American University professor Brigid Maher, a senior fellow at the Community Voice Lab, has launched a collaborative project with Kramer Middle School to build out curriculum to support their STEM Digital Arts program. Located in the historic Anacostia neighborhood of DC, Professor Maher was motivated by Kramer’s mission to develop their young scholars into “critical thinkers, effective communicators, entrepreneurs, consumers, and positive community members.”
In the Fall of 2021, Professor Maher successfully fundraised to build a Media Center at Kramer to provide opportunities for students in filmmaking and storytelling skills. The purpose of the collaboration is to empower students with the necessary tools to tell their own stories as well as prepare them for a possible career in media.
Professor Maher has developed several creative methods to inspire the middle schoolers with a passion for the moving image, including teaching them to paint images directly on celluloid. Today, Maher continues her mentoring of student participants who are working to tell the unique story of Kramer Middle School, with its roots in Southeast DC and its universal experience of the impact of the pandemic on its students. Professor Maher remarked, “We are taking the heart of the Community Voice Lab and adapting it to a vibrant community of young students in the heart of the nation’s capital.”