“Hard Times” – New Youth Music Explores Incarceration, Discrimination

Song to be a featured part of Zoom In: Episode 34 – Is This Justice?, examining juvenile justice, incarceration, and the role of community

This semester, four Bay Area youth in BAYCAT’s Music Production class wrote, performed and produced this song as part of a bigger piece exploring incarceration in the US from a youth perspective, to be released later this month. They were mentored through the process by Jason “Trackademicks” Valerio. The song is a reaction to recent attention on violence against young people of color in this country. Hear the song and read the lyrics below.

If you’re in the Bay Area, you can see the premiere of the entire piece, including the music video for this song, at the World Premiere of Zoom In: Episode 34 – Is This Justice? on December 8th at Z Space in San Francisco.

Youth Explore Hard Times


BAYCAT MUSIC PRODUCTION CLASS

FALL 2015

“Hard Times” feat. Angela, Amir, Zevonte, & Isaiah (Palindrome).
Produced by Palindrome

LYRICS:

Intro
(Angela)
I wear hoodies when I want, I eat Skittles when I want
I can breathe when I want, I can breathe, I can breathe

Verse 1
(Amir)
Have you heard of a kid with the mindset of a grown up, well sho ‘nuff,
I’m livin’ proof, so upchuck. I’ve thought of things that you need and about things like why do I breathe
To see another one of me get thrown in jail or left to bleed? (You see?)
I’m giving you food for thought so feast, At least
I’m not one of the peeps who stuck fighting a war that’s worth a penny
Have you seen these cops? They like wild packs of dogs
Killing anything that’s brown and walk
It’s been kept a secret
But now we see it, but now is the hard part

Chorus
(Angela)
In these hard times, you have to know that it’s gon’ be all right
And even when things go wrong, you have to know to just stay strong

Post Chorus
(Angela)
I wear hoodies when I want, I eat Skittles when I want
I can breathe when I want, I can breathe, I can breathe

Verse 2
(ZeVonte)
I ain’t playing these games, ain’t playing these games
Discrimination and hate they all feel the same
Get some money in your pocket and the whole game change
Stop putting down, ever thought that for a change?
Cause I do what I do, never stop it for what
Typing on a computer acting hard because
You can’t see the real me being fake for what
I think that’s crazy swearing up and down that you a thug
Like its so F.A.K.E. — fake
Barbie and Ken on aisle 8 I live on the block that never changed
I got my pride can you say the same?

Chorus
(Angela)
In these hard times, you have to know that it’s gon be all right
And even when things go wrong, you have to know to just stay strong

Verse 3
(Isaiah)
Do not take me to jail, I don’t know nothing
I just wanna a good life to be worth something
Help me please, help me please, I can not breathe
Shoot me down or bring me up, it won’t phase me
21st up next, you know we is the best
You gave me life cause I’m young and I made a lil’ wreck
Get it, that’s young and reckless, I’m in my zone so please respect it
I got hit with a baton, why don’t you get it
Boom boom bang bang making videos
Said 1 min but it was 11 yo, oh oh
Heart full of gold, dead on the streets 4 hours really yo
Y’all real crazy fire shots
Dat don’t amaze me
Reppin’ 21st and this record
And y’all squad going crazy
Palindrome on this beat, no guns no clips
So much heat, more danger than my scripts

Jason helps Nailah find her sound.

Alex works on his beats.

This Semester the BAYCAT Youth Ask “Is This Justice?”

Fall Class Looks at Youth Incarceration

BAYCAT youth are back in house and ready to jump into one of the biggest issues affecting young people today: juvenile justice and incarceration. A brother, a cousin, a nephew, a friend. Most of of us have been touched in some way by the justice system. California ranks 11th in the nation for its high youth incarceration rate, and 20% of those at San Francisco Juvenile Hall come from Bayview Hunters Point.

For Zoom In: Episode 34 – Is This Justice? our youth media producers are creating short documentaries, music, music videos, and animations that examine efforts to stop incarceration before it starts. Additionally, they will explore themes such as law enforcement, people making changes in the community, and perspectives from behind bars.

This semester, BAYCAT is excited to partner with Each One Reach One (EORO), a nonprofit who advocates for juvenile justice. Together we’re creating an opportunity for BAYCAT youth media producers to deeply explore the complex topic of youth incarceration from a peer perspective, while creating a lasting resource to share with others in the community.

Our young graphic artists will work with EORO to transform stage plays, written by incarcerated youth as part of their Playwright Program, into impactful animated shorts to reach a broader audience.

We cannot wait to see how the BAYCAT youth use their art to unravel this difficult subject that hits close to home for many of us.

Community Comes Out to Support Youth at Z Space

Attendees kickstart effort to support BAYCAT’s free arts program

What a night! It was a full house for the World Premiere of Zoom In – Episode 33: Me, Myself, & I!

Our first ever screening at Z Space, this evening of films, music, and a live performance is one we won’t soon forget. (You can relive and share all the fun with those who didn’t make it at http://baycat.org/baycatlive) All of us at BAYCAT were especially touched by the outpouring of community support to keep our free programs strong.

We raised the ante to prep our next set of youth for producing Zoom In: Episode 34. Our goal is to raise $34,000 before our next term starts on September 14th. From the premiere, we’re off to a great start with $2,044 raised that evening toward our goal. Keep this effort going – you can donate or share the http://donate.baycat.org link.

Together we can make sure this program is available for the youth who need it.

Zoom In 33 Co-Host Lucrezia Berry

YOUTH PERSPECTIVE: “Being a live host for BAYCAT only took 1 hour and 36 minutes, but has had such a huge impact on me. I went from a shy little girl to a teenager with courage. BAYCAT over one summer, one term, has changed me in the best way possible. As a cinematographer, graphic artist, editor, and host, this helped me improve my experiences. For example, my dream is to go to Italy for college. Having these experiences now gives me a higher chance of getting accepted into the school, and getting a good job. It’s so much more than I had before BAYCAT.” – Lucrezia Berry, 14, BAYCAT Student, and Zoom In Co-Host

 

Zoom In: Episode 33 Tonight LIVE in Person or Online

See the Premiere of ZOOM IN: Ep. 33 Live & Online

Don’t forget – the World Premiere of “Zoom In: Episode 33 – Me Myself, and I” is TONIGHT! The event is taking place at Z Space, and online at http://baycat.org/baycatlive starting at 6:30pm.

You won’t want to miss a live musical performance by BAYCAT youth Angela King and Ze’Vonte Hamilton, plus the amazing short films, documentaries, and music that explore their free time activities and those of notables in the community: from managers at Pixar to our local Supervisor to Broke-Ass Stuart.

We hope to see you there!

New Event Info:

VENUE: @ Z Space – 450 Florida Street (btwn. 17th & Mariposa Streets) SF, 94110

WHEN: Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Doors Open @ 5:30 pm; Screening Begins Promptly @ 6:30 pm

Zoom In at All New Venue This Summer

BAYCAT World Premiere of ZOOM IN: Episode 33

BC_summer

(Click The Stop Motion Above 🙂 )

Thanks to your enthusiasm and attendance, we’re moving our youth’s World Premiere of Zoom In: Episode 33 – Me Myself, and I to Z Space!  Please join our Youth Media Producers, BAYCAT Board and Team at our exciting new venue!

 

Enjoy YUMMY appetizers and be part of our live audience of BAYCAT’s 33rd Episode of our award-winning youth produced TV show, “Zoom In!”

Bring a friend, bring two friends, bring all your friends. Everyone is welcome!

 

Here is the invitation! http://invitezoominpremiere.eventbrite.com (The screening is free, but RSVPs are always appreciated) If you can’t make it to the event, tune-in LIVE here for our live-streaming broadcast!

 

New Event Info:

VENUE: @ Z Space – 450 Florida Street (btwn. 17th & Mariposa Streets) SF, 94110

WHEN: Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Doors Open @ 5:30 pm; Screening Begins Promptly @ 6:30 pm

 

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

In the neighborhood immediately around Z Space, as in much of San Francisco, parking can be a challenge. If you are planning on parking on the street, please allow at least 30 minutes to find a space, and be sure to carefully read all restrictions on street signs and parking meters.

There are paid parking lots at the following locations: The UCSF lot at the corner of Shotwell and 17th Street has metered visitor spaces and is located approximately three blocks from Z Space. A second UCSF parking lot at Harrison and 15th Street also has metered visitor spaces and located approximately three blocks from Z Space.

 

Public Transit:

Z Space is close to a variety of public transportation lines, most notably:

The 16th and Mission BART stop. The 22, 27, and 33 MUNI bus lines.

 

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Program Coordinator – Edgar Garcia (415) 701-8228 X 213

Every Story Matters: BAYCAT’s Impact Goes Beyond Making Media

You never know what event will change your life, forever. For Stella, that was walking through the doors at BAYCAT. Like many teens, Stella would head home after school and watch TV, but never imagined being the storyteller. BAYCAT was able to show her something different.

baycat youth, media production

For Stella, learning storytelling at BAYCAT was a bridge to understanding her own journey.

Over the last three years at BAYCAT, Stella has found her voice through filmmaking and the digital media arts. Learning to tell the stories of others helped Stella understand her own journey: learning to manage her OCD. Exploring the topic through media gave her the courage to share her struggle with her parents, and an autobiographical documentary short Stella wrote and directed will be premiered in Zoom In 31: State of Our Minds on December 4th. Through her film, Stella wants other young people to know that they are not alone, and that there is always hope.

Supporting BAYCAT isn’t just about making a donation, but it is about making a difference in the lives of young people. Stories like Stella’s can’t be told without your help. We hope you join us in our mission to ensure that every kid left out by the digital divide has the opportunity to find their voice at BAYCAT.

Come in person to applaud and to meet Stella, or bring other youth who would be inspired by her story! And if you can’t make it in person, you can still join us via our online livestream of the show!

For more stories on youth like Stella, SIGN UP NOW to subscribe to our e-newsletter. You can stay up to date on all of our new projects, partners, student stories, and programs.

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BAYCAT to Host Fall Open House & Premiere Zoom In 31 – December 4th!

It’s finally time!! BAYCAT will be hosting our Fall Open House next Thursday, DECEMBER 4th at 6p.m.! As we all begin our holiday-season celebrations, we at BAYCAT want to celebrate our young media producers, our community partners, and our 10 years (and running) of educating, empowering, and entertaining. And we’ve got some exciting new things to share with you!

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Young music producer & BAYCAT Academy student, Angela, films a music video for State of Our Minds, the 31st episode of BAYCAT’s award-winning television series, Zoom In.

Our youth have been hard at work these past few months writing, planning, producing, directing, editing, and recording their original songs and short films for the 31st episode of our award-winning television series, Zoom In. This fall, our young media producers explore the topic of mental wellbeing. Some have been creating documentaries about social pressure, like Angelica and Bella, who in “Expanded Minds” talk about stress at school and how it affects them everyday. Our music producers have been writing songs about persevering through times of struggle, with original tracks like “Mood Swings” and “State of Our Minds.” And finally, our young storytellers will allow us a glimpse into their personal experiences of hardship and coping, with Zette sharing the story of her recent move from Japan to San Francisco in “Between Here & There”; and, Stella will premiere her short autobiographical documentary, “Tangles,” in which she opens up about her struggle with OCD.

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BAYCAT Academy Youth Music Producer, Precious, films a music video for State of Our Minds, the 31st episode of BAYCAT Academy’s award-winning television series, Zoom In.

 

We’ll also be sharing our latest BAYCAT Studio and Pathways Internship news, and will be screening our intern-directed and -produced, “What About Water” – a short documentary created in partnership with our latest clonor, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Through this project, we learned how the Bayview Hunters Point community makes the most out of its water, and what we all can do to conserve water in this California drought.

 

So come join us!! We can’t wait to see you there. And if you can’t make it in person, you can still join us via our online livestream of the show!

 

And, stay up to date on all of our new projects, partners, and programs! SIGN UP NOW to subscribe to our e-newsletter!

Heroic Celebration: BAYCAT Original Shorts to be Featured at MY HERO Film Fest!

Our BAYCAT Academy youth media producers are enjoying continued success on the festival circuit! We are proud to announce that three our youths’ films have won awards and will be featured at the MY HERO Film Festival this Saturday, November 22nd!

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A BAYCAT Academy youth music producer raps at Candlestick Park for an original track, “Just Maybe”.

BAYCAT Academy’s music video, Just Maybe, directed and edited by young filmmaker Anthony Rivas to an original track written, recorded, and produced by BAYCAT youth music producers, has won 3rd Place in the Student/Mentor Music Video category! Originally produced for Zoom In Episode 29: Outside Your Door, the film was created in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. Challenged to express how they feel about the outdoors, the youth shared their complex perspectives on whether the outdoors are always a safe space for urban youth.

 

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BAYCAT Academy young filmmaker, Maceo ‘Moony’ Mayorga plays The Perfect Mayor

The Perfect Mayor, which has also recently won 2nd Place at the 2014 BAYMN Film Festival and was selected for the 2014 Project YouthView Film Festival, has garnered 3rd Place in the High School Experimental category at the MY HERO Film Fest! Written and directed by Advanced Filmmaking student Ginger Chen, the film takes a fun look at who the perfect San Francisco mayor would be, if he or she could be everything that her young constituents would want her to be.

 

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Alia in a scene of her short autobiographical film, The Beach: My Diary

And last but not least, Alia Gabrielle’s moving autobiographical short, The Beach: My Diary, has won 3rd Place in the Student/Mentor category at MY HERO! Alia’s film was also officially selected for the I Hella Love Shorts Film Festival this past September, and will be featured exclusively online this December 4th – 14th as part of the International Black Women’s Film Festival. In telling her story, Alia shares why the beach is so meaningful to her, and how it helps connect her with her family.

 

Congratulations to our youth! Thanks for being our heroes and inspiring us to work for positive change. Can’t wait to see what new stories the youth are telling this fall? Come to our Open House at BAYCAT on December 4th for the world premiere of Zoom In 31: State of Our Minds, or join us via our livestream!

WATCH, SHARE: NEW RELEASE! BAYCAT Pathways Interns ask, “What About Water”?

What About Water director Alyssa Hailemariam on set

What About Water director Alyssa Hailemariam on set

We’re in a drought. While that’s been a big issue and concern for Californians this year, BAYCAT seized the opportunity to learn more about what we can do about it.

This past summer, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission funded a Summer Learning Grant for our Pathways Interns. The goal: to learn more about our Bayview Hunters Point community’s perceptions about water, how the Bayview makes the most of our vital resources, and what we all can do to conserve water everyday.

Our 2014 interns have just wrapped producing, directing, and editing the new documentary, entitled “What About Water”! WATCH the film on our Vimeo page now, and SHARE with your friends!

AmazonSmile: You shop. Amazon gives to BAYCAT!

What if another way of supporting BAYCAT was as simple as a one-time update to your Amazon account settings? Good news: it is!

amazon_smile-02

The AmazonSmile Foundation makes it easy to support your favorite charities – without costing you a cent. Whenever you shop on AmazonSmile and purchase an item marked, “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation,” the foundation contributes 0.5% of your purchase price to the organization of your choice. (You’ll still find the same great prices, huge selection of products, and convenient shopping service that you already do on Amazon)

So how to begin? Go to smile.amazon.com and under “pick your own charitable organization,” select “BAYCAT”. That’s it. Why wait? Start empowering youth today! (Just be sure to always shop through smile.amazon.com, not the regular site.)

 

Not an Amazon-shopping fiend? You can still support us by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and sharing our content!