downtown location, free admission), on 2/15/13 from 6 pm to 8 pm during the first LexArts-sponsored Lexington Gallery Hop of the season — an evening of open houses for area artists and galleries.

poster design by Felice Salmon

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