|COSACOSA's Art and Youth Development initiative, Connection Studios, engages young people in solving neighborhood problems through hands-on art-making and multimedia technology. The program is youth-driven and youth-led. Participating youth grow to see themselves as community leaders, ready to engage with their elders and peers in community planning and ready to mentor the next generation of responsible citizens.
As participating youth originate new media works exploring neighborhood concerns, they learn and practice the skills necessary to deliver their ideas to a larger audience, including media literacy, digital and traditional media production, public presentation and conflict mediation. Connection Studios projects impact both their participant-creators and the larger community as the youth tour their projects and facilitate discussions at neighborhood centers, town meetings and schools to organize neighborhood response and build community social capital.
Connection Studios youth have created a wide range of projects for public broadcast, including two films for National Learn and Serve America's Youth Visions for Stronger Neighborhoods initiative with CTCnet. Other projects range from albums of original songs to audio works of community stories.
Connection Studios highlights include:
•Visions of Community, a 30' film exploring the history and possible futures for North Philadelphia's Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood through community interviews, original poetry and theatrical vignettes. Visions of Community was distributed nationally as part of Youth Visions for Stronger Neighborhoods, an initiative of National Learn and Serve America and CTCnet.
• Voices of Community, a full length CD of songs composed and performed by North Philadelphia youth and musicians as a companion piece to the Visions of Community film project.
• Common Good, a DVD of Public Service Announcements on issues vital to the survival of Philadelphia neighbors and neighborhoods, including healthy eating habits, gang violence, teen depression, equal opportunity, and "What Makes a Man?"
• Listening for Dialogue, an audio work exploring dialogue as conflict resolution, through a series of monologues crafted by artist and former COSACOSA Youth Council member Lee Fogel from interviews with individuals on all sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Connection Studios youth recorded the latest version of the piece, while developing a dialogue curriculum addressing interpersonal and intercultural conflicts in our city.
Check our Resources page for more information about accessing Connection Studios productions.
|Connection Studios youth conduct on-the-street interviews about community change in North Philadelphia.
|Connection Studios youth portray positive role models and offer pathways to success in their Opportunity's Gate film.
|When I Look Out My Window, a website by Connection Studios youth investigates needs and assets of inner city neighborhoods.
|A skit from our youths' award-winning Visions of Community film explores how lack of community involvement can hurt neighborhood growth.