The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2012, March 24-25


Paired with Get Off My LAN

In 2001, a group of educators and media professionals came together and discussed the impact modern media images had on the development of teen girls. In response, TVbyGIRLS founders developed a way in which girls could become active creators presenting diverse voices to the community using media tools. We began working with our first mentoring class in 2002. To date, TVbyGIRLS has made over 80 short films, garnered 22 awards and screened in 36 venues around the world to over 45, 000 people. And worked with 900 girls, boys, women and men.

We teach visual and media literacy-how to 'read' media, media making-how to 'write' media and community involvement and social justice-how to 'share' media and shape a better world. We work with youth in diverse communities to use media and filmmaking to grow leadership and be engaged in community issues.

Girls begin our program with short term workshops (1-2 days), progress to long term workshops(several weeks) and finally join our long term mentoring program (1-7 years). Girls in our mentoring program work on longer form projects including our one hour broadcast specials which take a look at a theme from a quirky, spunky variety of perspectives and forms (documentary, music, spoken word, dance and visual experiments.

At TVbyGIRLS, we work to powerfully communicate a more complicated, richer, more interesting mix of potential in youth than is currently available in mainstream media. All of our youth in these adolescent years look around for cues of how to be a part of the society… of how to be successful. And they get 1000 media images a day. Unfortunately most of these images offer a dangerously high level of violence, sexualized objectification against women, limited gender role examples and the promotion of the basest of human behavior, selfishness, cruelty and competition. But, we know that is not who we are.

Girls may not want to become what they see in the mainstream media, but they also do not see their realities reflected and their potential encouraged. Hence we lose girls and what they can contribute to our world and the solutions they have to offer…sometimes until they are older, sometimes forever. At TVbyGIRLS, we know there are different stories to share. And we know how powerful the tools of media-making can be to share them. TVbyGIRLS places the power back in the hands of youth and they use media art to experience their own power as leaders and vital members of our world, to present new ways to think about who we are and what we can do.

What new functionality we are looking for

The new website for TVbyGIRLS would be easy to navigate, organized, welcoming, and help us increase our visibility. Most importantly, since our main medium of media is through film, we need a website that has a platform that will showcase our films and videos in a high-quality and professional manner. Additionally, linking and centralizing all other online tools and resources to our site.

We also need the new website to be able to serve as a portfolio for any possible funding, sponsors, and supporters. We want to develop more dynamic access for girls to share ideas in video form, written form and visual form. In the future we hope our website will become an access point for girls across the world.

Additionally, with a small staff of three we need a website that will be easy to maintain. And easy for girls themselves to add new information and ideas.

How the new functionality will help

Our work with the youth through our mentoring program and workshops mainly consist of creating films and videos. Currently, our only broadcast outlet is through the online community. We have our work on many different platforms like our current website, facebook, youtube, and vimeo. Therefore, we need a website that will centralize, support, and showcase the work we do.

We think that sharing ideas visually is one of the most powerful ways to shape a better world. A dynamic website will extend our reach and help girls see that ideas matter, involvement makes a difference and their leadership can reach out to solve the problems they identify.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

Before & After Snapshots

Thumbnail_tvbygirlsbefore Thumbnail_tvbygirlsafter

13 Messages from Supporters

2012-02-27 05:05:25 UTC

TVbyGIRLS is an wonderful organization that I fully support. The work they do to give young women a voice is truly amazing and life-changing for the youth at hand. The youth in the mentoring program have gone on to spread and share the values and mission that TVbyGIRLS lives by through their own work in other communities.

2012-02-27 05:20:03 UTC
Katharine Krueger for Journey of Young Women, Minneapolis MN

I was introduced to TVbyGIRLS via their amazing video project about dating violence and gender equality. I was so impressed by what the girls put together with the help of their mentors. It was obvious to me that the process of sharing the challenge together, supported by wise women and by their families, was a very positive thing for the girls on the project. I posted the video on our Facebook page and was stimulated by the conversation that ensued. That video covered so many angles on the issue in a positive way. Just stunning.

