'Building Community' at Inspired Teaching School

Students at Inspired Teaching Public Charter School create the short participatory film 'Building Community' during a week-long media arts residency facilitated by Meridian Hill Pictures during the school's Spring 2013 intersession. 

The Inspired Teaching Demonstration School is a unique learning institution in DC, one of several schools with a student body representing each ward in the city — an essential pillar of the school’s diverse and inclusive identity. The Meridian Hill Pictures media arts program used video storytelling as a form of inquiry-based learning to explore a subject of interest to students, while simultaneously introducing them to the power and art of documentary film. MHP media teaching artists worked with Inspired Teaching students to create this short film exploring the ‘building community’ concept. In the film, students explore various aspects of their home communities, and explore the role of the school in bringing a diverse group of people together to create a single community.

Students filmed nearly all footage using iPads provided by the school. Each student took on a specific role in the film production: camera operator, interviewer, sound recorder, editor, or outreach supervisor. From storyboarding the concept to coordinating the film shoots to editing the footage, the class learned how to create a professional-level documentary, working as a group through each step of the process. In addition, the classroom teachers learned new arts integration skills, acquiring new knowledge in how to best teach media literacy in their classrooms.

The residency was facilitated in coordination with the school’s participation in the Phillips Collection’s Art Links to Learning: Museum in Residence program — and was premiered at a standing-room only showcase at the Phillips Collection in April. Both the Art Links to Learning and MHP residency weave visual arts education into other core curriculum areas such as language arts, social studies, and science, To create the film, students developed their skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, asking questions, debating, contextualizing, and understanding - all critical components of the Common Core standards in literacy reaching across grade levels.


Phillips Collection Art Links to Learning: Museum-in-Residence showcase April 11, 2013


Media Teaching Artists: Brandon Kramer, Ellie Walton, Julie Espinosa
Classroom Teachers: Ben Frizell, Brianna Executive
Producers: Brandon Kramer, Lance Kramer


More about Trainings


Wagin' Peace

During a week-long cross-cultural media education residency, youth from the Middle East, South Asia and the United States worked with MHP to write and produce their own music video. Produced for Seeds of Peace.
Continue reading >

HRC Kids Day

A video produced through a one-day media education training with children of Human Rights Campaign staff.
Continue reading >

Vuela, Vuela Mariposa

A media education project created with kindergarteners at the Mundo Verde bilingual public charter school.
Continue reading >


Since 2010, MHP has collaborated with the Kennedy Center on a youth documentary production and media literacy program at the Arts & Technology Academy (ATA) where 4th + 5th graders produce short documentaries with an arts-focus.
Continue reading >

Contact Us

Join Meridian Hill Pictures