By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
TITUSVILLE -- The new year started out with quite a bang for one local organization.
The Brevard Cultural Alliance was awarded with a $10,000 National Endowment of the Arts grant, which will give high school students, who live in Titusville, the opportunity to participate in a video storytelling project in 2014-15.
The grant period is Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2014.
"The NEA was looking for initiatives that engaged young people and the community, using technology in innovative ways," said Neil Levine, executive director. "BCA's activities responded to that, and they invited us to apply."
The "Telling Your Story" program will provide digital media instruction by professional teaching artists for as many as 50 high school students between the ages of 14 and 18.
Participants will learn how to use digital media to share stories about social, cultural, political and/or environmental issues through video documentaries.
The Brevard Cultural Alliance is a professional organization, representing the arts and cultural sector on the Space Coast, with a strategic focus on advancing the county as a cultural destination, according to its website. The organization does all this while enhancing educational opportunities through engagement with the arts and bolstering the sustainability of the cultural community.
Currently, the BCA is determining the criteria for applications, as well as the formal selection process, which should be announced by mid-April.
Students interested in applying for the "Telling Your Story" program will then submit an application, providing a brief synopsis of the story they would like to tell.
These submissions will be reviewed by a committee comprised of BCA staff, as well as "Telling Your Story" residency artists.
"In partnership with Brevard Public Schools, we will take a robust approach in selecting teaching artists to assure that participating students work with only the best possible instructors," Mr. Levin said. "Instructors will be selected and announced by the end of March."
Once students are selected for the program, they will work alongside residency artists to turn their visions into documentaries. These documentaries will then premier at a 2014 red carpet event at the second annual Art and Algorithms Digital Arts Festival.
"We are so thrilled that the NEA has validated the work of BCA and confirmed our status as a leader in arts education best practices," Mr. Levine said. "The program will use the arts to transform communities and illustrate that the arts are not a soft option and are as critically important as any of the STEM subjects. 'Telling Your Story' will also use the arts to humanize technology."
Brevard Cultural Alliance is sponsored, in part, by the state of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the Space Coast Office of Tourism and the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information, visit www.ArtsBrevard.org.