It is so vital that girls have the opportunity to learn how to take responsibility for their physical, emotional, social and sexual well-being. To be challenged whilst being supported. To have opportunities to stretch themselves in creating and expressing. To be supported in making a contribution, to be recognized for their contribution, and to see the results of their energy, effort and enthusiasm. TVbyGIRLS seems to have created a very positive, effective and inspirational way for all these things to happen.

2012-02-27 16:09:07 UTC

I never imagined that a phone call would change my life. I was at the dinner table almost 10 years ago when I received a call about a group called TVbyGIRLS that was looking for new members. I immediately went to their website and was so excited by the videos and stories featured that I could hardly sleep.

Throughout high school and college TVbyGIRLS took me on adventures I never could have imagined. From local film festivals to award shows at the United Nations, my voice was heard by thousands and my personal struggles soothed by my loving mentor. I was ALWAYS encouraged to follow my dreams and believe in myself.

10 years later I am a graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a degree in filmmaking, a practicing media artist and confident enough to know that I can do anything and that someone out in this big world will care about what I have to say.

A new website can give even more girls (and women and boys and men!) an opportunity to see what the members of TVbyGIRLS have to share. As an access point for girls, a new website can and will change lives much like the original website did for me.

2012-02-27 17:07:13 UTC

For the past eight years, I have been a member of TVbyGIRLS. As a core member, I participate in every aspect of filmmaking: from the storyboarding to the camera-work to the editing. My time in TVbyGIRLS took me to a school for African immigrants where I taught a Somali girl to use a camera for the first time; to a nursing home where I interviewed an elderly woman about growing up during the Great Depression;to a workshop in Washington preparing women for public office where I helped produce a video advertising their program. TVbyGIRLS provided a springboard from which to explore many social justice areas. We moved from just empowering young women to empowering Muslim women, homeless girls, at-risk youth— all populations to which I now feel a strong commitment. Through these experiences and many others, I learned that every person has a story and that giving her a medium in which to share it is empowering indeed. Because of TVbyGIRLS, I am a strong leader, dedicated to the cause of media literacy and women’s empowerment. TVbyGIRLS has radically changed my life and I know that a new website could help the organization gain funding and media attention. Most of all, it would help reach more girls with its important message.

2012-02-27 17:12:48 UTC
Jackie Krammer

My daughter was involved with TVbyGirls from the age of 12 through 18. What I imagined would be an opportunity to make media turned out to be so much more. She learned how to use video to tell a story with impact and brevity. She developed a deep awareness of how girls and women are represented in the media. She was encouraged to think critically. She learned how to both give and receive constructive feedback. She learned how to work as a team on challenging projects.

One of the most valuable parts of the involvement was being mentored by Barbara Wiener and other staff and board members of TVbyGirls. This mentorship helped her develop personally, creatively and professionally. She is now age 20 and I know that the relationships she developed through TVbyGirls will always be a part of her life.

2012-02-27 17:53:11 UTC
Kate Johnson

TVbyGirls offers girls from diverse cultures the opportunity to find their voices and become tomorrow's leaders through unique media productions. I don't know another organization that mentors girls so intensely and with such conviction in their strength and promise. They deserve everyone's attention and support!

2012-02-27 19:18:56 UTC

When I first heard about the opportunity to be in TVbyGirls, I thought it would mean being on TV, which at age 12 was a luscious prospect - like many a 12-year-old girl I wanted to be famous and on TV. I don't often remember this part of the story, because I soon became much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it.
But TVbyGirls is about so much more than film and media. Even though those were the tools we used (and the technical skills that I learned continue to come in handy), the biggest thing I learned during my time with TVbyGirls was to think critically about the world. Barbara is such a visionary. She questions current paradigms about the power of youth and encouraged us to do the same.
When I worked with TVbyGirls I met and worked with a wide variety of people and learned how to connect with them, which is an invaluable skill in this world. I learned to think deeply and be an effective communicator. I learned how to work in a team on complicated and difficult projects.
The skills I learned in TVbyGirls continue to shape who I am. They play a huge part in giving me the confidence and strength I have today. Barbara has been an incredible mentor in my life and continues to support and inspire me.

