Outlast Arts and Education is a volunteer-driven initiative that provides annual film and media arts camps to Native American youth on Pine Ridge Reservation in rural South Dakota. Each summer, a group of film and media professionals, artists, and teachers travel from various locations across the US to teach technical and creative competencies that promote digital literacy, art, leadership, community, and advocacy. These skills not only allow students to reclaim their narratives from harmful and inaccurate stereotypes but help propel them forward in a diverse and digital world.
Students have made short films and documentaries, music videos, podcasts, and self-portraits. Students work together to brainstorm, design, produce and edit all of their projects over the course of one week. These self-directed projects represent their experiences and world views and allow them to see themselves in media. Going into our 6th year, three Outlast students have gone on to study film and media at the Institute of American Indian Arts and we are currently preparing to help three more with their film school applications.
Our program serves youths from age 8-19, and in the six years since our founding, we have had 50 individual participants, with numerous students returning to our program until aging out. Outlast Arts and Education Media Camp is always free to students, with meals, transportation, and equipment provided. We partner with local organizations and individuals on the reservation to build community and strengthen the quality of our program.
Our funding primarily comes from crowd-funding, such as GoFundMe or Indigogo, or through small, community events, such as Make Noise Nights, film screenings, and small concerts. In addition, we have been fortunate to receive in-kind donations from businesses including U.S. Foods, Nalgene, Field Notes, Adobe, The Crayon Collective, and AbelCine.
Outlast Arts and Education is led entirely by People of Color and/or Women.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (April 2022)