E4 Youth’s New Get Creative Media Club
E4 Youth’s newest enrichment program, the Get Creative Media Club, is nearing the end of its first semester. Meeting Thursday nights at Austin Public studios, the purpose of the program is to give Central Texas students the opportunity to hone their production, promotion, and entrepreneurial skills by working as the marketing team for a real client in Austin. The club’s first client is none other than E4’s very own Music Legacy project, a collaborative album featuring Austin-area students working in tandem with professional musicians and recording artists. Preparing for its second annual release, the Legacy ATX album is meant to celebrate the roots and history of Austin’s vibrant music scene as well as highlight the next generation of creative talent the city has to offer.
“The student musicians all have their own musical influences and the group as a whole is very artistically diverse, so you get a lot of unique viewpoints in the mix. The main message of our advertising campaign is that all of these musicians are coming together to celebrate that diversity and add to Austin’s music culture in their own way,” said Beatriz Zapata. A student at Pflugerville High School, Zapata has always had a passion for editing but credits the Media Club as a great opportunity to expand her horizons and learn more about the other aspects of video production. “At first I was scared to join the club because I was worried the other members would be way more advanced than me. When I started coming to meetings I realized we were all here to learn and everyone had something to contribute.”
In addition to the weekly meetings at Austin Public, club members also have been attending the songwriting and recording sessions of the Music Legacy Project in order to capture footage and conduct interviews for promotional materials as part of the advertising campaign. “I really love being a part of the Music Legacy sessions. The musicians are so committed to the project and it’s really refreshing to see that kind of dedication when most of them barely knew each other before they started working together,” said Katrina Villarreal, a sophomore at Bowie High School. Katrina had some experience with short films and stop motion animation before joining the club, but she believes that working closely with E4’s Creative Professional Mentors has helped her develop her creative skills even more. “The mentors are very helpful and supportive. Before I joined I never really got much specific advice on my work, so it’s really nice when they take the time to go into detail with critiques and tips.”
The mentors in charge of the Media Club are Nicole Licea, Daniel Ebomwonyi and Damian Flores. Their combined wealth of industry experience allows them to provide the club’s students with valuable knowledge of the current landscape of public relations and marketing, as well as offer insight into the finer points of promotional content production for artistic clientele. “We’re fortunate in that the students all seem to have a great deal of interest and involvement in music outside of the club, and you can tell that it informs the quality of their work and how excited they are to be in this kind of environment. There’s a really cool crossover between the Legacy musicians and our students that I don’t think we would get with any other client,” said Licea, a graduate of UT’s Radio-Television-Film program and an accomplished freelance media producer in the Austin area.
While the club’s first semester was undoubtedly a success, the program is always looking for new members to join the team as it moves on to tackle other projects and work for new clients. “Even if you’re just starting out and you don’t have much experience, this club is still a great opportunity to get your feet wet. The mentors are here to guide the big picture in the right direction, but we like to give the students a lot of creative freedom and help them develop the skills they’re most interested in,” said Flores, an alumnus of the E4 program himself and a prolific freelance videographer. “A lot of creative kids have talents they’ve developed as an individual, but there are some skills you’ll only learn when you work as part of a team. That kind of experience is really valuable when pursuing a career in anything creative.” Applications for the fall session of the club will re-open in July through E4’s website. Join our mailing list for more updates.
Aside from the release of the Legacy ATX album in May, the club’s students are also looking forward to E4’s end of the year showcase on May 11th. Taking place at the Google Fiber Space in downtown Austin, the Media Club members will give a presentation about their experience and accomplishments over the last semester to an audience of industry professionals from several of Austin’s largest creative companies.