BAYCAT Youth Win Awards Around Digital Equity

No matter the age of the competition, BAYCAT’s youth media producers continue to shine, and inspire, at local film festivals

BAYCAT Winners at RYSEIt was a clean sweep for three films submitted to “Truth Be Told: Justice Through My Eyes,” winning 4 awards at RYSE Youth Center’s first-ever film festival. Open to ages 13-24, our youth media producers won 3 of 4 categories open to ages 13-18, as well as the overall fan favorite at the social justice-themed event! Students won for Best Documentary (#Activism) co-directed and edited by Bella Vallero and Miguel Rivera, Best Music Video (Take A Look at Yourself) produced & written by Alex El Titerito, Amir Chatman, Isaiah Manuel, Jordan Stultz, and Best Experimental Video (This is Me), a solo project by Alex El Titerito. Take a Look at Yourself also won the Audience Award.

Director Becky Choi also won 1st Place in the Student/Mentor Music Video Category of the 2015 MY HERO International Film Festival for her guidance in Take a Look at Yourself! The festival will be held later this November in Santa Monica.

Stella in at Locally Grown Docs Q&ABAYCAT Youth Media Producers Stella (director) and Hugo (cinematographer) represented BAYCAT for the Locally Grown Docs showcase at The New Parkway, where their film Tangles screened among a number of other inspiring shorts. Of the 6 films screened, Tangles was 1 of only 2 youth pieces invited to be shown. Congrats to our young filmmakers!

Stella took the mic for a great Q&A session after the screening that left people buzzing about her film. “More people wanted to talk to Stella after [she] had to go, so she definitely made an impression!,” according to event organizers.

If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to catch Tangles, a personal portrait of life with trichotillomania, on our YouTube channel. And don’t miss Hugo’s amazing piece on the fight to be more than a statistic in The Stats of Life.

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!

“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


FALL 2015

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


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
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

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
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
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?

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
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.

Support BAYCAT as You Shop This Holiday Season

Check a few things off your holiday shopping list & help BAYCAT at the same time: Shop Spicer on 3rd or Amazon Smile

Score some locally-made goods from SF artists as gifts for family or friends (or yourself!) and support youth education in arts and tech at the same time. Our Twenty Seven Gears Belt Bucklesfriends at Spicer on 3rd are donating 10% of all purchases you make THIS Thursday, November 19th, from 5 – 8pm to BAYCAT. Come by for great-for-everyone gifts like PapaLlama‘s smile-inducing, hand-printed cards and prints, or awesome Twenty Seven Gears lasercut belt buckles, jewelry and accessories. And be sure to grab a free bite of the spreads and jams by the girl & the fig, or a complimentary beverage. We hope to see you there!

Can’t make it Thursday? Prefer shopping in your pajamas? Supporting BAYCAT is as simple as a one-time update to your Amazon account settings. 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. (It really adds up!)

Shop AmazonSmileGo to and under “pick your own charitable organization,” select “BAYCAT.”  With a few clicks, start empowering youth today! (Just be sure to always shop through, not the regular site.)

Amazon-shopping not your thing? You can still support BAYCAT by donating today and following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and sharing our content!


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.

BAYCATers at Oakland A’s Youth Media Day

Youth Mix with Sports Media Pros

Summer is a great time for baseball, and hot dogs. But this usually means sitting in the stands, not getting behind the camera. Recently the Oakland Athletics and sponsor PG&E invited students from BAYCAT to participate in their Youth Media Day as part of the #AItForward program!

20038018906_7be50a6ec1_zThe experience was tailored to a small group for a more interactive flow. Three youth and 4 young adults had the opportunity to assist the A’s Media Team with all kinds of activities, including interviews with A’s players and managers (pre and post game), meeting with the team’s radio and TV broadcasters, beat writers and staff members.

The students and interns were treated to a Comcast TV truck tour, Pressbox tour, a visit to the Dugout and Field, an interview with A’s manager Bob Melvin, Q&A with beat writer Jane Lee, Press Conference Room Q&A sessions with A’s VP of Communications, Ken Pries, and KPIX reporter Roberta Gonzalez.

“I’ve been going to A’s game since I was a kid and now I have the opportunity see the players behind20038007776_9ca790d737_z the cameras,” said LaTajh Weaver, a Digital Media Pathways Intern. “It was great being able to see how everything works behind the scenes.”

After the whirlwind, the group was escorted to their seats to watch an A’s game!

“Although I have always been a Giants fan, and always will be, I became a fan of the A’s organization that day,” said another Pathways Intern Melissa Perez. “The A’s organization and PG&E were so nice to all of us and made us feel welcomed.”

A special thank you to everyone who made this possible, especially:

20069660861_76b30dac22_zA’s Team Members: Ken Pries, Debbie Gallas, Franklin Lowe, Matt Shelton, Justin Marshall, Amanda Young

PG&E: Stacy Quan, Rob Black, James Green, David Kligman

KPIX: Roberta Gonzalez

This Friday: Network with BAYCAT STUDIO and Intern Graduates of 2015!

Diversity is lacking in the digital media field. Help us change that.

Join us, our clients and partners for our BAYCAT STUDIO Internship Showcase, a celebratory networking event with our 2015 intern graduates-to-be. Over the last 6 months, BAYCAT’s aspiring media producers were provided mentorship and on-the-job training from media professionals, and an opportunity to work with BAYCAT STUDIO to gain hands-on experience in the digital media industry with clients such as The 50 Fund, SF Center for Economic Development, SF Public Utilities Commission, Bay Area Council, SPUR & the Piero Patri Fellowship  UCSF, and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Workforce Development.

Among the many employers of our past interns are Lucasfilm, Autodesk, Showtime, Studio Hinrichs, and The SF Giants Productions. Our current graduates-to-be are excited to share their stories, video reels and work they created while employed at BAYCAT STUDIO.

Please share the BAYCAT STUDIO Internship Showcase invite with your colleagues, friends and potential employers looking for new potential media interns.  A short presentation will begin promptly at 6:30pm.

Light appetizers will be provided. All are welcome!

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 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 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 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


(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! (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