Five years ago my life changed when I started volunteering at my local Boys and Girls Club. I noticed several of the teens had musical and creative talent and being the musician that I am (piano), I started bringing my keyboard everyday to jam with the kids. We turned an old shower in a bathroom into our first studio, and from that moment I saw the positive and powerful impact arts could have on youth - especially those from low income homes that deal with many social and academic challenges.
Five years later, I am ready to launch my start up venture called the Malkuta Project. Malkuta comes from the ancient Aramaic language and translates as “empowerment from within.” Malkuta describes a philosophy in which we all have a creative spark and potential within us. We can take that spark, cultivate and nurture it, and utilize our creative gifts to bring about widespread social change. Through our gifts, we can create a world where people are no longer hungry, homeless, marginalized, or powerless. The goal is to create a platform that allows teens the opportunity to creatively express themselves through the arts for social change.
This will be done by creating a curriculum that links teens - primarily at-risk youth and those from low income homes - with creative professionals, teach them multimedia production skills, produce socially-conscious driven video products for partnered organizations and clients, and provide teens with internship opportunities. Consider it a workforce development program in the arts and multimedia.
We are launching a pilot program this summer, and are in need of $4000 in order to be successful and run the program. We will be providing an initial group of 10 students with the opportunity to film the Art of Cool Festival - a Jazz and Hip Hop Festival - in Durham, North Carolina on May 6th-8th. The Art of Cool has asked the Malkuta Project to film the event, and would like to provide the students with hands on experience of meeting many professional musicians, as well as exploring the social justice aspects of music, art, culture, and community. These 10 students will not only be mentored at the event by creative professionals, but will also get the opportunity to interact with professional musicians and producers. In addition to the Art of Cool Festival, later on in the summer we will be documenting an event by a company called Oak City Hustle - an art, music, and culture-based magazine in Raleigh, NC. Oak City Hustle, in conjunction with Myriad Media - a production company in downtown Raleigh - will be hosting an event in which youth will learn how to do graphics animation by exploring their favorite superheroes. We will document stories of how kids use superheroes to fight their insecurities and build confidence.
The $4000 will cover the equipment cost for both events. We will be renting our camera equipment for the two separate events ($2000 each), including cameras, lens, a microphone, tripods, and lighting. Renting the equipment reduces the risk by allowing us to focus only on borrowing the equipment through lensrentals.com in order to ensure a successful pilot launch without having to worry about a major capital expense of buying camera equipment. We can successfully shoot and edit both events and complete our project this summer with the $4000.
We have formed a partnership with the digital arts programs at a few local high schools in Durham, NC and our initial 10 students will come from these high schools. Our pilot program will be an 8 week curriculum that will begin the last week in April and run through the end of June. Each week a hands on, flipped classroom style, experiential learning approach will be used as local creative professionals in the Raleigh-Durham area will come in each week (3 hour session two days a week afterschool) and lead and mentor the teens through projects. The first few weeks will be devoted to the Art of Cool Festival Event (including shooting the event and editing techniques), and the last half of the curriculum will be devoted to the Oak City Hustle Superhero Project. Social justice themes and how art can be used as a tool for social change will also be incorporated in the projects. At the end of the 8 weeks, each of the 10 students will be placed in an internship with business partners (these are organization(s) interested in partnering with us for our pilot program).
Once we achieve success through our pilot this summer, we will then duplicate this model again during the school year - continuing to link teens, creative professionals, and businesses together in a program that develops confidence, empowerment, multimedia skills, and provides work experience. This venture is a social good venture and is an LLC (B-Corp model). It will be self-sustaining through revenue streams from business clients. I mention this because your donation will not have to be reoccurring after our summer launch - we are in need of a one time $4000 donation as a start up cost in order to prove our pilot program.
The poverty challenge in America is no secret as over 50 percent of all youth in public schools are in poverty. We know that a child with access to less resources is less likely to have the tools to be successful and have upward mobility. Disengaged youth - which are youth not actively engaged in school or work - represent over 6.7 million youth between the ages of 16-24 in the US. Many of these youth come from low income families, and many don't graduate high school or are high risk for not graduating. The lifetime cost to the government of a disengaged youth is over $300,000, and the disengaged youth population loses over $65 Billion every year in potential earnings. These statistics are reflective of the larger and more systemic social challenges and lack of resources minorities and low income families face on a daily basis. A arts and multimedia based workforce development program not only empowers youth through the arts, but gives them high level, valuable skills in a digital and visual-based world and provides them with real opportunities for success. You aren’t just donating to help a start up venture - you’re donating to help save a child’s life and future. You are donating to help give youth - those that need us the most - the chance and resources to be successful.
We want to be in the business of helping others tell their stories, so please be a part of something special and help us tell our story. Thank you very much in advance and let's begin this journey together!!
Risks and challenges
Potential challenges we could face with the project include making sure all of the kids show up and participate. We have thought about this challenge, and are confident that we are selecting 10 really interested students who have a passion and interest in multimedia and want to be involved in this project. That is why we partnered with the digital arts programs at high schools, in order to work directly with teachers who can guide us on a really interested group of students. Another potential challenge could be shooting the event. There are a lot of moving parts when shooting an event, so making sure everything and everyone is in place can be tricky. We will be equipped to handle this by having myself, as well as several creative professionals, and teacher volunteers on site to help make sure everything goes according to plan. One major risk and challenge was figuring out how to buy the camera equipment, but we believe this risk is greatly reduced by renting the equipment - which I talk about earlier and why we only need $4000 to be successful.
There are various challenges that could appear, but as a student at NC State University, I have surrounded myself with several mentors, professors, and contacts who have experience and the resources to handle various challenges. I have five years experience running a multimedia production program at my local Boys and Girls Club, and in addition I have a network of local creative professionals who are willing and ready to help make this event a success. I believe we can conquer all challenges and will have a successful event with your help and donation!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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