Reel Grrls Programs
Reel Grrls serves over 300 diverse girls each year in our Media Lab alone. We intentionally bring together girls from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in an environment of collaboration and respect; 60% of the girls who attend Reel Grrls workshops receive financial assistance. By blending media arts with technology training skills, we provide leadership opportunities and career development for girls who may have never thought these doors were open to them.
Girls gain increasingly advanced skills as they move through three levels of programming:
- RG Core Programs: weekend, week-long, and year-round afterschool workshops in media production. RG Core Programs cover a range of topics, including storyboarding, cinematography, audio, editing, and animation.
- RG Apprenticeship Program: advanced Reel Grrls participants have the option of participating in our summer Apprenticeship Program where they develop advanced skills and work on their first client video.
- Reel Grrls Productions: upon successful Apprenticeship Program completion, qualified young women join the Reel Grrls Productions (RGP) crew, where they work with adult mentors to produce videos for clients. RGP offers unique pre-professional training, allowing girls to develop civic engagement and leadership skills with direct career-related experience. Reel Grrls Productions produces work for an impressive group of clients including The Seattle Foundation, the Seattle Opera, Mercy Housing Northwest, the City of Kent/Kent Arts Commission, and the Paramount Theatre, among others.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
One of our great successes in recent years is that an increasing number of young women are traveling lengthy distances in order to participate in our program. In more rural communities, for example, there are limited after-school opportunities and nothing like Reel Grrls. We have had a multiyear partnership with the City of Skykomish and groups of 4 to 6 youth have traveled 140 miles once a week for 3 months to participate in our intensive spring program. In addition, we have established an ongoing partnership with a support group for daughters of migrant workers in the City of Mount Vernon. The Mount Vernon partnership takes place both at our Central District media lab and in the City of Mount Vernon.
This success of increasing demand from partners in distant locations also presents new challenges and new funding needs. Public sources of funding for travel expenses from Skykomish have dried up. We recently launched a successful public campaign to raise funds for gas, a van and driver, which will make it possible for the Skykomish girls to participate this year. It is a goal of ours to raise $10,000 beyond our current operating budget as a travel fund that groups such as these can apply to as needed.