Community Collaboration

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 4.41.50 PMSpark Media Project can work with your community-based organization on a media project designed to help advance your specific missions and support the principles of community service through Spark’s mission. These projects provide another positive, creative outlet for empowering young people in our community. Sometimes these collaborations involve Spark youth producers in making media, other times Spark media educators are training your agency’s young people (or staff) directly!

Spark has collaborated in making media with organizations including Cornell Cooperative Extension, Divas2Divas, The Grace Smith House, Council on Addiction Prevention Education, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Wild Earth Arts, Mill Street Loft, Rural and Migrant Ministries, Planned Parenthood, American Heart Association, Pawling Public Library, Kingston Public Library, Gardiner Public Library, and our regional BOCES centers, among others!

We believe that being a community resource and working in collaboration is part of our service and strengthens our organization and programming. If you’re interested in collaborating with Spark, contact us for a Project Proposal Form!

Current and Ongoing Collaborations:

Mobile Media Lab: Spark is partnering with the the Mid-Hudson Library System, to create a Mobile Media Lab that offers media arts programs for youth, along with professional development training for regional library staff. In our community and region, strenuous efforts are being made to bridge the digital divide that currently denies access to technology for a significant portion of our residents. The Mobile Media Lab will utilize important community resources – public libraries – to serve a young audience that may not be able to access such technologies at home. By providing state-of-the-art technology and programming, the Mobile Media Lab will 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 will be filmmaking, audio production, music production, web and graphic design, and communication.

“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 that came got so much out of it.”

– Joan Frenzel
Youth Services, Millbrook Library

“…Libraries and [Spark] are all about literacy, and guiding students to think deeply,”

– Merribeth Advocate
Assistant Director, MHLS.

Bard College Center for Civic Engagement: Bard College’s Center for Civic Engagement is committed to the principle that colleges and universities occupy a unique role at the nexus of education and civil society. It seeks to develop new initiatives in cooperation with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The Spark Media Project is now partnering with the CCE to provide quality media education programming for underserved rural youth and to bring urban youth into the idyllic setting of Bard’s 600-acre campus for media education programs. The CCE’s summer 2014 program focuses on video game development, using current games as educational tools; Spark will offer hands-on graphic design and Photoshop animation lessons as part of this camp.

Mill Street Loft: Mill Street Loft changes lives through the arts. Merging arts and social services, MSL reaches out to a diverse community, bridging cultural and economic differences. An extensive range of programs, including Outreach Programs, the award-winning Dutchess Arts Camps and Art Institute, exhibitions, workshops, and performances, foster self-expression and rebuild a shared sense of community. MSL enhances human experiences through the arts, offering inspiration and opportunity to our ever-expanding audience.

VCUEI Students Make a “Humanimation” Film with Spark!

Vassar College Urban Education Initiative (Exploring College): Exploring College is a four-year enrichment program to prepare high school students with high academic achievement and low-income backgrounds for admission and success in college. It serves students from Poughkeepsie High School as well as surrounding school districts. EC includes special-education students, English Language Learners, homeless students, and others not traditionally considered candidates for college. The program aims to improve college readiness and foster collegiate aspirations in students from under-represented backgrounds, and to expand the collaboration between Vassar College and the school districts of Poughkeepsie City and surrounding towns.

Christ Episcopal Church Summer Camps: Christ Episcopal Church Summer Camps aim to provide a safe environment and to introduce children to activities they otherwise might not have the opportunity to do. For the past several years campers have learned to use many media in their art groups. In 2014, campers are working to produce animation with a message under the guidance of Spark Media Project. CEC Summer Camps strive to help campers grow in self-confidence and learn to be caring to one another and to the world.

Beacon Indie Film Festival: The Beacon Independent Film Festival (BIFF) showcases creative films in a unique venue, nestled among the trees at the foot of Mount Beacon, NY. The Festival screens features, shorts, documentaries, works in progress and more. Panel discussions, food vendors, green space and a kids’ tent make it an event for the whole family. Check out the second annual Beacon Independent Film Festival on September 12 – 14, 2014!

Hyde Park Healthy Kids: The Healthy Kids Extended Day Program, hosted by the Hyde Park Central School District, undersatnds that child care is among parents’ most important decisions. The Healthy Kids Before/After School program is one of the largest, most experienced and highest quality providers of extended day child care in New York with programs in dozens of elementary schools in Dutchess, Orange and Westchester counties. Directors and staff are highly skilled, background-checked and credentialed. They gladly accept DSS.

Past Collaborations:

Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie: Established in 1847, the Children’s Home provides a range of services and programs giving hope and healing to abused and neglected children in the Hudson River Region. The Home provides a full range of residential services including campus-based care, community-based group homes and boarding homes, and independent living apartments. Spark Producers worked with the Children’s Home students to create a documentary covering their annual talent show, which provides a showcase for the students of the Children’s Home to creatively express themselves.

Poughkeepsie City Farm-to-School Project: Healthy, organic produce is provided to local schools, while supporting local and regional farmers. Spark youth spearheaded the production of a video to promote the project, and through the process, advanced their understanding of sustainable farming and healthy nutrition.

Adriance Media Lab: In 2013, Poughkeepsie’s Adriance Library was awarded a grant through the McArthur Foundation and the Institute for Museum Library Services to partner with Spark to create a Media Lab and provide media-production skills training to library staff and local youth. Leveraging a cultural model known as HOMAGO (Hang-out, Mess Around and Geek Out), the Adriance Media Lab provides local youth with the resources and direction to build career-fostering media and personal-development skills and a forum for Spark to provide more quality programming.

A poster about Fall Kill Creek made at Spark for SPURSE!

SPURSE: This group of artists-turned-ecosystem designers is involved in numerous regional projects to help advance ecological and conservational initiatives throughout the Hudson Valley. In Fall of 2013, SPURSE solicited Spark youth to help support the group’s work on the Fall Kill Creek, which runs through the heart of Poughkeepsie and provides a substantial watershed for the community. Spark’s work included video and media promotion support and documentation. To see posters made by Spark participants, click here!

Nubian Directions: Nubian Directions is a non-profit technology resource center with the mission of providing technology training, work readiness skills and educational support services for youth and adults. Nubian Directions believes that all staff and clients should have an opportunity to learn in a safe and healthy environment; that all people should be treated with dignity and respect and have equal opportunity; and that by transforming lives, communities are enriched.

Grace Smith House: Spark created a series of PSAs for Grace Smith House. Grace Smith House is a private not-for-profit domestic violence agency, which provides both residential and non-residential services to victims of domestic violence and their children. The purpose and mission of Grace Smith House, Inc. is to support and empower individuals and families to live free from domestic violence, as well as to raise the consciousness of the community about domestic violence and to initiate public policies concerning domestic violence.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County: The CCEDC works to extend the educational resources of Cornell University and the New York State Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and other educational institutions, to the people of Dutchess County to foster economic, social and environmental improvement of its individuals, families and communities. CCEDC works through four main program areas: Agriculture & Horticulture, Environment and Energy, Family & Consumer Education and 4-H Youth Development.

Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson: Recognized as the area’s largest youth-serving organization, GSHH reaches out to girls in cities, towns and rural areas from the Bronx border in the south to the Catskill Mountains and farmlands of the north, and from the Connecticut state line in the east to the New Jersey and Pennsylvania border in the west. The Girl Scout movement has evolved to meet the demands of society and the girls we serve today. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience engages girls in discovering themselves, connecting with others, and taking action to make the world a better place.