Youth voices are important and worthy of being heard. But all too often we find that mainstream media excludes or projects biased information regarding youth, especially youth from the inner-city whose experiences and situations are unique, and frequently misunderstood or misrepresented.
Word on the Street (WOTS) is a youth-focused digital storytelling program offered at Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op (CNYC) for inner-city youth in Saskatoon. The programming aims to provide youth with the opportunity to express themselves and explore issues that affect them through digital arts and publish their projects on an online platform. Along with working on their own individual projects, youth are introduced to a variety of art-focused organizations and community resources that are available in Saskatoon. They also get to engage directly with local Indigenous artists who work in the realms of digital arts, social media and activism. This approach not only helps youth develop relevant social media and digital arts skills that can become an academic or career pathway, but simultaneously connects youth to Indigenous culture and modern methods of storytelling.
This year, youth took in presentations on digital photography, spoken word poetry, lyric writing, music production and both fiction and documentary filmmaking. The presenters focused on social media and digital storytelling as tools for social justice; and encouraged our youth to empower themselves, and others, by using their voice to create changes in our community. WOTS participants created a spectrum of projects including songs, poetry, photo essays, interviews with local celebrities and short films.
WOTS program is proudly funded by the Saskatchewan Arts Board.