Emily Moen, “The Milwaukee Visionaries Project”
Mentor: Kim Cosier, Art & Design
The Milwaukee Visionaries Project (MVP) is an after-school arts program which combines UWM and creators with Milwaukee community middle and highschoolers. The research will be a qualitative study that explores how students describe the impact of MVP. We will be seeking to understand how they see MVP supporting them as artists and filmmakers who communicate and express themselves through the use of specific art mediums. A second outcome we will measure is students’ ability to cooperate and collaborate with teams. The goal of the program is to create films ready to apply to the Milwaukee Film Fest. In MVP students pitch ideas to the whole group and for stories to be told through video and/or animation. Teams of students form through discussions and the teams work together to realize a vision of a story that has been collectively developed. Differences of opinion are resolved through open dialogue and consensus building. In-process critiques give each team a chance to engage in every project. Through critique, ideas are shared, strengthened, and challenged in a supportive environment. In these ways, cooperation and collaboration are central to the mission of MVP. This study is relevant because it centers on student voice and highlights the importance of art programs and their benefit on students who do not have access to art resources. It also informs students on new ways to communicate and collaborate with fellows creatives. The methodology will include observation, notes and surveys. As well, we will be producing a short video including in-person interviews conducted on camera. The story will be rounded out through capturing relationships among students and staff. We hope to host the video on our website to draw more students into the program by sharing the story of the impacts of MVP among Milwaukee community students.