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Showing posts from July, 2011

Free Summer Workshops at Focus

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Our summer workshops are officially underway! Youth come from all across the city to discover and explore the world of media arts. Here, youth can create their very own original videos, radio shows, and photography projects. Some youth come in for just one workshop a week and others decide to participate in multiple workshops throughout the week. Either way they are always welcome. The best part of all is that these workshops are 100% free.
On Mondays we have digital photography and video. Youth come to learn about the different types of shots/angles and get the chance to create their own original projects. In one class the students went outside and explored the regent park community and took photos of the different building and landscape structures.
On Tuesdays young women who are apart of the Women in Radio program get the opportunity to work on producing their very own radio show. Also on Tuesdays, apprising writers can join the Catch Da Flava Magazine workshop and write for Catch …

Valley High Muslim Prayer Protest

Wow, the topic for yesterday's show was a hot one. We all felt very strongly about the protest at the Valley High Public School.

http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/local/article/144877--groups-protest-muslim-prayers-at-toronto-public-school

And although Abdul could not participate in the on-air discussion ( he had to be somewhere), he did direct us to the online petition he started up in protest of their protest!  http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/letuspray




new issue update!

We are currently working on our summer issue and its very exciting. Everything is going great and were all really excited for this upcoming issue. Our writing restrictions are extremely free and open to the youth. Meaning even if you have a poem, short story, article, or any type of work it is highly appreciated. We would love to have any new volunteers so if you are interested please don't hesitate to come by for a meeting. Or if you have not yet seen the environmental issue, we have plenty here. Our meeting during the summer are great because you don't have school stress which allows you to focus on writing. It's awesome and feel free to drop in if any of you guys are interested.

Photography Week 3

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This week we had some new students join the program increasing our number quite a bit but making an even more interesting young group.



The students were shown basic tips on using the Fuji cameras available to them including when and how to use the flash, how to ensure a sharper photo by making sure your hands are steady, and how to conserve battery power to avoid being stuck with no juice.

















A set of street portraits by Mike Peters were shown to the class and a short discussion followed regarding photographing strangers in the street and the need to ask for permission when seeking to shoot portraits.

The group was divided up and given a task to go photograph people in the streets around Regent Park. The groups did a great job in approaching individuals to take their photos, especially Abdul's (one of Focus' assistants for the summer) group. Congratulations to everyone.

Focus Photo Workshop Week 2

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After an initial workshop class being run by a supply teacher the participants met Nick Kozak, their workshop instructor for the summer.

After some quick getting to know one another activities the group began to talk about documentary photography and the importance of documenting Regent Park before, during and after the revitalization.Students were shown photo projects by successful young photographers around the world including Jonathan Taggert, Boris Austin, and Brett Gundlock. The instructor pointed out the significance of photographing people in their environment, not just their environment.

A good part of the workshop was spent on identifying potential projects for each student to pursue. It was agreed that students would focus on documenting their family or friends' lives in Regent Park. Some students live in the new accommodations and others are still in old buildings which should make for an interesting dichotomy.

CDF momentum!

This week at the Catch Da Flava magazine, we welcomed a new writer to our group!

Articles, photos and picture/cover ideas are now being brainstormed with more ferocity since everyone's more on a summer vibe!

Tracy has done some reporting and photos on the Good Bike Event, which will be included in the new issue.

Our writers are also working on their experiences with this summer's Luminato festival!

Hopefully by the end of August, yes, that's right AUGUST--hot on the heels of our recent Environmental Issue--the new summer issue will be out!

CDF Radio Tuesdays: Sudan!

We talked about the new independent nation of South Sudan. Shouts out to Eman who is out there right now!

It was interesting to hear the youth express their opinions on the concept of freedom, and what they thought needed to change if South Sudan was going to be successful in this new transition!

Jeff the World Interview and live set

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This past Wednesday's show was great. We still are still working on a name for it, because the content of the show is different than Tuesday's Catch Da Flava Radio. So a new name is in the works.

We had a great time talking to Chiptune artist, Jeff the World, who came in and answered a few questions from us avid gamers and music fans.

Jeff also played some new songs! OnetwoTres also played his chiptune influenced tracks and the discussion went from Jeff's do-it-yourself rise to fame as well as explaining how he made his tracks with only a few gameboys and old atari computers!

We thank Jeff again for taking the time to come down to the studio to perform and chat!

Listen Here for Part 1 of Jeff The World on Catch da Flava Radio!
Listen Here for Part 2 of Jeff The World on Catch da Flava Radio!

Chiptunes: Jeff the World

Our Wednesdays are getting to be really fun. Last week we talked about the gaming industry, and how the music of videogames are such a recognizable medium!

These video game theme songs don't even have to be made with video sounds for people to recognize it, as we also listened to a version of the Legend of Zelda as interpreted with an electric guitar!

The main focus of Wednesday's show was to introduce some of our youth and listeners to a new genre called "Chiptunes". Chiptunes take the sounds of early 8-bit video games and use them to make dance music tracks! It is a relatively new scene, being a few years old. But it has steadily gotten more popular within the last few years. Even at Nuit Blanche, two years ago, there was a free outdoor concert in front of city hall. One artist who has been the driving force in Toronto's Chiptune scene is Jeff the World, of whom we played tracks from his first album.

Social Media Summer Program - Week 1

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Today Regent Park Focus held its first Social Media summer program, led by me, Tyrone MacLean-Wilson a web developer and graphic designer from George Brown College and long term member of Regent Park Focus. In the Social Media program I’m introducing the youth to a new perspective on the e-world they are already familiar with. We focused on blogging and social networking via such websites as blogger, facebook, myspace, twitter and youtube. We are training the youth how to integrate each of these networking sites together and teaching them the reasons why people use them around the world.

Today we worked together to create each of their own unique blogs. Each participant had visually designed their own blog using the tools provided. After creating the main structure of the blogs the participants made a few blog posts to test out the look and feel of their blogs.



Each member was pretty ecstatic about what they have created today. Next up we will be teaching the youth how to integrate yo…

The Envionmental Issue!

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The environmental issue is finally here! After, months of hard work, creativity and anticipation, the magazine had finally arrived. Personally, this issue has been very important to me. As, it was my first time to be able to work on the magazine. Basically, what we have been doing is every Tuesday we meet up to discuss our ideas and display it in our magazine. Whether that took the form of writing piece, artwork or even photographs it all came together to bring out this amazing printed environmental issue. Along with that we also had the privilege to work with the Luminato festival. We were provided workshops and best of all got tickets to see the different shows. The experience was just amazing. I mean can you imagine being provided free tickets to a show full of entertainment, creativity and talent. Currently the writers for the magazine are expressing their thoughts, feelings and experiences of the festival in a magazine for Luminato. So not only are we working on pi…

CATCH DA FLAVA NEW ISSUE IS HERE!

Yes! After months of hard work, I'm proud to announce that the Catch Da Flava Environmental Issue is here! Come pick it up at Focus!

-Terence