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You Can Help Support Youth Creativity During COVID-19

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With everyone sheltering in place, Youth Beat, a digital media training program in Oakland, quickly switched to a virtual classroom format. And it’s been a real lifeline for many of their students, who are almost all low-income, inner-city Oakland kids who’ve been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Those kids will be showcasing their work in the Zoom virtual screening party Creating In Place on Thursday, May 28 at 6 p.m., and you can register for free here.

Youth Beat student Sara Lam explains, “If I didn’t have Youth Beat, I think I’d be really bored and disappointed. I’d probably be on my phone watching YouTube or something. I didn’t realize I could make films at home. Now I feel like I can.”

“Youth Beat is a place to find your passion and express your creativity,” she said. “I’ve made eight videos during quarantine!”

Sara isn’t the only Youth Beat student who’s been busy. As a group, they’ve created a wide variety of “Quarantine Creations” including short films, animation and photography. Check out their NOVID-20 – A Hopeful COVID-19 Musical PSA,  set to the tune of Mustard and Roddy Ricch’s “Ballin,’” but helps youth learn how to be safe during the coronavirus pandemic. You’ll be awed by what a group of inspired, creative teenagers can come up with ⁠— all while sitting at home in their sweats and jammies.

Youth Beat’s student Gil Hernandez says, “If I didn’t have Youth Beat during quarantine, I would have been just bored at home. But my virtual Youth Beat Zoom classes got me creating unique videos I wouldn’t otherwise have thought of.” One of the videos Gil created during the quarantine was a remake of an iconic scene from Clint Eastwood’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

You’ll also get an exclusive look at DISPLACED, Youth Beat’s 15-minute, student-led documentary about the Oakland gentrification crisis and how it’s impacting young people. It just won a prestigious Award for Excellence from the Nation Academy of Television Art and Sciences, but it was only seen a few times before the shelter in place order went into effect. 

Tickets are free but limited. RSVP now, and if you can’t make the live stream event, Youth Beat will send you a link to the recording.

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.