Farrington Awards 40th Anniversary Grant to Silicon Valley Creates’ Mobile Studio

October 3rd, 2014

The Farrington Historical Foundation today announced that it has awarded a special grant of $40,000 to Silicon Valley Creates (SVC), a San Jose-based nonprofit arts agency.  The funds will purchase digital equipment for a media workshop on wheels called the Mobile Studio.  Silicon Valley Creates passionately embraces the credo “Art has the power to transform lives.”  Its mission is to inspire the next generation of creative thinkers, innovators, and artists through cutting-edge art and culture programs for young people, especially disadvantaged youth.

 

The Mobile Studio, a traveling media lab, will be housed in an iconic Airstream trailer.  SVC staff has begun the trailer retrofit, which will turn the Airstream into a classroom and studio space with 12 student workstation areas.   When renovation is complete, the Lab will journey directly to schools and facilities throughout the Valley, bringing media arts training, mentoring, and hands-on use of digital gear directly to area teens. 

 

The Mobile Studio

 

The Farrington grant will fund the purchase of hardware for the lab including iPads, ink and slide digital pens, digital cameras, sound editing equipment, and a 70-inch video monitor.  Guided by local artists and teachers, students will use the equipment to develop all types of media projects such as graphic art and photography, short films, musical compositions, and music videos.  To bring the mobile lab project to fruition, Farrington joins other partners including the Adobe Foundation, Cisco Systems, and the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

 

Artist's Sketch of the Interior of the Mobile Studio

 

The mobile lab is an expansion of SVC’s current program called The Studio.  This is a 12-week after-school arts curriculum for classes of up to 30 kids, led by one or two instructors.  Classes are conducted at a variety of locations including schools, after-school facilities, and alternative education sites.  The students are mainly at-risk and under-served teens.  The Studio’s success has been proven over the past two years.  The program has reached more than 1,000 students at 26 locations throughout the Valley and has produced award-winning projects.  SVC estimates that the mobile lab will increase by 500 the number of students reached per year, as well as provide invaluable hands-on training on state-of-the-art media equipment.

 

Partners are enthusiastic about this unique and innovative approach to learning.  “The development of a mobile studio will enable SVC to bring this exciting, relevant and meaningful program to more sites, at a reduced cost per participant,” commented Miguel Salinas, Adobe Foundation’s Program Director.   Yvette Irving, Director at the Santa Clara County Office of Education, agrees.  “The Studio helps us meet the needs of the “whole child,” by providing youth with the opportunities and increased self-confidence to communicate their ideas and emotions,” she said.  “We have seen the success of The Studio at several of our community and court schools so far, and are eager to expand the program to more sites in the coming year.”

 

“We are pleased to help fund this creative and potentially life-changing project,” remarked Sharon Watts, Farrington’s Grants Committee chairman.  “It’s all about bringing digital arts education and equipment directly to kids who otherwise would not have access to it.  This project has the power to inspire and transform many lives.”

 

Steve McCray, a Farrington board member who helped draft the parameters of the 40th Anniversary Grant, agrees with Ms. Watts.  “The Foundation’s goal in creating this special, one-time grant was to fund a new project of exceptional merit that would substantially benefit the citizens of our county,” he said.  “We believe that the long-term impact of this grant will be to ignite creative sparks in the next generation of great artists, storytellers, and filmmakers.”