SPNN Youth Media Around the Cities


SPNN Youth media can be seen outside of St. Paul this spring, at Intermedia Arts and the MSP International Airport.

REM is currently being shown at Intermedia Arts as part of their youth curated exhibit, Me(me). Me(me) runs through May 30th, and admission is a sliding scale with a suggested donation of $3.

“Music Is…” can be found in the See 18 Film Screening Room at the MSP International Airport this spring. See 18 works in partnership with TPT and the Film Society of Minneapolis and Saint Paul to feature short films and documentaries by filmmakers from the area. Film screenings are free.

SPNN Youth Photography Displayed at the Minnesota Museum of American Art


On January 13th, SPNN’s Set It Up crew took a field trip to the Minnesota Museum of American Art to meet Julie Buffalohead, an artist whose exhibit “Coyote Dreams” was on display. Buffalohead took us on a tour of the exhibit, talking about her artwork and some of the themes it addresses – from Native culture, to motherhood, to feeling of not fitting in. At the end of our visit, Buffalohead gave us a prompt for a photo project that we could work on in Set It Up: “The Playfulness of Childhood.”

After meeting with mentors to brainstorm ideas around this theme, each Set It Up member submitted a photo project in response to the exhibit. In turn, the Minnesota Museum of American Art generously offered to have large format prints made of the photographs, and is exhibiting them in their space through April. This is the first time we’ve done a project quite like this, and we are incredible excited and grateful to the MMAA and Julie Buffalohead for their support.

The Minnesota Museum of American Art is located on the corner of 4th and Robert Streets in St. Paul. The space is open to the public Thursdays from 11:00am-6:00pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am-4:00pm. The Set It Up photographs will be on display through mid-April.


Looking Back: TCYMN’s 2014 Showcase

As we gear up for the 2015 Media Market and Showcase, we’re looking back at some of the amazing youth work that was shown last year. SPNN is so proud of this piece by Destiny Roberts, Michaela Huberty, and Darartu Tashoma.

“From the Roots” offers an introspective view of Black women’s identity through the conversation about hair, a narrative that is frequently missing from mainstream media. Producer Destiny frames the conversation by identifying her hair as a mirror of her self-image and identity. The other teens and adults interviewed about their hair and what their unique style preference means to them reveals how media plays a large part in the internal dialogue surrounding hair.

The video sets out to examine how hair is inextricably tied to culture, particularly within the narrative of Black women in America. The team conducts interviews with young girls and women, compiling diverse messages around what people call “good hair.” From the Roots reveals how media relays pervasive messages to women at all ages about how beautiful hair must meet European standards in order to be “good hair”- hair that is straight and smooth.

Transitions Animated and animation at Illuminate

Here’s a documentary about a project that the students at Minnesota Transitions Charter High School and Elementary School made last winter and spring. The video they made will be part of this year’s TCYMN showcase, which is called Illuminate. I helped these students as a teaching artist, and I’ll also be working with teens to do a stop motion animation activity at the TCYMN Illuminate event at the Walker Art Center on February 28.

South High VOICES students complete their documentaries

Students in the South High VOICES class (VOICES stands for Values, Options, Issues and Choices Explored in Society) create documentary films on social issues with guidance from teaching artist John Akre. The class is taught by Delainia Haug and Laura Lanik.

The students had only from early November to the middle of January to make their films, pitching their ideas to the class in early November, shooting in November and December, and editing, showing drafts and refining their work into January.

Shannon, Sam, Mai Lia and Lucy made this documentary about South High’s Teen Age Pregnancy and Parenting Program (TAPPP). They chose this subject, which was very accessible to them because it was located in their school, after struggling into early December with another topic that they ended up abandoning. They worked hard the last two weeks of the class to get the great interviews and b-roll that make this documentary stand out. And who can resist lots of shots of beautiful babies?

Watch all of this year’s VOICES videos here.

SPNN Youth at the Allied Media Conference

In June, four Youth producers from SPNN had the thrilling privilege to attend the Allied Media Conference held in Detroit, MI. Kyle’s video highlighting the conference workshops, found below, is just a small sample of the production work that Darartu, Destiny, Theng and Kyle were involved in at the conference. Besides documenting the youth-led media workshops, our Youth Producers also led workshops and found themselves engaged in a variety of non-stop events.