Youth media opportunities abound at DMA

Originally published in The Davis Enterprise on May 5, 2017 In its 2015 study “Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015,” the Pew Research Center found that 24 percent of teens go online “almost constantly,” facilitated by the widespread availability of smartphones. I’ve been around kids and technology since before smartphones were a thing, and I’m a mom of three teens. I’d be mighty surprised if those numbers haven’t climbed dramatically in the past two years. Our thinking in the community media field is that youth will access technology, so let’s provide them with some quality equipment, encourage critical thinking, and see what develops. I’m excited about the amount of youth-oriented programming happening at Davis Media Access (DMA) these days.

• Our ever-popular summer workshops for the 9-13 year-old set are back, with two media production workshops, and two stop-motion animations workshops. These exciting classes teach production skills in areas such as camera and lighting, storyboarding and script development, sound, and stop-motion animation.

• DMA has decades of experience teaching youth the basics of media production. We build into our curriculum critically needed media literacy training, and our workshops take place in the only HD studio in town. Participants get hands-on experience with quality equipment, work collaboratively, and share their work at the completion of the camp. Classes are taught by DMA staff and frequently assisted by students from past workshops. Please note enrollment deadline of June 12, 2017. Classes do fill, and early registration is encouraged. Find out more at

• On alternate Fridays, the Teen Animators club meets and is mentored here at the media center. An outgrowth of one of those stop-motion classes and spearheaded by Zhara Baxi, these middle school students are working with the same technology to develop animated graphics for programs. Send an email to if interested, and we’ll pass it along to the organizers.

• DMA is excited to partner with Frankie Woods and Future Development Youth Center (FDyC) on Teen Media Nights at DMA. Each Friday, Woods sets up an incredible array of equipment for teens aged 12-19 to learn video production, DJing/mixing/scratching, and music production. A youth football coach and a production specialist at DMA, Woods has channeled experiences from his own youth into a commitment to providing positive outlets and mentoring for teens. The drop-in sessions are free and happen every Friday from 5-7 p.m. Email to find out more or sign up.

• Internships abound: as part of its partnership with the Davis Joint Unified School District, DMA manages a long-running production internship for high school students. Under the direction of DMA staff, interns learn to capture footage for a variety of uses, including full-length programs, and shorts for social media. School credit is typically available, and internships last six months and are geared towards juniors and seniors. The next round starts in the fall, and you can find out more here

• One of the things interns may work on is recording high school graduations. Each year, DMA records ceremonies for Davis Adult School, Davis School for Independent Studies; Da Vinci Charter Academy; Davis Senior High; and Martin Luther King Jr. High School. We create keepsake DVDS/files that we sell; proceeds are funneled back into support for the youth media programs mentioned above. DMA is for all ages, of course, and opportunities also exist at our grassroots community station KDRT 95.7 FM, both on the mic and behind the scenes. Find out more at one of our monthly general orientations:

Davis Media Access (DMA) is a community media & technology center that has served Davis and environs for 28 years. Executive Director Autumn Labbe-Renault writes and blogs about a wide variety of media issues. Find out more at