BAYCAT, BAYCAT Academy, youth media education, San Francisco, Bayview Hunters Point, mental health

Zoom In 31: State of Our Minds!
Got any media or stories to share?

Crazy. Isolated. Dependent.

Happiness. Depression. Self-esteem. Stress.

Needs to be addressed.

How can we help._MG_0640

These are some of the words and phrases that came to mind when BAYCAT ACADEMY’s latest cohort of youth film and music producers were asked to respond to the question, “What does mental health mean to you?” The youth media producers brainstormed ideas to commence preparation for their upcoming collaborative project, the newest episode of their award-winning TV show: “Zoom In”.


This 31st addition to the series, to be titled “State of Our Minds,” will explore a variety of issues and perspectives orbiting the topic of mental health & wellness, and addressing stigma created by the media revolving mental health issues. BAYCAT’s Youth Media Producers will film documentaries, write songs, and produce music videos to tell these stories through the art of digital media.

Mark your calendars for 6pm on Thursday December 4, 2014 when BAYCAT will hold our next open house and our Youth Media Producers will premiere “Zoom In 31: State of Our Minds”.  You can also follow the show online at BAYCAT live.


Are there videos, songs, blogs, and other media about mental health that have inspired you? Do you have a story you’d like to share with us? If so, become a part of the conversation and share in our comments section

Turning 10

Earlier this year, BAYCAT celebrated it’s 10th anniversary, a decade of empowering underserved youth and young adults in the San Francisco Bay Area through education and employment in the creative digital media industry. BAYCAT believes that every story matters, and by providing youth with access to education and resources in filmmaking and music production, we encourage and aid young people to create media that positively impacts themselves, their communities, and the world. If you dig what we’re doing, we encourage you to get involved. There are so many ways that you can make an impact, and we can always use your help!

Youth Media, BAYCAT, BAYCAT Academy, Zoom In 31: State of Our Minds, mental health, San Francisco, Bayview Hunters Point, education, filmmaking, music production

BAYCAT Youth Media Producers in the House!

Although the signs of Fall may not be so obvious to us Bay Area residents, it’s clearly the first day of Fall for us at BAYCAT! Our first youth group are in our Studio, and we have many new and returning media producers, who are here to produce music, music videos and films for the next episode of ZOOM IN.

Quiet on the set. Action. #selfie


BAYCAT, BAYCAT Academy, Youth Media Producer Stella, youth media, education, San Francisco, Bayview Hunters Point, filmmaking, music production, creativity, digital arts

BAYCAT Stories: Stella

From Watching Media to Making Media

As part of our short film series celebrating the stories of our young media makers, BAYCAT would like to introduce Stella Gutierrez, a San Francisco teen, aspiring filmmaker and Youth Media Producer in our program. This piece was created as part of our 2014 TechSF Internship program.

Stella finds in BAYCAT a home, a family and a place where she can grow beyond just watching TV shows and can begin making movies of her own. “I see filmmaking as a door into other people’s lives and their perspective of things,” she expresses. Stella sharpened her curiosity and creativity during the summer of 2013 when she produced the short documentary Tech Free For a Weekend. The film explores the difficulties and challenges of local San Francisco writer and community artist Carrie Leilam Love’s attempt to live tech-free (no digital screens) for 48 hours. Stella’s documentary won her an Official Selection by the 2013 International Black Women’s Film Festival, as well as official selections at the 2014 CineYouth Film Festival and the 2014 Project YouthView Film Festival.

In the future, Stella aspires to make a film about her OCD and share her story with others who also struggle with the condition, and “show them that you’re not alone. There’s always hope.”

To learn more about BAYCAT and how you can get involved in helping us educate, empower, and employ youth and young adults from underserved communities to produce meaningful and impactful digital media, please visit our homepage at And if Stella’s story has inspired you, please help us share her story with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and beyond!

BAYCAT, OITNB, Orange Is the New Black, Lea DeLaria, LGBT, Spotlight on Diversity, filmmaking, digital media, representation, education, nonprofit, social enterprise, Netflix

Making LGBT Representation In Media a Reality

This past Sunday we had the pleasure to be part of “Spotlight on Diversity,” a panel discussion in LA to discuss the impact and importance of LGBT media representation. BAYCAT was invited as beneficiary of the Box Scene Project’s Mirror Scholarship & Fellowship, but also to celebrate our 10th birthday, and a decade of educating and empowering youth people in the digital media arts. We thank the Box Scene Project for throwing us a fun and thought-provoking “Party with Purpose”!

We are humbled and honored to be part of such an important movement and to be surrounded by so many great people, sharing their own experiences. We had the chance to interview some of them, from Lea DeLaria (Big Boo in Orange is the New Black), Amy Fox (The Switch), and Julie Vu (The Switch), to Sean Maher (Firefly), Dylan Marron (Welcome to Night Vale), Jasika Nicole (Fringe, Welcome to Night Vale), and Crissle West (The Read). We extend a gigantic thank you to Amelia from The Huffington Post for delivering such a moving keynote address. Look out for our highlight video, premiering soon on our website!

Also, we are supporting The Box Scene Project’s Mirror Scholarship & Fellowship: a campaign working to facilitate the entrance of diverse and underrepresented youth and independent content creators into the media and performing arts. We need to raise $35,000 in 35 days. Check out the Indiegogo campaign we just launched and help us spread the word.


10 Years Bold

BAYCAT is turning 10 years old, and for a decade our young media makers from low income communities have been at the cutting edge of producing untold, poignantly powerful stories from diverse and vibrant perspectives.  From Carlean, a 14-year old who came out as she made the award-winning short film, Finding Your Voice, to Isaac, who shares his experience living with Aspergers in his festival-featured autobiographical piece, “Talking About It.”

