Mobile Media Labs


“Libraries and Spark are all about literacy and guiding students to think deeply.”  – Merribeth Advocate, Assistant Director, Mid-Hudson Library System

Spark’s Mobile Media Labs offer media arts programs for youth in libraries across the Hudson Valley region, along with professional development training for library staff! We provide Mid-Hudson Valley regional libraries with the programs, tools, teaching artists, curriculum, and collateral necessary to teach skills in digital literacy as well as media production. Youth emerge with new technical skills, media content for digital portfolios, and deepened engagement with their local libraries.

By providing state-of-the-art technology and programming, Mobile Media Labs meet the need of enhancing the next generation’s skills – including critical thinking and artistic understanding – to increase their employability and even help them build media portfolios for college. Subjects covered include filmmaking, audio production, music production, web and graphic design, and animation.

We bring the equipment, staff, and training required:

  • Cameras
  • Green Screen
  • Laptops
  • Wacom Tablets
  • Digital Keyboard
  • Headphones
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • High-quality, professional level media teaching artists

Interested in hosting a Mobile Media Lab? Please contact us for pricing! Use the form below, or send inquiries to

Workshop Descriptions:

Spark Media Project Mobile Media Lab 3Animation Mania
Learn the different aspects of stop-motion animations, and the techniques needed to create them. Working in groups, youth can explore their imaginations to create their own short animations. Using various materials, participants bring their animations to life by creating a story, backgrounds, characters, voice recordings, music, and sound effects!

Art of Music Videos
Pick a song and create an original music video! After critiquing their favorite music videos to identify criteria for what makes them interesting and visually appealing, participants will incorporate animations, special effects, and narrative storylines to make unique videos.

Coding for Art
Learn computer programming by making art. Students will utilize Processing, a programming language which bridges the gap between science, technology and art to create an original interactive game or artwork. Foundational computer science concepts will be covered as well as art fundamentals such as composition, color theory, and design.

Creative Writing
In this workshop, youth explore the genre of fiction. First, participants learn how to create an intriguing short story, strengthen their creative writing skills, and give and receive constructive criticism. Then, they’ll learn how to make professional story covers that are persuasive and intriguing. They’ll learn tips and tricks for using the Adobe Creative Suite programs, and end the workshop with unique professional short stories!

Digital Animation
Create and animate digital puppets! Learn the steps of properly building digital puppets and background scenes in Adobe Photoshop. Then, using Adobe Character Animator, participants will write a short skit and animate their puppets, giving them facial expressions, movements, and a voice. Last, they’ll add backgrounds and recorded animations into Adobe After Effects to bring the whole scene together as a completed short video animation!

Digital Painting
Using Wacom Tablets and Adobe Photoshop, participants can experience painting without limitations! Starting with a blank digital canvas, they’ll learn different stages of the digital painting process, from the main outline, to shading, and adding color, ending up with their own digital illustrations.

Digital Storybook
In this workshop, targeted towards our younger media makers, youth create their own interactive digital storybook! After learning the main aspects of storytelling, participants learn how to create and animate illustrations with digital puppets to accompany their stories. The final product will be a unique storybook they can keep forever!

Learn how to edit together various film footage! After learning the basics of editing, participants gain numerous techniques in more complex skills, like color correction and special-effects editing. At the end of the workshop, they’ll share and compare their final cuts to see how editing can change the story dramatically.

Experimental Film
In this offering, youth are given an introduction to the genre of experimental film. They’ll learn about shots and angles, as well as the process of filmmaking, from scripting to editing. Techniques include experimenting with sound, color, time, and shot composition to push the boundaries of typical filmmaking and their imaginations. Participants leave the workshop with their own unique short films!

Green Screen Editing
Learn how to use green screen technology, from setup, to how to properly film in front of one, and finally how to edit that film. They will then get to create and edit short films that take place in extraordinary landscapes.

Kinetic Typography
Bring words to life! Youth decide what they’d like to express — whether it be a short story, poem, or just facts about themselves — and will then learn the steps of how to add movements and colors to their words  to create their own unique animation.

Experience what it’s like to be professional filmmaker for the day! Participants will learn the entire process of filmmaking, starting with a lesson in camera shots and angles and why different ones are so important, then collaborating in groups to create a script and storyboard for their own short narratives. When the planning is done, they will move on to filming to bring their ideas to life!

Multimedia Animation
Learn all about the different types of animation. After learning basic animation principles by making live-action stop-motion animations, participants then create characters, backgrounds, sound effects, and more, using basic stop-motion techniques to bring their stories to life!  Last, they’ll create their own digital puppets in Adobe Photoshop, and use Adobe Character Animator to make a short animated skit.

Public Service Announcement
A great opportunity for youth who want to help change the world! After choosing a topic that they are passionate about and doing research relevant to the topic, youth can create Public Service Announcements (PSAs) — non-commercial advertisements developed to inform or educate the public about an issue. They will then learn the basics of filming, writing, and producing an original video.

Radio Production
Learn all about the planning process from what goes into producing programs for radio, and how to edit digital audio stories! Working in small groups, participants create short journalistic or nonfiction pieces, book reviews, or fiction tales by scripting, recording, and editing their audio work for broadcast.

Sci-fi and Fantasy Filmmaking
Create a world with out-of-this-world elements! Participants will learn the basics of the sci-fi and fantasy genres in regards to filmmaking. Working in groups, they’ll script, storyboard, and film their own original narrative short films. Special focus will be given to special effects, such as telekinesis, super speed, and teleportation, and possible project topics include ghost movies, superhero movies, or movies about magic!

Screenplay Writing
In this intensive workshop, participants will have the opportunity to make their own television show pilot, or begin a movie script! They will learn the proper formatting for screenplays, including what considerations go into writing for the screen. They will then pitch their ideas to one another and receive constructive criticism to perfect their stories.

Spark Media Project Mobile Media Lab 1Video Poems
After discussing poetry and the imagery it invokes, youth have the opportunity to write an original poem and learn to interpret one of their own favorites. They’ll use film imagery and voiceovers to bring poetry to life. By the end of the class, participants will have their own animated poem!

In this workshop, participants will get to make and publish their own zines (mini magazines) while gaining an understanding of zine culture and the self-publishing industry. They’ll generate content (writing, photography, illustration), use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, design a layout, and walk away with their own professional zines!

View a selection of videos created by our youth producers in past Mobile Media Labs.

What Past Hosts are Saying:

Mobile Media Labs have been hosted at the following libraries:

Town of UlsterOlive FreeHudson Area
BeekmanMillbrook Public Beacon Howland
AdrianceHyde Park

“What fun! It was wonderful to see young people so excited about learning the art film and animation, combined with the expertise and teaching skills of Spark’s enthusiastic staff. The students got so much out of the workshop that they are still talking about it after two weeks!”  — Ginny Figlia, Howland Library, Beacon, NY

“I have been working with the educators from Spark Media Project for the last two years. They have conducted numerous staff development sessions, training us on software, filming, green screens, editing, animation, and kinetic poetry.  These excellent teachers are very knowledgeable and incredibly patient, and teens keep coming back for more sessions. We would not be at this level of ability if it were not for the efforts of the Spark Media Project!”  Angela Panzer, Teen Librarian, Poughkeepsie Public Library District

“I’m sending a BIG thank you for the wonderful program you brought to the Millbrook Library… I was so impressed with Spark, and so happy that the kids who came got so much out of it!” Joan Frenzel, Youth Services, Millbrook Library

Contact us today for pricing or more information!