Listen Up! Is a network of youth media practitioners that works to “connect young video producers and their allies to resources, support and projects in order to develop the field and achieve an authentic youth voice in the mass media.”
Listen Up! is a worldwide network that works to provide resources to young filmmakers and their supporters, improve young people’s skills in filmmaking, cultivate partnerships among practitioners, and secure venues to showcase youth media work.
Listen Up! was formed out of a 1998 project of its parent company, Learning Matters, that used a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant to support youth producing messages for their peers related to health issues. Listen Up! now works more broadly in the field of youth media, characterizing it as a form of educational practice that specifically takes youth voices seriously, thrives in afterschool settings, integrates children’s lives with its curriculum, addresses real issues confronted by youth daily, relies heavily on conversation and discussion, mentors youth and builds relationships with them, and often involves artists as its practitioners.
In addition to its practice areas, ListenUp! makes available a wealth of materials on its website including tools for media production, funding tools, and a guide to festivals that are related to youth filmmaking or those that have a history of supporting youth. (See http://listenup.org/resources/productiontools.php)
Listen Up!’s Youth Media in Practice site celebrates the work of youth media practitioners and includes a comprehensive guide to youth media education. This site includes “Projects of Change”, an online gallery that showcases selected youth film projects, a glossary of terms related to youth media, and a clearinghouse of information on youth media education. (See http://listenup.org/ymip/) Listen Up! is funded by various foundations. Membership applications to join the network are available twice per year and require a sample of youth-produced work. Interested organizations must have a youth media video program in progress for at least one year.