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SPNN Youth rocks the TCYMN Youth Media Showcase

 Youth producer panel answers questions from the audience

Lights, sandwiches, action! On the morning of February 16, youth media coordinators and participants, along with their friends and family, gathered at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis for the Twin Cities Youth Media Network (TCYMN) Annual Youth Media Market and Showcase event. 

The event started off with the Youth Media Market event where representatives from regional college media programs, including Columbia College in Chicago, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Augsburg College, the University of Minnesota School of Jounalism, and Minneapolis Community & Technical College, were available for youth to consult with about future plans. The event also featured interactive workshops in experimental sound design, courtesy of Twin Cities band, Beatrix Jar; Stop Motion Animation with John Akre and Beth Peloff; and Computer-Generated Imaging with David Buchanan. For youth who already had a portfolio of work under their belt, Twin Cities film producers Joanna Kohler and Maria Totozintle were standing by to review students’ work and give them advice on how to be successful as professional media makers.

After a great sub sandwich lunch, courtesy of Caffrey’s Deli, it was time for the show! A diverse collection of youth produced media from 12 different TCYMN partners was screened in Intermedia’s theater space. The reel was entirely curated by youth participants at member organizations. SPNN Youth Set It Up alum Damian Jones took home this year’s audience choice award for his documentary short, ‘Fong Lee: The Story of Tragedy and Injustice.’ Damian’s piece examines a wrongful death suit against the Minneapolis Police Department over the death of teenager Fong Lee, who was shot down by Police Officer Jason Anderson, who claimed self-defense in the case. The audience choice award for best radio piece went to Cynthia Ramsey from KFAI Fresh Air Radio for her piece, ‘My Experience in the Foster Care System.”

Since it’s founding twelve years ago, the TCYMN has become the longest standing youth media network in the country. While the inner workings of the network have shifted and evolved over the years, the mission remains the same: promoting, advocating for, supporting, and sharing resources with the community of youth media makers and youth media arts educators. This is why each year, TCYMN puts together the Youth Media Showcase to screen, discuss, and honor the media created by the young people who drive the all our work.

Since then the Network has also started a tradition of a youth-coordinated bi-annual Youth Media Summit, a day-long film project where experienced youth media makers recruit novices from their communities to put together a series of short videos in one day. The Youth Media Market was started last year as an avenue for youth interested in professional media careers to get feedback and explore continuing media education opportunities. 

Most of the year, being a member of the Twin Cities Youth Media Network means lots of meeting and hard work, all towards ensuring the equitable growth and quality of youth media programs in the Twin Cities Metro. But once a year, all the planning, emails, and circulating of media comes together in harmony. This is the time when the TCYMN crew can finally sit back (for a quick hour) and enjoy the fruits of their labor.


SPNN Youth is a founding member of the Twin Cities Youth Media Network. For information about the TCYMN, its members, events and opportunities, or about becoming a member, visit Click here for more photos from this year's event.