Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation funds youth-driven creative agency

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation awarded a $1,000 mini-grant to the Ypsilanti-based youth-driven creative agency Ward 1 Productions on April 9, 2018.

Ward 1 Productions’ mission is to teach youth marketable skills in the new creative economy. The agency produces videos and other media content while also teaching youth leadership and job skills through a project-based training program called the Ward 1 Productions System. The system teaches project management, budgeting, documentary writing, storyboarding, interviewing for film, videography, lighting, sound and staging, editing, social media management, and event planning.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation trustees present Ward 1 Productions representatives with their $1,000 mini-grant.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation trustees present Ward 1 Productions representatives with their $1,000 mini-grant.

Ward 1 Productions is a team of adult and youth coaches who believe stories from seldom-heard communities have particular and extraordinary power and that the best stories come from within the story’s own community. The agency is based in Ypsilanti’s Ward 1, the traditionally African-American voting district in the heart of town. Ward 1 Productions is supported in part by MichiganWorks! job training programs and the agency’s partners and customers.

Ward 1 Productions currently borrows most of its video production equipment and has been particularly challenged to get quality audio sound. Awesome Foundation grant funds will be used to purchase an audio kit including lavalier mics, a recorder, a boom stand, headphones, a softie windscreen, a handheld mic, a shotgun mic, and a slate.

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation is the Ann Arbor chapter of the Boston-based micro-philanthropic organization known as the Awesome Foundation. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1,000 or the local equivalent, come out of the pockets of the chapter’s “trustees” and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.