It started as a UW-Milwaukee lead literacy project to help educators understand how media messages affect kids. Now, it's turning out award-winning film projects. For the last 5 years, Milwaukee Visionaries Program (MVP) has been giving students in Milwaukee a chance to share their stories through the art of filmmaking. "We use production of animation and video, making space for urban kids to be able to tell their stories," says Kim Cosier head of Art Education at UWM's Peck School of the Arts.
Held on Thursday evenings at Bruce-Guadalupe Community School in Walkers Point, students from Milwaukee middle and high schools are creating their own films. From writing their stories to fabricating the sets to helping with the musical scores, MVP students work closely with MVP faculty and volunteers. "They learn how to do after effects in final cut pro and premier," says Cosier. "They are working with high quality tools, giving them access to stuff that isn't available to most kids."
Although some kids won't continue on with film making as their chosen career, the skills they are learning will translate to whatever they choose to do. They work in teams, so collaboration is key. They also learn how to be leaders. For some students in the program, their films have already been shown on the big screen in theaters around the country.
Alexia Jaso and Gabriella Avila got to premier their film Spider Dog at the Milwaukee Film Festival. Here more from them by clicking the story player above. Take a few moments to watch videos produced at MVP here.
Learn more about the Milwaukee Visionaries Project and check out the students work on facebook.