Jacob Burns Film Center Awarded $10,000 Grant to Enhance Learning Online

Arts and Entertainment

July 18, 2013

From: Jacob Burns Film Center

Film Center’s “Reel Change: Community Visions” Program Won Grant as Part of Larger Effort to Build a Learning Approach for Our Times

Pleasantville, NY - The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) was awarded a $10,000 grant to support “Reel Change: Community Visions,” a summer program for youth. The grant was awarded through a national competition supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, administered by Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC), and carried out in collaboration with Facebook, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), and Mozilla.

The Project: Connect Summer Youth Programming Competition was part of the 5th annual Digital Media and Learning Competition that is encouraging the development of apps, badges, curricula, and other tools to maximize learning through making the online experience for young people more civil, safe, and empowering.

JBFC’s winning project is “Reel Change: Community Visions,” a summer program that provides youth with hands-on learning opportunities to develop short films and info-graphics with a goal of utilizing the web for democracy. Participants include students from the Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program (CSSP), a nonprofit organization that invites teenagers from underserved neighborhoods in the Bronx to spend four weeks exploring educational opportunities in our community. This is the fifth summer the JBFC is partnering with CSSP. Students will research and explore questions such as: How do you define community? What matters most in your community? How can we collaborate to develop a vision for the future? Using their social networks to invite input from family, friends, and neighbors, students will share their projects through online community-building platforms.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the MacArthur Foundation’s exciting summer initiative. Grant funds will help us continue to empower young people through collaborative learning and the tools of digital communication” said Emily Keating, Director of Education Programs.

JBFC is among a group of 16 winners selected from 266 applicants from 41 states plus Washington, D.C.

“The competition this year is designed to engage young people in solving a real-world challenge – making the Internet a safer and more powerful place to advance learning," said Connie Yowell, Director of Education at the MacArthur Foundation. "The ability to meet that challenge will help determine whether education will be more relevant to both young people and the economy where they will be eventually looking for work.”

The Project: Connect Summer Youth Programming Competition and all Digital Media and Learning Competitions are administered by HASTAC through grants from the MacArthur Foundation to the University of California, Irvine.

Since 2004, MacArthur has invested more than $100 million in research, design, and practice to better understand how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life, and what that means for learning and the institutions that support it. More information is at www.macfound.org/education.

About the MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places and understand how technology is affecting children and society.


HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) is an international network of educators and digital visionaries committed to the creative development and critical understanding of new technologies in life, learning, and society. HASTAC is committed to innovative design, participatory learning, and critical thinking.