Girlz by Design is a virtual arts education program which offers students at Anacostia High School (AHS) semester-long, weekly workshops during their art classes which introduce them to a range of creative digital fields and provide them with career advice from design professionals.
In the Summer of 2020, we envisioned an opportunity to bridge the digital arts gap in traditional high school arts curriculums by bringing design experts and project-based learning to the virtual classroom. In September, we began holding 10 weekly hour-long sessions working with three art classes of 15-20 students at AHS. Each workshop covers various design and digital art fields including user experience and user interactive (UX/UI) design, animation, video game design, redesigns and design pivots, and branding and logo design. After we introduce students to these concepts, guest speakers from various creative tech industries discuss their career experiences and offer insights on how students can build their digital skills and portfolios. This past semester, we heard from all womxn speakers including a UX designer at National Geographic, a Digital Operations Specialist at New Balance, members of the animation team from the Enongo documentary, and a color theorist.
After a successful first semester, AHS invited us to continue our workshops in the Spring. We hope to sustain our commitment to serving the community of Anacostia with this grant. As DC public schools continue online learning for the foreseeable future, we aim to build our virtual resources for students in the spring semester. Through our website students will have access to open-source design resources, internship and job postings, design literature, events, and community opportunities. We also aim to provide a space for students to be recognized and published on the Girlz by Design website.
Funded by Washington, DC (December 2020)