Local youth present their videos at ASU’s Place: Vision & Voice Digital Storytelling Festival

TEMPE, Ariz. – Since 2002, teenagers from the Gila River Indian community have been working with the ASU Herberger College of Fine Arts theatre department to explore the meaning of identity through video production and theatrical performance. The community-based youth drama project,Place: Vision & Voice, is premiering its latest installment of videos at a digital storytelling festival at 7:30 p.m., May 7, in the Lyceum Theatre on the ASU campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The theatre department’s child drama program has offered arts opportunities for young people through Place: Vision and Voice since 2000. Place includes two partnerships; one with the Ira H. Hayes Memorial Applied Learning High School, located on the Gila River Indian reservation; and one for children in long-term foster care with the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s Child Protective Services.

During the Place: Vision & Voice Digital Storytelling Festival, youths from the Ira H. Hayes Memorial Applied Learning Center will premiere “A Window into Family,” a 30-minute video about the influence of family on identity. The teens worked with theatre professor Stephani Etheridge Woodson and graduate students Megan Alrutz and Julia Newby to create the new video. Their first video,The River People, was chosen for screening at the 2003 CinemaTexas International Short Film Festival.

For the partnership with Child Protective Services, a small group of youths in foster care who are nearing transition to independent living traveled to the ASU campus for nine weeks to collaborate with Woodson and a team of student artists to produce the video “Being Me – Through the Eyes of Youth in Foster Care,” also premiering at the festival. 
“These projects are about exploring kids’ voices and giving them a vehicle to be heard,” said Woodson. “The festival also is a unique opportunity for the different project participants to see each other’s work.”

The Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University is dedicated to enriching its students and its community through innovative, collaborative and transforming experiences. Founded in 1964, Herberger College comprises four nationally ranked academic units: school of music, school of art, department of dance and department of theatre, plus the Institute for Studies in the Arts and the ASU Art Museum. To learn more about the college, visit http://herbergercollege.asu.edu 

Media Contact:
Denise Tanguay