April 2017

Collaboration with MICA Students, Part 1

After we took a week off during the Baltimore City School spring break, we started a two day collaboration with a group of MICA undergraduate students. Since we'd struggled earlier in the project with having the Jr. Viewfinders create short, narrative videos about their lives, we decided to have the MICA students help each Jr. Viewfinder make a short video about their superhero persona. We thought this would best maximize the fact that we had almost 2 MICA students for every Jr. Viewfinder. Plus, we thought the Jr. Viewfinders would enjoy being able to make all the creative decisions without having to take notes and do some more technical aspects of the activity.

So, after some fun icebreakers to get to know one another, we split off into our smaller groups. The first part of the activity was to come up with a narrative and fill out a storyboard. It really helped that the MICA students were able to basically transcribe the youth's ideas onto the storyboard. After that, each group set out to take photos and videos that will be used to make the video. A lot of the MICA students brought a ton of energy and did a great job of connecting with the youth. Once the groups got back, we uploaded all the material onto computers and said our goodbyes. The MICA students were coming back in a week to finish the project. We definitely had some youth who couldn't wait for their return! Here are a few photos from each group. 

Eastside Stories III Goes to Print!

We are almost there! Eastside Stories III is on the verge of being released! Just this past week, we finished our layout of the publication and sent it to print. We worked late into the night--finishing the layout of some spreads, determining the order of the sections, bundling all the files in their proper places, and ultimately putting it all together. It was a thrilling few days of intense focus and hard work. While we'd been working on the project for several months, we'd been focusing on each section as its own discrete unit. Now, we had to piece all the little stories and segments together to create a larger, cohesive representation of all that we'd learned about the role that home plays in the lives of people in East Baltimore.

And, we think we did a pretty stellar job. We got the online proof back and the publication looks amazing! The graphic design and layout is sleek and affecting. The interviews, quotes, and stories are beautifully written and captured. The photos each tell their own unique stories. Most of all, it's the way that the sections complement, enhance, and interact with one another that makes this publication so unique and special. Be sure to stay tuned to hear about our upcoming release party! Below are some photos of us finishing up layout.

And if you have any interest in getting your hands on one of these beautiful publications, e-mail baltimoreviewfinders@gmail.com. 

Finishing Costumes | Photoshoot | Magazine Covers

The Jr. Viewfinders have been working on their costumes for a few weeks now. They've been adding intricate details to their capes and starting on other parts of their costumes. For the most part, they've focused on making masks, shield, and crowns to accompany their capes. As they've been working on their costumes, they've also started to develop their superhero personas. We've got Black Venus, Girly Genius, Gold Girl, and The Fighter. 

Once they finished their costumes, we had a photoshoot day. We set up a plain, white backdrop and we had Shan, our professional photographer, come in to do the shoot. The youth got into costume and struck a bunch of different poses. They had a great time getting in to character and loved having their photos taken. Then, we looked through their images and they picked their favorite one. We brought that image into Canva, the graphic design website we'd used during Campaign for Change, and they designed a magazine cover featuring their persona. Most of them were already adept at using Canva and they made some truly fantastic magazine covers. Check out Black Venus, Gold Girl, Girly Genius, and more below!