October 27, 2006

Latino Celebrities Come Out To Support, Celebrate, and Raise
Money for Youth and The Teen Producers Project

The Media Arts Center San Diego’s Teen Producer Project (TPP) is celebrating its 5th year anniversary with a fundraising event at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park on Thursday, November 2nd at 5:30 p.m. Abelardo L. Rodríguez, host of Despierta San Diego on Univision KBNT 16 and Yolanda S. Walther Meade of Meade Communications are the proud hosts for the evening along with celebrity guests Jose Yenque, Actor (Traffic, NYPD Blue) and Rick Najera, Actor/Writer (In Living Colour, Mad TV).

Special guests and celebrities will offer words of wisdom and empowerment to teens making a difference in San Diego and will help raise money for TPP programs and student scholarships. All donations to TPP contribute to teaching local youth leadership, hi-tech media, and communication skills, all the while connecting teens to their communities.

The evening will begin with a reception with music and food, video projections, photo opportunities with students, parents, instructors and community partners and a silent auction. Guests will enjoy Brazilian cuisine provided by Samba Grill and a hosted bar donated by Peroni.

A special presentation and TPP highlights screening spotlighting the past five years of outstanding student work will take place in MoPA’s Joan & Irwin Jacobs Theater, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park. Form-er and current TPP students will be honored and a new TPP scholarship program will be announced.

MACSD’s Teen Producers Project has been working with underserved youth in the community for the past five years and has dedicated itself to educating youth in the media arts and emerging technologies for use in self-expression, community building and social change.

Using video production to preserve important community stories, these students address community issues and gain inclusion in our technology based society. The very best youth-produced work from the first four years of the Teen Producers Project has been compiled to create Tu Voz TV, a multilingual expression of youth voices in the San Diego/ Tijuana border region and 12-part half hour television series that has aired on Free Speech TV San Diego, County of Education’s ITV Channel 16, and has screened a the San Diego Latino Film Festival.

Barrio Logan: Youth Voices – Community Stories is series of seven compelling youth-produced videos that focused on the issues of health, education, history, activism, housing, arts & culture, and employment in the San Diego neighborhood of Barrio Logan. These videos provided instructive models for leadership, community building, and civic engagement. Youth documentation of residents’ life histories strengthens communities by re-building inter-generational ties, training future leaders, preserving life stories, and offering a model to help other communities’ maintain their cultural survival.

When asked what the most important thing that students learned from participating in the Teen Producers Project, youth-producers had this to say:

“The most important thing I learned from participating in this program was to search for who I am and to enjoy what I am doing.” - TPP Student, Age 14

“[I learned about] the need for low-income housing in San Diego.” - TPP Student, Age 17

“There are good people out there and people still care about the youth.” - TPP Student, Age 17

“I learned that as a team we can work together to make a good video.” - TPP Student, Age 16

“It was also a great opportunity for him to meet strong community leaders and communities that pull together.” - Parent of TPP Student

All TPP videos have been produced by local youth from the neighborhoods of Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, Downtown, El Cajon, Oak Park, City Heights, and Escondido.

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