Making a Change

 

FYI has changed lives. Films by Youth Inside has engaged more than TWO HUNDRED incarcerated youth in an intensive, fundamental filmmaking program. These young men have produced more than FORTY short films.

 

FYI has changed minds. Filmmaking requires teamwork and cooperation – no matter who is on your crew. FYI has inspired young filmmakers to cross cultural and racial lines to make the best films they can.

 

FYI films have changed people on the outside. FYI films have been shown at libraries, universities, film festivals, and have been seen by opinion leaders, elected officials and corporate leaders. These films have helped inform public policy, have broken down preconceptions and prejudices and, in some cases, changed peoples’ ideas about their own lives.

 

Art has the power to transform society. Art is more powerful than violence. Arts education is essential. President John F. Kennedy put it this way: “… we are coming to understand that the arts incarnate the creativity of a free people. When the creative impulse cannot flourish, when it cannot freely select its methods and objects, when it is deprived of spontaneity, then society severs.”

 

FYI plans to reach out to more communities. We plan to continue our successful program at Camp Gonzales, and bring the program to other communities.

 

FYI can benefit young women, too. Young women who are incarcerated have their own stories to tell. As part of FYI’s master plan, FYI will expand its work to women’s facilities.

 

Our work could not happen without the generous support of our funders and volunteers. We are  grateful for the support of Steve Luzco of Balance Vector, Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Larson Charitable Foundation (which is funding our upcoming Hawai’i workshop), West Post Digital, Frank and Carol Biondi, The Attias Family Foundation, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Visual Communications , BHERC and the many volunteers who have contributed their time and talents to the program.

 

The meaning of inside can change. Young people who are “inside” – incarcerated in youth correctional facilities – feel they have no power or say in society. They sometimes feel they lack the skills or access to have an impact on our culture. Through the medium of film, many of these youth have found themselves “inside” in a different way – a valued part of society, understood by others, respected  as artists, storytellers and men. This transformation is the real mission of FYI.