We are so excited that the Junior ARTrepreneurs workshop found it's first home! The Saint Kateri Church in Santa Clarita will host our first class and we are working hard to bring an awareness in the community. This will be an incredible class that will help build confidence in our youth. They will also get some education on financial independence and some guidance on how to market, price and sell their creative projects. While the class is hosted in a Catholic church, please note that this program is open to ANYONE regardless of your faith or if you are a member of this church. The outreach coordinator Kathy Regalado has been instrumental in helping to bring this program to the community and I am excited to see this dream of mine come true. It has always been a passion of mine to educate through art, and this program allows me to do that.
The internet rallies behind the #PBSFilmFest and Heroes of Color in this years 2018 PBS Online Film Festival. It has been a very tough task to execute the marketing strategies put in effect for this campaign. However, we need to show PBS how relevant and in demand this series is to educators, parents and the world. It is so important that children see themselves represented in everyday live in a positive way. This series provides that opportunity. Read the full interview PBS conducted here: https://www.pbs.org/filmfestival/blogs/behind-lens/heroes-of-color-qa/
Canyon Country Library in Santa Clarita had their annual Dia De Los Libros event. It was a great experience for myself and my kids. I wasn't able to post the photos of the table full of kids who surrounded the coloring pages I designed and were so incredibly focused on their coloring! The best part was that the ages ranged from children up to adults. I was honored to have a presence at the event and look forward to other ways in which I can include diverse artwork in the community.
On January 12, 2018, I was invited to give a screening and presentation at the 6th Annual Black Comic Book Festival at The Schomburg Center in Harlem NYC. It was an incredible experience. When I first created the series back in 2015, I always felt like the toughest demographic to reach with the subject of history were Junior High School students. Their attention span is often thwarted by technology, boys, girls, or just lack of interest. Well, that certainly was not the case on stage.
Not only was I able to grab everyone's attention early on, the packed audience of JHS students (and parents and faculty) made me feel as if this was a highly anticipated event for them. I spoke about the importance of representation in the classroom, the encouragement educators should be giving students and reminding them how incredible they are as students. I spoke about my previous experiences and how I felt like the lack of positive representation bothered me so much that I thought, I could either continue to complain about it, or do something about it. This series, was my way of doing something about it.
I went on to speak about the videos and how these heroes impacted my life and continue to inspire me on a daily basis. I even watch the videos every so often just to get a boost of inspiration when ever I encounter a difficult obstacle. After the first video ended, the thunderous applause filled me with a joy that I had never felt before. I realized that feeling was that I had "reached" my target market! They loved it. I asked "wouldn't that be a fun way to learn history in your classroom?" and the frigid New York air was quickly warmed by eruption of synchronized voices in the auditorium shouting "yea"! It was obvious to me that none of the press, none of the celebrity "retweets" meant as much to me as the validation that I received from those bright eyed Junior High School kids from Harlem. If there was ever any doubt that I should continue developing more episodes, that doubt was instantly crushed that morning.
Such an honor to have received our 6th Film Festival Award. This one comes from the Atlanta Film Festival that happened in October 2017. This has been an amazing year for Heroes of Color.
This series is a lot of work. I have recently enrolled in a Masters Program in Motion Media Design. I am working on completing a 6 episode DVD/Digital Download, I am working on a children's book series - all to get closer to my passion of educating through art. I work on editing the videos a little bit everyday. While it may seem that I am moving like a turtle inching his way across the terrain, he and I are still making progress. If you work on your goals just a little bit everyday, you will only see progress. Don't stop. Keep moving forward.
Heroes of color is an instructional video series honoring the achievements of people of color in and out of the military.