Through a partnership between Community TV Network, Blue 1647 and Alternative Schools Network, The Art, Media and Tech Experience project is designed to introduce alternative school students (ages 16-21) to media production, graphic design, photography, writing for the web, and web development. During two semester-long courses in the fall and spring, youth in the program provide editorial vision and produce content for a web-based magazine that will cover art and culture in Chicago for other teens and young adults.
The program is a project course at Chatham Academy Charter High School that gives students an arts or elective credit towards graduation. For either college credit or community service learning hours, students who want additional skill-building opportunities can apply for an internship. The internship requires an additional four-eight hour/ week commitment outside of the class, including in-service hours at Blue 1647.
After a month of introduction and skill building in September and January, the students are asked to pick a track to focus on for the rest of the term. The options are: Video/documentary, photo/graphic design, writing/blogging and web development. Once the students have chosen a track, there will be seven-eight students focused on each aspect of the digital magazine. Students who choose the web development track will have four-to-five sessions of web development classes during the last month of the program, each term. Each track will be responsible for an aspect of each issue of the magazine. Students in the course will work together to produce fall (November/December), winter (February) and spring (March/April) issues of the digital arts magazine.
The final project for the course will include a demo day presentation of the completed issue(s), and students will be required to create an online portfolio which includes a resume, personal statement, and a presentation of the work they completed during the course.
Some of the concepts behind Art in Chicago were tested during an After School Matters program at Chatham Academy during the summer of 2016. The students were mostly traditional CPS students, as oppose to the alternative school students that the funded project targets, and code education was not a part of the summer program.
An example of the code education programs offered by project partner Blue 1647.