Film North

Partner AgencyFilmNorth
Location(s)550 Vandalia Street, Suite 120, Saint Paul 55114
Site Supervisor: Emily Downes, Youth Programs Manager

CTEP Program Description

The AmeriCorps Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) bridges the "digital divide" for new Immigrants and low-income communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Join AmeriCorps CTEP and help make the information age accessible to all.  CTEP is a project of Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN).

Site History and Mission

FilmNorth’s mission is to empower artists to tell their stories, launch and sustain successful careers, and advance The North as a leader in the national network of independent filmmakers. We achieve our mission by nurturing a vibrant, diverse community of film and media artists; providing education and resources at every stage of their careers; and celebrating their achievements.

FilmNorth's after school programming began in 2007 with Polar Producers, a FilmNorth program housed at North High School in Minneapolis. The program was awarded an Award of Excellence by the Minneapolis School Board in 2008. Changes at the school led to the after-school program being moved to our facility on University Avenue.

The youth programs at FilmNorth have grown considerably in the past seven years, expanding in-school residencies, after school programming and summer camps. FilmNorth conducts about 4-6 in-school residencies with youth from Minneapolis and St Paul schools each year. JuiceMedia, the after-school video production program at FilmNorth, works primarily with youth from targeted St Paul schools. Partnering schools include Gordon Parks High School, Creative Arts Secondary School, Highland Park, Jennings Community School, Avalon, Como Park, Central, Johnson, Washington Tech, and LEAP. Recruiting visits to these schools would be part of a CTEP members responsibilities.

The films produced through the program have been screened at numerous film festivals, broadcast locally on cable television and won awards. FilmNorth uses the Youth Program Quality Assessment to continue to seek improvements in our work with youth. That outside assessment has consistently ranked FilmNorth's after school program as a high-quality program.

Preferred Site Schedule for Member

The schedule is flexible and will be developed in partnership with the selected member based on site needs and any constraints. We would like the CTEP Member to work an average of 35 hours per week, which would include some evening and weekend hours. Use of computers, internet, equipment, and training opportunities for students drops significantly in the evenings and on weekends, so we’d like the CTEP member to assist us in addressing these gaps.

Member's Specific Programming Responsibilities

A CTEP member at FilmNorth would be directly leading the after-school video production program for high school students, JuiceMedia, along with a bi-weekly Open Lab drop in space. This program works with 12-18 high school students (about 40 students a year) three days a week. Each term (Fall and Spring), the CTEP member will manage 2-4 college interns to assist with the JuiceMedia program. The CTEP member will visit around 10 high schools with the Youth Programs Director and take an active role in recruiting students for the program. This includes sitting in lunch rooms to discuss the opportunity with students and visiting classrooms when allowed. In addition to this, the CTEP member would also be involved with an in-school residency in Minneapolis or St Paul school, oftentimes serving recent immigrant student populations. During the summer, the CTEP member manages our crew of 3-4 Right Track workers. The CTEP member will be responsible for guiding the Right Track workers in career development (resume building, writing e-mails, interviewing) along with digital storytelling and technology skills.

The CTEP’s service with both the residencies and after-school program involves assisting students as they create short films. The CTEP member will assist students with developing a film idea, helping with pre-production planning, shooting the film and editing the project with a professional editing platform. Much of the organizational and planning work the students do involves professional correspondence and computer skills. The students in the program are employment aged-youth, primarily from SPPS high schools. The most important skill for this position is having the ability to work well with youth. Any skills involved in the filmmaking process (camera, editing, music, writing, graphics) are preferred but not required. A CTEP member would be expected to learn the skills needed for the program on the job with the assistance of FilmNorth staff.

Site Environment

FilmNorth has two classrooms and a dedicated youth classroom, an editing suite with eight computers and an array of film and video equipment. A CTEP member at FilmNorth would have a desk in our main office and access to a dedicated laptop copmuter. Their work with youth would take place in our classrooms and computer edit suite as well as occasionally on location shoots. The program is highly student directed. A CTEP member working with JuiceMedia would need to be skilled at facilitating youth work--providing instruction and guidance to keep projects on track. Sometimes the youth create highly personal stories. A respectful and sensitive approach is essential. Use of computers, cameras and lighting equipment is part of the work. Experience in those areas is preferred but not required.

How to Apply

Apply online at my.americorps.gov and click on “Apply to Serve” (be sure to search for the “Community Technology Empowerment Project” or “CTEP” when asked to indicate what program you would like to send your application to).  Contact: Joel Krogstad,  krogstad@spnn.org, 651.298.8918

We are committed to recruiting and engaging individuals without regard to disability, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.  Reasonable accommodations will be made upon request.  Alternative formats of this document are also available.