Sharing Envisioning Our Future
The Appalachian Media Institute (AMI), Appalshop’s award-winning youth media program, is proud to share the powerful work of our 2016 cohort of Summer Documentary Institute youth interns.
Each summer for the past 28 years, the SDI has invited central Appalachian youth aged 14-22 to engage in place-based education, documentary media making and creative youth development at Appalshop. The SDI provides a nurturing space for young people to explore the ways media production skills can be used to ask, and begin to answer, critical questions about themselves and their communities.
Throughout June & July, our 2016 youth interns and peer trainers participated in daily workshops in the Boone building– Appalshop’s digital classroom. During this time we also launched an exciting new partnership with Carnegie Museum of Art that provided us with the opportunity to travel twice to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to explore the city’s various models of community-based arts.
Envisioning Our Future provided our youth interns with the opportunity to deeply engage in the assets and possibilities of their home region through workshops with local partners such as The STAY Project and The Holler at University of Pikeville, alongside workshops with award-winning artists and filmmakers from Appalshop, Carnegie Museum of Art and through a partnership with Economic Hardship Reporting Project and Elaine and Kerrin Sheldon.
Oliver Baker (18, Whitesburg, KY) reflected on his experience, stating: “I applied to AMI because I knew it was a safe space, as well as a space for creating and learning about art and the power of media and storytelling. My experience at AMI is hands down the best experience I’ve ever had. I’m a completely different person now, for the better. I’ve made so many friend from so many different backgrounds. I’ve learned about people and their stories and have had a perspective changing look on life. It’s been a unique experience, to say the least. I’ve traveled to Pittsburgh and have been blown away by it. Visiting the Carnegie Museum of Art, making friends, and traveling around the city to experience its art and culture. It’s been a breathtaking experience. Me and my friends also had the opportunity to make a documentary. From late night coffee runs, to staying up all day and night, to finally seeing it all come together and knowing it all paid off. I’ve been able to be myself and I’ve found people who genuinely care about me. So my experience at AMI was by far the best time of my life.”
You can view the final productions of our 2016 Summer Documentary Institute below:
Justice For All is a documentary film by AMI interns Oliver Baker and Aaron Combs that tells the story of community perceptions of the Black Lives Matter movement in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, shining a light on the realities of racial justice in a rural, predominantly white community.
Not a Daughter is a documentary film by AMI peer trainer Oakley Fugate that tells the story of Oliver Baker, a LGBT-Q youth growing up in the mountains of eastern Kentucky.
Go Your Own Way is a documentary film by AMI interns Elyssia Lowe, Jaydon Tolliver & Joshua Collier that tells the story of four residents of eastern Kentucky who are pushing towards a new diversified, equitable economy through arts and agriculture.
My Kind of Music is a documentary film by AMI intern Eli Bedel that explores the impact that the popularization of old time music has had on the regional style in eastern Kentucky.
The 2016 Summer Documentary Institute was made possible through the generous support of our partners at Making Connections News, PhotoWings, The JPB Foundation, Economic Hardship Reporting Project and Carnegie Museum of Art. To learn more about the summer and the work of our youth interns please visit our website.
To learn more about what AMI has been up to, please read our recent local and national press: