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Why Donate to BAYCAT Today?

Because our educational and training programs bring diverse talent to the tech, media and creative industries.

Make their dream jobs come true. Help us reach our $85,000 goal today.

In light of all that has occurred in the past months and especially in this past week, BAYCAT stands strong and committed to equality, social justice and opportunities for all. For the last 12 years, we have served those most misrepresented in our country: 100% low-income youth, youth of color, young women and unemployed young adults. Last year, 300 applicants applied for our 100 positions. It is a myth that there aren’t enough diverse, talented and qualified candidates who are female or of color, and passionate about working in the creative industry.

We’re here to tell the real story and their stories. The pipeline of qualified young people is here in San Francisco and the Bay Area, and that is why we want to solidify the path between education and employment for more qualified youth-in-need.

BAYCAT gets real and sustainable results. 80% of BAYCAT Studio interns get hired after graduating from BAYCAT at companies like Autodesk, Lucasfilm, HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Pixar, Sephora and WIRED. Our transitional-age young adult graduates are on the path to careers with livable wage salaries that will keep these talented digital media creatives in the Bay Area. These 18-24 year olds are 100% low-income, unemployed or underemployed and predominately of color and female. They are the solution to keeping San Francisco diverse, inclusive, and vibrant.

BAYCAT Studio is an important part of our unique hybrid business model. Working with nationally-recognized and socially responsible clients like The Golden State Warriors and National Parks Service makes the internship and on-the-job experience for our students real and relevant, while building their resumes for success. Although in this last year, our Studio helped to bring in 40% of our annual income, the revenue from our Studio alone does NOT pay for all the educational and on-the-job training costs. Every dollar earned supports our ability to keep our Academy and internship pipeline going, but we also need your donations to keep our youth classes free, and to allow us to pay and train our interns on-the-job.

Many of our Academy students grow with us through the years and become graduates of our Studio Internship Program because the mentoring they receive keeps them focused and on-track. 100% of our youth of color who have taken more than two BAYCAT Academy classes continue their education in school. For many BAYCAT students, our facility is the only place they have to access industry-grade equipment to teach them professional tech and storytelling skills in conjunction with a safe and nurturing environment that teaches them skills every employer is looking for: the ability to problem solve, to collaborate, critically think, communicate and actively listen and learn.

Turning 200 students away last year was extremely difficult. With growing demand from our youth and from the tech, media and creative industries for increased diversity, now is the time to build our reserves so that we can strategically plan to scale what we do best to bring more diverse youth into the education to employment pipeline.

BAYCAT students are diverse. Help us change the face(s) of the tech, media and creative industries, literally.

BAYCAT Stats

Want to meet some of our graduates in person? Join us and our youth on December 8th from 6pm-8pm, for the World Premiere of Zoom In: Episode 36 – The Media Effect at the recently renovated, historic Bayview Opera House. Witness and listen to our students’ stories as they address the role of race, gender and new technologies in the media.

More than 3,500 BAYCAT low-income students and interns found success with our model. You can be a part of the solution that our region, and this country, needs to see and hear. You can give them the support and tools they need to become skilled, qualified, educated, digital media artists.

You can help them find their dream jobs and not just survive, but thrive. Please donate today.

Interested in going the extra mile and doing more this year? Set up your own fundraising page and goal. Go to our donate page, and click Become a Supporter. Start Your Own Campaign Page.

Let’s get students to dream big, get hired and repeat!

Avoid the Back to School Rush + Support Diversity

Streamline back to school shopping, and do some good while you’re at it!

BTS

Back to school madness is upon us. The end of summer means school is now back in session. As students head back to the classroom, busy parents are even busier making sure kids are prepared. Consider giving yourself or someone you love one less headache during this hectic shopping season – try smile.amazon.com, and let the schools supplies come to you. Plus, using this link means Amazon donates a percentage of what is spent to BAYCAT, investing in our community at no cost to you. It doesn’t matter if you live in San Francisco or the other side of the world — anyone can share and use the link to Benefit BAYCAT. Be sure to bookmark it on whatever search engine you use and then just click the link every time you want to shop at Amazon. It’s simple, easy and a really great way to help fund the work our students and interns do without any additional cost to you.

Wishing you a safe and healthy start to the new school year!

– The BAYCAT Team

BAYCAT Academy|Film or Graphic Arts & Animation Teaching Assistants

WHO WE ARE

Bayview-Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology (BAYCAT) is a nonprofit social enterprise that educates, empowers and employs young people from historically underserved Bay Area communities.

THE OPPORTUNITY

BAYCAT is seeking energetic, creative and resourceful Volunteer Teaching Assistants to join our education team!

  • Co–teach Media Classes for middle and high school students
  • Gain access to our state-of-the-art digital media facility
  • Hone your production skills through assisting a class of youth
  • Acquire teaching and youth development experience
  • Network with industry professionals

DESIRED SKILLS

  • 1+ year of experience in media production (Premiere Pro, DSLR cameras, documentary filmmaking) OR 1+ year of experience in graphic arts (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects)
  • Interest in and/or experience with youth mentorship or teaching
  • Understanding of the BAYCAT mission
  • Ability to commit to a full semester of teaching Sept – Dec or Jan – May

THE DETAILS

  • This is a GREAT opportunity for current undergraduate students, recent college graduates and industry professionals seeking volunteer opportunities
  • Teaching assistants are supported by a Lead Instructor and program staff
  • Classes are held at the BAYCAT studio, located near Portrero Hill
  • This is an unpaid teaching position with significant professional development opportunities

Interested? Please send a brief cover letter, resume and work samples to our Academy Manager, Alessandra Carter, at: alessandracarter@baycat.org.

Why “Fund Passion. Not Prison.”

We’ve launched our year-end annual campaign: “Fund Passion. Not Prison.”

At BAYCAT we believe in the power of education through arts and tech as the best way to inspire our youth to stay in school, find their creative passions, and be lifelong learners.  For the past 11 years, BAYCAT has educated more than 3,250 low income kids, kids of color and young women. We need help from the community to keep our FREE educational arts and tech programs available to the youth who need them most.

The US has the highest incarceration rate of the developed world, and its prisons are overwhelmingly filled with African-Americans and Latinos. The paths to prison are many, but often the starting points are access to education and foster care systems.  Here in SF, the land of a growing gap of “Haves” and “Have Nots;” it matters what zip code you were born in, or if you were even born in this country. Add to that generations of inequality, quality of our schools, and access to technology, the stakes are against most of our low income youth, youth of color and young women to finish school, let alone to find their passion and a dream job.

You need some data?

  • 70% of students involved in “in-school arrests” or referred to law enforcement are African-Americans or Latinos.
  • 40% of students expelled from U.S. schools each year are African-Americans.
  • African-Americans and Latinos students are twice as likely to not graduate high school as Whites.

Below an Infographic with some staggering data.

digital equity

Source: Community Coalition

 

 

 

As mentioned in a previous blog post, prison and the juvenile system is also the topic chosen by our BAYCAT Academy students for their upcoming show Zoom In #34, that will be premiered on December 8, at Z Space in San Francisco. Don’t miss it.

What do you think? We’ll cover more this topic in the coming months and would love your opinion.

Grateful Thanksgiving

6 Things We’re Thankful For and Why You Should Be, Too!

As you’re getting on a plane, in a car, or busy prepping for your Thanksgiving celebration, here are 6 things we’re truly thankful for at BAYCAT that you can add to your list of things to be thankful for, too:

1. Our youth media producers’ creativity and inspiration. Seven films created by our youth media producers won 22 awards this year.

Doc shorts: #Activism, Stats of Life, This Is Me, Tangles

Music Videos: Take a Look at Yourself, Mood Swings, Reach for the Stars

2. Our employers who hired 88% of our graduates from the last 2 years. SF Giants Production, Lucas Film, Wired Magazine, the Golden State Warriors, HBO, Netflix, and others. You’ve given our interns, mainly young creatives of color and young women, dream jobs in the competitive fields of digital arts, broadcast and tech.

3. Our clients.  We love working with you, and also appreciate you for giving back by hiring our professional Studio.

4. All the stories we get to tell.

Special mentions: We’re grateful to tell 50 stories of 50 amazing Bay Area nonprofits in 50 weeks leading up to Super Bowl 50. THANK YOU 50 Fund for partnering with us and for being visionary in creating the most giving Super Bowl ever.  

Thanks also to all our nonprofit partners who make our community and The Bay Area stronger!

5. The best BAYCAT team, board and volunteers who make this happen each day.

6. All our donors!

We are very proud of what we have accomplished, and thankful for all the support. However, in order to continue to serve our community, we need your help and money. Therefore, we are launching today our year-end annual campaign: “Fund Passion. Not Prison.”

The goal of this campaign is to keep our youth’s free arts and tech programs alive. You can make a difference by donating before December 31, so that we will continue to help low income youth, young women and kids of color, who have no access to the creative and digital fields, to follow their passion and find the job of their dreams.

Click here to donate now.

Also check out the option to build your own page to help us reach the goal. You can do it as a team at your school, organization and company. Or it’s just a way to invite your friends, family and colleagues to pitch in.

This money will help us to educate and train 250 kids from the lowest opportunity neighborhoods of San Francisco and the Bay Area.  More importantly, it will give them a safe place where they’re able to express themselves, and where we can nurture their passion into a meaningful profession. This is a growth opportunity they can’t access anywhere else.

Your tax-deductible donation will help Jazzy and Hugo to continue to follow their passion and build a future. After all, we think the world would be a better place if everyone had the opportunity to follow their passion and find a job they love.

Happy Thanksgiving from the BAYCAT family!

BAYCAT Grad, Bella Goes to USC Film School

Young BAYCAT filmmaker Bella Vallero, 17, has always been influenced by media, and dreams of being like the people she sees on TV. Now it’s her turn to do the influencing as she prepares to step behind the camera next year as a freshman at the University of Southern California.

USC has the best film school in the country. She credits BAYCAT with helping get her there.

“When I found out I got in, I didn’t believe it. I thought it was a joke or a mistake. I kept telling my mom, “I can’t believe I got in” for the longest time… Everything still hasn’t hit me yet,” she said. “I got to apply to as many colleges for free because of our financial standing, so I applied to a lot. Because everything was free, I applied to USC just to make my mom happy,” she said.

It will be a major shift for the film student, which can be a little daunting at times.

“I’m both excited and scared _MG_8421for so many things. I’m kind of intimidated because a lot of the kids going there have been doing this for years, if not their entire lives. Some of their parents even got to work on major films that have been released within the past few years, so they’ve always been exposed to this kind of stuff. The money thing intimidates me a bit, too. Not the cost of schooling, but the amount of money the other kids have. I don’t know how I’ll be able to adjust or fit in with all the other film kids there, but I have to somehow, if USC thinks I have just as much potential as them.”

Despite some nerves, after her time at BAYCAT, Bella feels well prepared to take on USC.

“BAYCAT has taught me so much. Technically speaking, they’ve helped me work better in a group setting and construct good work ethic in a collaborative environment,” she said. But the best lessons go beyond filmmaking technique.

“[BAYCAT] really taught me the importance of a diverse community. BAYCAT is all about representation and guidance and helping kids achieve their goals, and I am all about that. They helped me realize my potential in an industry as competitive as film. They helped me realize the lack of representation in media. They helped me realize that instead of noticing what’s wrong and not doing anything about it, that I should be proactive in things that I want to change, and I feel I could do that through the work I create,” she said.

The lessons in film and diversity impacted by BAYCAT instructors, have had a deeper personal impact that the young filmmaker expected.

“[The teachers] have also been really helpful in aiding me on speaking out more and having more confidence in myself. Throughout this past year, I’ve learned that I work really well under pressure, and I’ve learned that I’m worth more than I think and that I shouldn’t doubt myself too often,” she said.

Armed with renewed confidence and desire to champion representation in media, there is no other career she would rather have.

“Film combines everything I love to do into one profession. I never wanted to work a regular 9 to 5 job in an office all day, and I just feel that film can offer me the pleasure of traveling, writing, producing, interacting, and creating while still doing things I find exciting. Not knowing what each day has to offer while working is one of the main things that I found most desirable about film. The variety and constant change involved in the film industry, I feel, fits well with the kind of person I am.”

As for her hopes for the future: “I would like to see myself living comfortably and exploring the world at the same time with a camera in hand. Other than that, I’m unsure of what I’ll actually be doing. Hopefully, I’ll be successful in my film endeavors and life in general.”

diversity in media, Oscars, 2015 Academy Awards

Diversity in Media is an Ongoing Effort

“Tonight we celebrate Hollywood’s best and whitest, sorry … brightest.” – Neil Patrick Harris, host of the 87th Annual Academy Awards.

Diversity in media matters. That is one of the core beliefs here at BAYCAT, and it’s something that many would say they support as well. However, diversity and representation was not on display last night when the staff at BAYCAT joined 36.6 million Americans in watching the 87th Annual Academy Awards.

diversity in media, Oscars, 2015 Academy AwardsWhen we look past the glittery gowns and gold statues, we realize that not much has changed in the last 87 years of the Oscars. 2015 marks the whitest Oscar year since 1995, as the Academy did not recognize a single actor of color. There were also no female directors, screenwriters or cinematographers nominated. None of the Best Picture nominees were films about women or had a female lead.

As trainers of the media makers of tomorrow, BAYCAT aims to change this trend.

In Academy Award history, only 4 female directors have ever been nominated, and there has been only 1 win (Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 for The Hurt Locker). The number of major studio films directed by women has declined since Ms. Bigelow’s win, “hitting a high of 8.1% in 2010, and falling to a low of 4.6% last year,” according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of films directed by women at the six major studios. Women in general lagged behind their male counterparts across the board, with 44 out of 200+ Academy nominations being for female artists this awards season.

Academy membership is still 94% White, 77% Male, with a median age of 62. What kind of stories will be told, and what narratives recognized when there is such a sameness in the voting body? We can access such a rich story when we invite a diversity of perspectives.  Now, more than ever, nurturing the ambitions and career plans of our young artists is essential if we hope to see a change on screen and in society.

But becoming one of these media makers requires access. Access that many youth of color do not have, thanks to the creative digital divide. In San Francisco, specific communities like Bayview Hunters Point and the Mission have limited access to computers and technical training. A 2013 U.S. Census study found that Hispanic and African American youth still trail significantly behind other ethnicities in computer ownership, while a class-based digital production gap exists, as low-income users are less likely to engage in content creation due to disadvantages in education, according to a 2011 study out of UC Berkeley.

If Ava DuVernay, the director of Selma had been nominated, she would have been the first African American director nominated in Oscar history. Some groups had planned to protest the lack of diversity among nominees, but it was canceled at the director’s request.

Diversity and representation in media is not equitable, and as a community, it is up to us to demand change, not simply by words, but through action. Our Media Pathways Internship, and youth programs began earlier this month, and BAYCAT is working with our youth of color, low income youth and young women, to strengthen the representation of all people in media, both in front of and behind the camera.  Our young artists create a tapestry that reflects all of us, not just some, and we empower them, everyday, to tell their own stories. We don’t have to wait for change to start. It already has.

Sign up for our newsletter, or follow along on Facebook as these talented and capable young media makers add their voices to diversify an industry that will only evolve if you demand it. 

 

 

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.

baycat, baycat academy, youth, media, education, san francisco, bayview hunters point, filmmaking, nonprofit, social, enterprise, production, studio, open, house, mental, health, wellbeing, illness, stigma, film, music, digital, divide

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!

baycat, baycat academy, youth, media, education, san francisco, bayview hunters point, filmmaking, nonprofit, social, enterprise, production, studio, open, house, mental, health, wellbeing, illness, stigma, film, music, digital, divide

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.

baycat, baycat academy, youth, media, education, san francisco, bayview hunters point, filmmaking, nonprofit, social, enterprise, production, studio, open, house, mental, health, wellbeing, illness, stigma, film, music, digital, divide

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!