Call for Participation! Flag Stories: Citizenship Unbound, a cultural exchange project for youth ages 13–17

What: Flag Stories: Citizenship Unbound, a cultural exchange project for youth ages 13–17
When: Click here to apply online by August 8th, 2013 at 5pm. Project consists of four 10-week sessions, 2–4 hours of instruction each week, beginning Wednesday September 4th 2013 and ending Wednesday June 25th, 2014.
Where: 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th) with community excursions
How Much: Students pay no fees, receive $500 participation stipend and a free digital camera.
What Else: Eligible applicants must be ages 13–17 on August 8, 2013. Click here to apply.

SOMArts Cultural Center is currently accepting applications for Flag Stories: Citizenship Unbound, a new international cultural exchange project that is a paid opportunity for selected Islamic and non-Islamic Bay Area and Malaysian youth, ages 13–17.

Participating youth, dubbed “Young Diplomats”, will engage in a yearlong project creating art about family culture, community identity or personal interests in relation to the concepts of citizenship and identity. Bay Area Young Diplomats will connect via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr with youth living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who will convene at the Islamic Art Museum of Malaysia.

Each Young Diplomat will receive a digital camera and a total participation stipend of $500.

Two of the 15 selected Young Diplomats will also be selected to travel during SFUSD spring break March 29th through April 6th, 2014, with adult supervision on an all-expenses-paid trip to Malaysia to meet their international counterparts. Selection for the spring break trip will be based on student participation, quality of production and extent of community engagement. Young Diplomats selected for travel must provide proof of a valid passport in the fall.

Young Diplomats will learn and use video, photography, painting, graphic design and drawing skills to develop a greater understanding of the relationship between the symbols of citizenship, nationality and culture. By actively participating in all program components, Young Diplomats will formulate compelling visual creations to interpret and represent their ideas.

Flag Stories consists of four 10-week sessions over the course of one year. Students will convene once a week for approximately two hours each class to share ideas, learn new skills, take field trips and create art. Additionally students will be asked to engage online for an additional two hours per week through virtual engagement exercises in the form of internet and media communication. Students will have access to computer labs and some classes may take place online. In addition to receiving a digital camera to keep, students will have access and instruction to facilitate their use of iMac computers, video recording devices and video and photography editing software.

Session periods are as follows:
Session 1: Sept 4 through November 12
Session 2: November 13 through February 11
Session 3: February 13 through April 22
Session 4: April 23 through June 25th

No class or field trips will be held on federal holidays, SOMArts building holidays and San Francisco Unified School District holidays.

During the course of the project Young Diplomats will exhibit their artwork on the Internet, in the community, and in a culminating art exhibition on Saturday, June 21, 2014, 3–6pm in the Bay Gallery at SOMArts. Young Diplomat created videos will also be shown on San Francisco’s public access station SF Commons (Comcast Channel 76, Astound Channel 30).

The program is free for selected participants.

Application instructions
Please click here to fill a brief application by Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 5pm. Questions? Email or call Justin Hoover, SOMArts Curator & Gallery Director, at (415) 863-1414 xt 110.

About Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia
The museum is part of the Albukhary Foundation: a Malaysia-based nongovernmental nonprofit organization with an international presence. Established in 1996, it upholds the principles of taqwa (piety) and ehsan (compassion) that are cherished by its founder, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary. The museum facilities open to the public include an educational workshop area, an auditorium housing 200, museum shop, restaurant and two special exhibition galleries. This project is a first of its kind for the museum and reflects the museum’s mission in promoting Islamic heritage, culture and scholarship among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and in forging a more equitable and tolerant world through social welfare, education and cultural initiatives that bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots, and between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.

About SOMArts Cultural Center
SOMArts (South of Market Arts, Resources, Technology, and Services) was founded in 1979 and operates the South of Market Cultural Center, one of four city-owned cultural facilities in San Francisco. SOMArts supports exhibitions, performances, classes and other collaborations that serve its mission: to promote and nurture art on the community level and foster an appreciation of and respect for all cultures.

About Museums Connect
Museums Connect℠ is made possible by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the American Alliance of Museums. Citizenship Unbound: Flag Stories, a Museums Connect℠ project, is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the American Alliance of Museums. The opinions, findings, and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.