Since its inception 9 years ago, Youth Made Media, then under the name Hook Productions, has had a home at the Red Hook Recreation Center. In October 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit New York City and displaced many in the New York City area, especially residents of Red Hook, Brooklyn. The super storm temporarily shut down operations at the Red Hook Recreation Center. Despite the setback, Youth Made Media continued programming by relocating to a temporary home at lost Battalion Hall in Queens.
In September 2013, eleven months later, Youth Made Media has returned to its original home at the Red Hook recreation center. Upon our return to Brooklyn we were warmly greeted by the staff of Red Hook Recreation Center. One staff member commented that the Computer Resource Center, where Youth Made Media held programming prior to Sandy, “was lifeless without Youth Made Media’s presence.” Youth Made Media staff is happy to have found continued support from organizations that have remained loyal to the program, even in our absence. The City as Schools and Good Shepherd organizations immediately assigned six interns each to the site. South Brooklyn High School, The Justice Center and Red Hook Initiative have expressed gratitude to have us back in the area.
This year, the youth participants are hard at work are learning new skills in media production. Recently interns have been learning location scouting and working on using the depth of field technique (see photo).
A former Youth Made Media intern in Red Hook, Tyquan Carter, recently shared a heartwarming story with Youth Made Media staff about his struggles during the Sandy aftermath. Tyquan interned with Youth Made Media from January 2009 – June 2011. When Sandy struck, his family was displaced. While dealing with the aftermath of the storm and his family’s hardship, Tyquan remembered a principle that he learned at Youth Made Media during his internship. The principle was to record everything no matter how small. So that is what Tyquan did, he documented everything his family faced during that difficult time. The end result is that Tyquan created a documentary that is now circulating the local film festival circuit. Tyquan recently mentioned he is happy to have Youth Made Media back home in Red Hook.
Despite the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Youth Made Media has returned home to Red Hook, Brooklyn. Youth Made Media is ready to face and ready to meet the challenges of a new chapter in its ongoing history.
By Shawn Smith, Youth Made Media Program Manager, Red Hook Recreation Center in Brooklyn and Lost Battalion Hall in Queens