2012-02-27 19:31:33 UTC
Kristina Casper - Producer/Director,Yellow Tag Productions, Best Buy

I was first introduced to TVbyGirls at the Miss Representation Screening in 2011. The movie itself was a powerful experience especially after learning that less that 7% of people in production are women. That really spoke to me and after hearing the girls and Barb speak at the event I knew I had to get involved.
Barb and I have been working together to see how myself and other Yellow Tag producers can help them grow the program. I think it will become a wonderful relationship that will develop with Barb's guidance and the help of the girls in the program. I am looking forward to it.

2012-02-27 21:12:02 UTC
Rebecca Bullen, Media Arts Instructor, Perpich Arts High School

Though out my nine years as a board member and mentor within TVbyGIRLS I was introduced to generations of the most insightful, strong, epithetic, creative and amazing females ready to change the world. I have seen introverted and extroverted girls embrace and share themselves through video creations. I have had the privilege of being connected to and witnessing the personal growth, leadership and confidence of the core girl group members. I not only shared my knowledge, I have grown personally and learned from my time with them. TVbyGIRLS members shine and I am honored to have been a part of their lives and them mine. Seeing their shifts, hearing their visions and watching their changes has given me hope for the future and the world my child will grow up in.

2012-02-28 03:04:57 UTC

TVbyGIRLS has been a huge and amazing part of my life for the past several years. Not only has this dynamic, creative, and supportive group of mentors and peers (and peer mentors) taught me invaluable technical skills in the field of film making, but TVbyGIRLS has helped me develop the strong leadership skills, critical thinking skills, compassion, and global awareness that shapes the person I am today. TVbyGIRLS teaches me every day that not only is media creation a powerful creative outlet, but an even more powerful tool for social change. TVbyGIRLS helps girls like me realize our potential to challenge the norms we don't like, and put our unique perspective and voice towards making the world a better place.

2012-02-28 03:36:00 UTC

TVbyGirl is a simply amazing organization I just won't be the same without. Giving them a new website would allow them to spread their wonderful messages of social reform and equality to all. A new website would make finding resources easier for all those that need them!
Also it is quite true that many sponsers judge an originization by it's website. If we have an orginized website, the sponsers will also be able to find what they're looking for. More sponsers would also mean being able to get the word to more people!
Thank you all for considering us!

2012-02-29 02:36:40 UTC

As a member of TVbyGIRLS, I can safely say that it is an amazing group. I have been provided with countless opportunities to learn about new things, meet new people, go to new events and experience new things. All of which have expanded my view of the world immensely.
I have learned so many skills which will help me in the "real world" of adulthood. From discussions that we have every meeting about current events, to making films about people I don't interact with every day, I have learned to consider others and their points of view. The ability to think creatively and outside the box while making films has already proved to be useful in day-to-day school projects and assignments.
I appreciate this group and the people in it immensely. It has helped me in so many ways, and I can not think of a better non-profit for this competition.

2012-02-29 05:58:38 UTC
Jefferson Hansen

This fantastic organization has done so much for my daughter, our family, and the community. I thank everyone involved from the bottom of my heart.

Our Mission

The mission of TVbyGIRLS is to inspire girls to develop their leadership potential, cross-cultural understanding, collaborative skills and ability to create compassionate change in the world using media arts. . Created and led by women filmmakers serving as mentors, TVbyGIRLS helps girls from all cultural communities and socio-economic background to understand how media influences our society and then to use filmmaking to share their own stories in creative filmmaking projects. Our goals are: • To nurture compassion, intelligence, leadership, creativity and critical thinking skills in girls and express those traits in media arts. • To engage girls to create a more just world and engage in social action with the tools of media. • To introduce images, messages and stories into our communities offering diverse perspectives and help our communities to see girls as powerful leaders and contributors. • To develop and teach the tools for battling defeating media images and messages. • To create a production model that works authentically with girls in producing dynamic content for their peers. • To support media arts projects created by and for girls and women that support the values of social justice and compassion.