Creating the pathway from education to employment in digital media: one story at the time.

On our new website, we feature stories of some of our young people sharing their experience in learning and working at BAYCAT. It’s a way to tell you how we create a pathway, from education to employment in digital media.

Every week for the next few weeks, we will unveil new videos. Today, we want to share Miguel’s story and how he finds a second home at BAYCAT. A place that helps him stay out of trouble and to learn how to make cool media.

You can also check out, Lamar’s story, another youth media producer, who’s been attending the BAYCAT ACADEMY for 4 years. Lamar likes to draw. At school, and while waiting for the bus. He needed to find a place that would help him to express his creativity. “You will figure out your future, if you come to BAYCAT.”

Finally, you can also learn about Liz’s story. How she left Nicaragua to follow her dream to work in the filmmaking industry. Her dream has come true at BAYCAT. She is employed full time as a Production Coordinator in San Francisco.

As you watch their stories, are you reminded of a creative young person who could benefit from our free media education programs at BAYCAT?  or does it remind you of your own story and the importance of having an innovative environment and a mentor in your life to show you the way? Tell us what how these stories move you.  Share them with your friends.

BAYCAT with The San Francisco Foundation Artistic Hub Organizations

It’s a real honor to be part of a cohort of some of the most respected artistic hubs of the Bay Area! We had a great discussion with Maria Rosario Jackson about the trends she has seen and written about arts, culture and social justice at the national level. Though these topics naturally go together in our everyday worlds as an arts nonprofit in the Bay, it seems there is a trend at a national level to infuse placemaking, new urbanism, various medical research and even transportation as part of this sector’s work.

It was clear from our dialogue that most organizations do so much more than what their descriptions or missions reflect, and that each Executive Director’s impact goes far beyond their typical job descriptions. So what does this all mean?

It truly does take people with great resiliency to stay on the roller coaster ride of running a nonprofit, and funders like The San Francisco Foundation create the safety bars and connectors between our carts. They gave us something we never get to do: time and space to rise above the details and with hands raised together as a cohort, to look toward the future.

#Selfie includes:  Steven Jones from Lorraine Hansberry Theatre;  Madeleine Lim from QWOCMAP; Cristy Johnston-Limon from Destiny Arts; Tere Romo from The San Francisco Foundation; Tomiko Wong from Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Our cohort also includes: Ani Rivera from Galeria de la Raza; Elena Serrano from EastSide Arts Alliance; Eugene Rodriguez from Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy; James Kass from Youth Speaks, Janette Gitler from Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet ; Jordan Simmons from East Bay Center for Performing Arts; Kristen Sbrogna from La Pena;  Latanya Tigner from Dimensions Dance Theater, Linda Harrison from MOAD, Mabel Teng from Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco.


Keep Filmmaking in San Francisco

It was great to see 500+ people in attendance at the #FilmItNorcal Rally on June 14th at the Fairmount Hotel. With a full host of actors, producers, directors, elected officials, celebrities, media from all parts of California, it was clear that the filmmaking community of San Francisco (and California) wants to support the improved tax rebate program to keep our jobs HERE. BAYCAT is proud to create the pathway from education to employment especially through our TechSF Internship Pathways Program so our young people from make their dreams to work for HBO, Showtime and Netflix a reality.  Even more so, it’s about creating new films by them for the world that we hope to continue to nurture.  They are the present (I’m too old to wait for the future) of filmmaking here in San Francisco!

Celebrating our first 10 years!

BAYCAT is turning 10 Years Bold this year and we want YOU to come and celebrate with us! JOIN US for an extra special 10 Years Bold World Premiere of BAYCAT’s 30th Episode of our award-winning youth produced TV show, Zoom In!

Where:  BAYCAT HQ 

2415 3rd Street, Suite 230, San Francisco 94107

When: Thursday,  August 7th 2014, 6pm-8pm 

*Screening begins promptly at 6:30pm

For more information check out our Facebook event!

If you can’t make it in person, you don’t need to miss the event! We’re going to be live-streaming here starting at 6:30pm!



Development & Communications Coordinator

BAYCAT is seeking an energetic and resourceful individual with exceptional project management skills to manage the portfolio of grants, proposals and reports as part of BAYCAT’s day-to-day fundraising activities to support an aggressive growth strategy for this exciting nonprofit social enterprise. We are in search of an extremely organized, detail minded, customer service oriented, strong communicator and values-driven team player who loves to raise and make money, and who has a strong commitment to our mission, and the desire to grow professionally in the social enterprise fields.  Join our dream team that values creativity, professionalism, and an inclusive environment.

Learn more and apply here.

BAYCAT 2014 TechSF Pathways Internship Showcase

JOIN US as we celebrate the graduation of our 2014 TechSF Pathways Interns!

Over the last 6 months, BAYCAT’s aspiring media producers were provided mentorship from media professionals, technical training, and an opportunity to work with BAYCAT Studio to gain hands-on experience in the digital media industry.  Our graduates are excited to share their stories, video reels and work they created while employed at BAYCAT Studio.

Among the many employers, our interns are working for Dodo Case, HBO, Netflix, The Food Network, and The SF Giants Productions.

*The showcase will be from 6:00pm-8:00pm on Friday, July 25th.  Presentation begins promptly at 6:30pm.*

Please share this invite with your colleagues, friends and potential employers looking for new potential media interns.

Light appetizers will be provided. All are welcome!

Questions? Please contact Savana Vagueiro at (415) 701-8228 x210