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Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre Newsletter
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Regent Park Focus Newsletter - Spring 2014

The Buzz is a quarterly newsletter devoted to informing the broader community about the activities of the Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre. This issue covers the period of March 1, 2014 to May 30, 2014.

Previous issues of The Buzz are available at:
http://regentparkfocus.com/content/newsletters.html

RPTV on CCTV Turns One!

Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre is proud to announce the one year anniversary of RPTV’s closed-circuit channel debut! On May 8th 2013, Focus hosted *RPTV Premiers” at the Paintbox Bistro; the event was emceed by Radio Regent DJ, Roberto Brito, animated by talented local performers, and generously sponsored by Daniels Corporation. Since that time, RPTV has been going strong, filming over 100 television broadcast shows since the debut!  Participating youth have also covered a large range of topics including social justice, health, spiritual diversity, and other issues relevant to youth and the community.  
 


Now, not only can Regent Park residents access RPTV, but the broader community can also view RPTV online at www.regentpark.tv and catch occasional news clips playing on the Daniels Spectrum’s lobby monitors.  
 

Award Season
 


This year Focus was selected as a finalist for the Toronto Arts Foundation: Arts for Youth Award. This prestigious award was established by The Toronto Arts Foundation in 2007 and celebrates an individual, collective, or organization that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to engaging Toronto’s youth through the arts and artistic creation. The past winners of these awards are doing their part to build the cultural legacy of our great city and we are grateful to be included among them. The award winners will be announced in June at the Mayor’s Arts Lunch, an annual celebration of Toronto’s rich artistic community.
We Are … Resilient!
 
Thanks to the funding support from Toronto Public Health, Focus is now wrapping up an amazing two year multi-media arts project to promote youth resiliency. What does resiliency mean exactly, you ask? Well, resiliency is defined as the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds–trauma, tragedy, personal crises, plain ‘ole’ life problems and the ability to bounce back stronger, wiser, and more personally powerful. There are steps you can take in your life that will help you bounce back stronger from the challenges you may face and you will likely encourage those around you -- like family and friends -- to do so as well.



Project initiatives have included: a television show about women in nontraditional professions, a radio show about role models, online blogging reflection activities, and a resiliency workshop series for both the Divas Girls Group and Boyz to Men.
We Got Spirit, Yes, We Do!
 
The Interfaith Dialogues Media Project, generously supported by the Inspirit Foundation, aims to engage young people in conversation about interfaith work and cultural/spiritual diversity. The resulting Interfaith Dialogue RPTV series was also supported by a partnership with The University of Toronto’s Religious Diversity in Youth Leadership (RDYL) program. The term “interfaith” commonly refers to cooperative and positive interactions between people of different faiths and spiritual beliefs at both the individual and institutional levels. The videos we have created (over a dozen new shows coming soon!) promote understanding through dialogue in hopes to increase acceptance of others and enhanced awareness of per-conceived notions of various faiths and cultures.



Thus far, participants have created interesting and informative videos that have generated meaningful conversations. Some of the topics young people have explored include LGBTQ acceptance at the local Unity Mosque, Sharia law impact on Muslim females, Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices, what Unitarian Universalism means, and how Kwanza is practiced and encourages looking beyond slavery in African heritage. We will be filming the series remainder throughout the summer and are excited about the partnerships and community bonds we are making through this unique initiative. In fact, we want YOU to get involved as an RPTV audience member! Please check out a project video and fill out a short 2 minute survey for our evaluation here: http://www.regentparkfocus.com/content/inspirit.html
RadioZilla!

RadioZilla is our newest radio project! Inspired by The Hive’s NYC's Radio Rookies, Regent Park Focus, Facing History and Ourselves, and Mozilla Hive TO will collaborate to produce a youth-led internet radio series, a school curriculum guide, audiovisual slideshows using web-maker tools, and a project mini-documentary.



Additional partners include Toronto District School Board (TDSB) teachers, Rogers TV, and Mama D, a Canadian Aboriginal folk artist.During the first phase, talented high school students from the TDSB formed 5 groups to produce documentaries on various topics, such as religion, upstanders vs. bystanders, refugees, identity, and Islamophobia. The teens have learned how to conduct “streeter-style” interviews and how to record audio in a professional manner.

The project will wrap in mid-September, so check out our project page for updates! http://www.regentparkfocus.com/content/radiozilla.html
Deconstructing Gender
 
It has been a busy three months for both the Divas and the Boyz to Men groups at Regent Park Focus. In February, we shot the first episode of Boyz to Men “What Makes You A Man” series, that challenges the notions of modern masculinity. Our host, Horace Spence, did a great job at navigating important topics such as the “be a man” statement and what that means in today’s society.
 


The Divas have been doing a lot of work surrounding various topics which has been facilitated by passionate role models. The Divas were visited by a group of George Brown students who have organized a campaign and educational seminar about the Tar Sands and Pipeline 9. This presentation sparked conversation between the girls about environmental justice and living in a healthy environment. As the Divas are wrapping up before the summer break, we did a mini-series on holistic health and wellness which included examining peer pressure and ways to combat it and how to stay true to your-self. The Divas concluded with some great radio dramas and PSAs for Radio Regent!
News Bite!
 
We have been joined by a couple of new faces at Focus. We would like to welcome two new interns to our team: Aurélien is a business student from France working on sponsorship and business initiatives, and Erika is from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) who will be helping with social media and the Divas girls’ group.  
Updates About Regent Park Focus
 
Don’t forget to check out our event and activities blog online at:  http://regentparkfocus.blogspot.com and view new RPTV videos on www.regentpark.tv.
Also, if you would like to host a community radio program or TV show, please contact us at: regentparkfocus@gmail.com for an application form – we would love to hear your ideas!
 
About Regent Park Focus

Operating since 1990, Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre is a community driven, not-for-profit organization located in Regent Park, Toronto. The organization is motivated by the belief that participatory media practices can play a vital role in building and sustaining healthy communities. 

Regent Park Focus serves as a Community New Media, and Radio, and Television Arts Broadcasting Centre dedicated to best practices in training and mentorship of youth in radio and television broadcasting and digital arts.
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