“Gear Up with Alice” is an intensive art and technology workshop for Lakota Sioux teenagers living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
“Gear Up with Alice” is an intensive art and technology workshop held for two weeks each summer for Lakota Sioux teenagers living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
Currently, only 61% of Native American students graduate high school and only 12% complete post-secondary education. In addition, despite the long, rich history Native Americans have as artists and storytellers and the importance their community places on such skills, continued cuts in school funding have resulted in a virtual elimination of arts education from reservation schools.
The primary goal of Gear Up with Alice is to help Native American young people develop technological and artistic skills that will help prepare them to succeed in college and ultimately attain economic self-sufficiency. Particular attention is paid to helping young people pursue a career path that is not only economically viable but also creative and fun.
During the workshop, students focus on developing their own stories utilizing a variety of media. Storytelling is an important component of the workshop because storytelling plays a very significant role in Lakota traditional values. However, in Lakota tradition, stories are not recorded in written language. Rather, they are handed down from generation to generation, either through oral tradition or pictures. With this in mind, students in the Gear Up with Alice workshop develop stories visually, starting with simple stick figures and story boards. Using the model of “Fractured Fairytales,” students are encouraged to use well known Native American stories but to “make the stories their own” by integrating into these narratives new twists and turns as well as modern aspects that are relevant to their actual lives.
Students then take turns acting out and photographing each other’s works using digital cameras. They learn how to digitally manipulate their images using Adobe Photoshop Elements and they create comic books with their images using Comic Life. By this point in the workshop, the students imaginations are captured and the workshop progresses in to more complex and detailed technological activities. Students transform their visual stories into interactive animations utilizing Alice, a simple, object-oriented programming software. Developed by Carnegie Mellon, Alice was designed for the junior and high school levels to teach computer programming concepts using user-friendly drag-and-drop tiles. By the end of the workshop, students complete two comic books and a fully-realized computer animation.
The money we receive from our Kickstarter fundraiser will be used to fund the basic operational costs of running the workshop as well as the purchasing of software, technology and basic supplies that are needed to make the workshop possible. We desperately need laptops, digital cameras, audio recording devises, and traditional art materials such as drawing paper, pencils, markers, etc. to make the workshop successful.
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The satisfaction of knowing that you personally helped Lakota Sioux teens learn exciting new skills and spark new interests that will help set them apart from their peers as they get ready to enter high school.
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A 5" X7" photograph of all the participants in the 2010 Gear Up with Alice workshop and the satisfaction of knowing that you've helped an amazing cause.
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A DVD compilation of all the animations created in the 2010 Gear Up with Alice workshop, the 5" X 7" photograph described above and the satisfaction of knowing that you've helped an amazing cause.
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Your very own Gear Up with Alice t-shirt, everything else listed above AND the knowledge that you are a very generous person helping an amazing cause!
- (50 days)