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Digital Storytelling Initiative Returns Summer 2016

April 14, 2016

By Ben Faulkner, CTEP AmeriCorps Member at the Science Museum of Minnesota

Sometimes the greatest stories cannot be found in books or on television shows. They can’t be searched for on Youtube or listened to on the radio. Sometimes the greatest stories are the ones only YOU can tell, the unique visions trapped inside your head. In a world saturated with social media and popular culture, it is far too easy for those visions, for your stories, to remain hidden. Too few have access to the training and equipment necessary to bring their creativity to life. Even fewer are willing to share those resources with others.  

That’s where we come in, five CTEP AmeriCorps members on a mission to help teens express their inner voice! The Digital Storytelling Initiative will run three intensive summer camps providing youth artists the skills and tools needed to express themselves through technology. Locations and dates are as follows:

Camp 1: Sun Ray Library: 10-3pm, June 20 – July 1

  • Two-week camp focusing on filmmaking, audio production, and photography

Camp 2: Rondo Library: 10-3pm, July 11 - 22

  • Two-week camp focusing on music/audio production, DJing, spoken word, and songwriting

Camp 3: Highland Park Library: 1-4:30 pm, August 8-12

  • One-week camp focusing on photography

Participating youth will learn digital art basics through a series of interactive workshops. After building these skills, youth will create their own project using the medium of their choice. Local artists and community mentors will guide the youth as they experiment with their ideas, ensuring everyone has a final product to share with friends, family, and the community at the end of each camp. 

The Digital Storytelling Initiative is a free program that will provide transportation to the host sites. We will offer complimentary meals during the first week of the camps. Free laptops will be distributed to the participating youth who are most in need of personal computers to continue using their new digital artwork skills. We are especially committed to providing this opportunity for youth from marginalized communities (youth of color, youth from low-income communities, differently-abled youth, 
and GLBTQI youth). We are here to give your voice wings.

Below is a behind the scenes look at Digital Storytelling Initiative from last year's summer camps.


This Digital Storytelling Initiative encompasses hope, opportunity, knowledge, experience, creativity, acceptance, guidance, respect, and community. We know you have amazing stories to tell. Let us help you share them. If you or someone you know may be interested in joining us as a youth participant or mentor, you can find more information and the application below:


Direct link to youth application:

Direct link to teaching artist/mentor application:



If you are unable to participate but are still interested in getting involved, stay tuned for our soon-to-launch Indiegogo campaign. Any donations would be greatly appreciated as we plan for a successful project.


Each year the Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) asks its members to form small groups that will identify a problem related to the digital divide and propose a solution. These civic engagement projects should be creative, collaborative, and sustainable. The Digital Storytelling Initiative is a civic engagment project by CTEP members Alexa Van Dyke (MERC Altnernative High School), Amelia Silbert (SPNN), Ben Faulkner (Science Museum of Minnesota), Sarah Olander (CTV North Suburbs), and Drake Myers (Roseville Public Library).