Street Level Youth Media

Chicago, IL

Street-Level Youth Media educates Chicago’s urban youth in media arts and emerging technologies for use in self-expression, communication, and social change. Street-Level’s programs build critical thinking skills for young people who have been historically neglected by public policy makers and mass media. Using video and audio production, computer art and the Internet, Street-Level’s youth address community issues, access advanced communication technology and gain inclusion in our information-based society.

Supported Projects

Development Specialist and Teaching Assistant

Kristen Wernicke

Major responsibilities:

• Assisting in maintaining two media lab facilities, computer equipment, and software.
• Instructing youth in computer and media arts literacy.
• Assisting in the preliminary creation and maintenance of a searchable youth video database.
• Creating, updating and maintaining a festival and screening database.
• Developing relationships with the local community: youth, parents, neighbors, and other community and youth organizations.
• Meeting regularly with direct supervisor for assignments and review.
• Attending monthly all-staff meetings, and weekly Drop-In Program staff meetings.
• Assisting in maintaining records for on-going internal and external program assessment.

Kristin has been instrumental in stabilizing Street-Level’s staff support of summer and after school program activities, as well as conducting research on resource opportunities (both human and monetary) and possible venues for exhibition of youth work. Kristin has greatly assisted with program activities, including youth supervision, record keeping, community public relations, and volunteer recruitment and management. Her daily duties have consisted of, but have not been limited to, computer literacy and media arts instruction, resource database creation, and assisting with the development and support of programming for young women and teens.

Kristin has also served as a liaison for Street-Level in the local technology community and neighborhood, representing the organization and promoting its philosophy by attending local CTCNet Chicago events and forums, participating in a six-week Media Activism Institute sponsored by a local media arts organization, and staffing youth outreach events at local festivals and universities.

In August 2002, Kristin assisted the organization and youth in preparation for its Street-to-Street block party/media installation event by co-designing an installation with Street-Level’s Girls Group participants, and co-producing two video pieces for Street-Level’s outdoor public broadcast/performance of youth media work in September 2002.

During the fall of 2002, Kristin accompanied staff and youth representatives to the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture conference in Seattle, WA, and worked with staff to develop a searchable database for our collection of youth videos, as well as create a system for the management and tracking of videos distributed to film festivals and screenings.

We are quite happy that we selected Kristin as our VISTA, because she is a well-rounded worker with multiple abilities and interests, and because of this, the organization has been able to maintain some semblance of a productive and meaningful media lab program.

Youth Media

Thomas (Ben) Buckley

Transmission Project