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Earlier this year, organizations submitted their best creative works to the Show Your Impact 2010 design contest, sponsored by Adobe and TechSoup. The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), a Brooklyn-based nonprofit with just three full-time and two part-time staff members, won first place in the Other Media category for their expertly crafted I Heart East New York multimedia storybook record. They received their donated Adobe software through Techsoup.
The project, designed through a collaboration between CUP and 15 local high school students, investigated the community impact of a new housing development in East New York. TechSoup spoke with CUP's program manager, Valeria Mogilevich, who served as project director on the I Heart East New York storybook, as well as Hatuey Ramos-Fermin, the teaching artist on the project, to learn more about how they used Adobe tools to create projects that serve as a teaching tool both for their creators and the community.
Ramos-Fermin offers these tips for organizations who want to use Creative Suite to design a project of their own:
The I Heart East New York storybook was one of CUP's Urban Investigations, which are youth education projects designed to answer questions about the city the students live in. CUP pays professional teaching artists like Ramos-Fermin to collaborate with students on the projects, allowing these youth to produce professional-looking content without becoming experts at using complex software.
For the I Heart East New York Project, the majority of the content was created by students, with CUP staff designing the layout using Adobe Creative Suite tools. The team used InDesign for the layout of the book, Photoshop for collages and retouching photos, and Illustrator for creating the graphics.
While students aren't required to learn any software to complete the projects, Mogilevich said students who have an interest in particular software are given encouragement to use it. The audio accompaniment for the I Heart East New York Project, for example, was created mostly by a single student using Apple GarageBand software.
When the work on an Urban Investigation is done, the students share what they've learned by presenting their projects at a variety of venues, from other schools and community organizations to film festivals and radio shows. "It's a really big deal that we want to produce things that get at a really high level and have a real life in the outside world," Mogilevich said. "We don't like thinking of youth education programs as things that stay in the classroom." The I Heart East New York project was presented to an audience at the Sculpture Center in New York City and the soundtrack was featured on an East Village Radio show.
About half of CUP's projects are youth-created, while the other half are created with the help of advocacy organizations, policy experts, and other community members. Cup recruits 10 or so volunteers to help out on each project, as well. Right now, CUP's working on a plethora of projects: a documentary about New York City cell phone infrastructure, an after-school project about temporary cash assistance, and an Urban Investigation about ATMs and how they work.
Congratulations to CUP again for their first place win in the 2010 Adobe Show Your Impact contest. To learn more about this organization, visit CUP's website.
For additional help with using Adobe Creative Suite, see these official Adobe resources:
Here are some unofficial resources that you might find helpful as well:
Carlos Bergfeld Product Content Manager, TechSoup Global
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.