Museum of the Moving Image and the YMCA of Greater New York will launch Ad Lab, a new after-school partnership offering workshops in political media literacy and media-making to 100 civic-minded New York City teens. Participating teens and educators will use the Museum's acclaimed website, The Living Room Candidate (http://livingroomcandidate.org), an online archive of more than 500 presidential campaign commercials from every election year since 1952, as the main resource and tool to view, discuss, and remix historic ads.
Participating teens are primarily middle- and high-school students enrolled in the YMCA of Greater New York's Teens Take the City (TTC) program, a program that inspires young people to become agents of change in their community through civic participation. TTC participants learn about New York City government and gain tools needed to utilize the democratic process to affect change on a local level and become active influences in their communities. Young people from other YMCA teen clubs that emphasize community involvement, service, and leadership are also invited.
Ad Lab launches on Friday, October 26, from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. with a kick-off session at the Museum, featuring opportunities for participating teens to tour the Museum and participate in workshops in which they analyze and remix historic ads. In subsequent workshops, they will write, shoot, and edit their own 30-second ads related to issues they are learning about in YMCA programs. A group of 15 participants will also serve on a committee to advise on new interactive learning activities to be added to The Living Room Candidate.
"We are very pleased to partner with the YMCA of Greater New York, which already has an excellent program for civic engagement. By critically viewing historic ads and creating commercials about issues that are important to them, the teens participating in Ad Lab will become more informed viewers of political ads and more capable of expressing themselves through media," explained Christopher Wisniewski, the Museum's Deputy Director for Education. "Because so much of our political culture plays out on television and online, the skills these teens will develop are essential to 21st century citizenship."
Ad Lab is the first collaboration between Museum of the Moving Image and the YMCA of Greater New York. The Y's Teens Take the City is a year-long program designed to give young people the tools they need to become active influences in their community. It teaches them all about New York City government and gives participants the chance to research and debate topics of their choosing.
"Ad Lab is a perfect fit for the Teens Take the City program," said Marty Forth, the YMCA's Senior Executive, Youth and Community Engagement. "Museum of the Moving Image brings unparalleled expertise in the subject of political campaign ads and decades of experience teaching young people about the use of media in politics to this project. We are excited to have them as a partner."
The Ad Lab has been funded by the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in the New York Community Trust. The Museum and the YMCA of Greater New York are members of the Hive Learning Network NYC, a Mozilla project that was founded through The MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media & Learning initiative to fuel collaborations between cultural organizations and create new learning pathways and innovative education practices together.
"This project is a great example of the kind of youth oriented, innovative digital learning activities the Hive is trying to nurture and support," said Christopher Lawrence, Director of Hive NYC. "We are excited by the collaboration between the YMCA and the Museum of the Moving Image, and we look forward to seeing the media the teens produce in the Ad Lab."
Museum of the Moving Image (movingimage.us) advances the understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media. In January 2011, the Museum reopened after a major expansion and renovation that nearly doubled its size. Accessible, innovative, and forward-looking, the Museum presents exhibitions, education programs, significant moving-image works, and interpretive programs, and maintains a collection of moving-image related artifacts.
The YMCA of Greater New York is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves New York City's health and well-being and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In scores of neighborhoods across the five boroughs and its camp upstate, the Y makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower more than 400,000 New Yorkers to learn, grow and thrive. Visit ymcanyc.org.