by Michael Norris
Pentagram assistant editor
A grant from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America is helping transform children from Fort Myer's Youth Services into budding visual artists.
Anthony Wright, a functional technology specialist with Fort Myer's Child and Youth Services program said he applied for a grant that awarded the installation $2,000 worth of camera equipment and software with the expectation that youth compete in a Digital Arts Festival.
Wright said the Boys and Girls Clubs have had the program for at least the last two years, but that this was the first year Fort Myer would be holding the festival.
The festival will have three components. A movie-making fest will take place Feb. 26 from noon to 5 p.m. Contestants in Web design will gather April 30 from noon to 5 p.m. Graphic designers will compare their skills May 21 from noon to 5 p.m.
Wright said youth will be able to compete within each category in three divisions: 10- to 12-year-olds, 13- to 15-year-olds, and 16- to 18-year-olds. Those competing must already be enrolled in Youth Services.
Already two youths from the program have signed up for the movie-making section, Wright said. Competitors can submit either a film or a screenplay and films cannot exceed two minutes length. He said there are no firm deadlines, but submissions must be submitted the Friday before the festival to ensure they meet festival guidelines.
The grant provided Youth Services with a digital video recorder, music-looping software and other materials. Wright has been using the equipment for workshops to teach kids at the youth center how to edit film, use photo programs and other technology. He said he has recruited media arts professionals from the Pentagon to serve as judges for the festival. Winners will go on to compete at regional and national festivals and be eligible for prizes and awards.
Besides being fun, Wright said the program "teaches youth motor skills and high-end technology programs."
He said the program goes beyond what can be found in Arlington public schools for this age group. For more information on the festival and media training at Youth Services, contact Anthony Wright at (703) 696-3724 or email@example.com.
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