The Teen Storytellers Project Forging Ahead Amidst COVID 19

Adam DeCoster, Hollywood Foley Artist

When the Coronavirus shutdown started in March we hoped that it would be short lived and we'd be back at the Teen Storytellers Project Digital Gym with out students for Spring classes in April, as the shutdown drug on, it became clear that we'd need to get creative with our Documentary class. When the going gets tough, the tough Zoom. As we began to plan teaching Documentary Film online a silver lining appeared. Many artists were also online and willing to share their experience and talent with our students. The photo to the right is of Adam DeCoster, a Hollywood Foley Sound artist that met with our students in May from his Van Ives studio and shared many trade secrets on creating foley sound for film. The class was enjoyed by 11 students and was one of 3 guest artists we were able to host between May and the end of July. David Board of Stage 2 Studios showed the students some basic skills using Blender (www.blender.org) and amazing free animation platform that we hope to be using by 2021 to teach animation skills at the Digital Gym. For Several of the sessions Christopher reviewed filming techniques and meeting the challenges of Documentary Filmmaking. Our goal is to be back in the classroom by August to begin planning and shooting 2 documentary film projects with our returning students. We also continue to meet with our Denney Juvenile Justice STEP students by teaching our STEP Into Filmmaking via Zoom.

The biggest impact that the shutdown has had on our operation is the delay of new Fall classes. Until schools are back to normal it doesn't make sense to advertise classes to new students while we will have to limit the number of students we allow in the building and take on filming trips. We feel that keeping our current students moving forward despite the many restrictions and limitations is our first priority. When Washington State has returned to normal capacity in the classrooms and the spread has been well controlled we will be able to host more students and start intro level classes again. We hope to be back to normal operations by January of 2021.

Unexpected Blessings

In April Bruce Hoffman donated a PC and software from Microsoft. This is always a welcome gift as we work to create more stations for our students and expanded programming. Another unexpected blessing came from three Individuals. John Fox of SunRidge Media Inc. when he surprised us with a large donation of equipment from their Monroe studio. Many thanks to Ray Bowen, Mike Wehrman and David Harrison for their generous donations during the COVID Shutdown. We are thankful for the many production possibilities that this additional funding and equipment will give to our students. A more complete report will be shared at our upcoming Golf Event.

Planning for our Next Golf Event

As long as Washington State remains in Phase 2 of reopening the state, we plan to continue with our plans to host the 3rd Annual Ripple Ministries Golf Classic at Mill Creek Country Club on Monday, September 28th.

Our 2019 Ripple Ministries Golf Classic Champs

We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well during this unprecedented time. Thank you for keeping Ripple Ministries of Snohomish and The Teen Storytellers Project in your thoughts and prayers as we strive to continue to serve under-resourced and at-risk teens in Snohomish County.