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Civic Impact

Pittsburgh girl is finalist in world kids' video contest

When Dawnell Davis-White was filming her one-minute video Future Newscaster as part of a Children's Museum of Pittsburgh video workshop this past summer, no one knew she would end up in the hospital that night. But it didn't stop her from completing her video.
Dawnell has sickle cell anemia, says JuWanda Thurmond, the Children's Museum's youth program manager, and she shouldn't overheat. On one particular workshop day in July, says Thurmond, "she filmed all morning long -- we had a great day." But Dawnell hid from everyone that she had not been feeling well all day, Thurmond says. "She hadn't wanted to tell us -- she was having such a good time."
So Dawnell's videographer -- the kids worked in pairs -- went to the hospital to help her add audio. And now Dawnell's video is a finalist in the "oneminutesjr" video contest created by the One Minutes Foundation and UNICEF. Dawnell and her mother will be headed for Amsterdam for the Nov. 24 prize announcement, flying with funds the Museum secured in a grant.
Dawnell was one of 14 kids who attended the fourth annual summer video workshop at the Museum put on by two videographers from New York and two from Amsterdam, sponsored by UNICEF and One Minutes. It teaches the kids, from 13 to 17 years old, how to capture subjects and bring them to life, and how to add sound and special effects. Although One Minutes does such workshops all over the world, Pittsburgh and New York City are the only two U.S. locations. All the Pittsburgh videos can be seen on YouTube.
This year's theme was "Who am I?" which the kids story-boarded and then filmed. One acted as videographer and producer while another was the director for each video.
Concludes Thurmond: "We just feel that, because we deal with a lot of at-risk youth, there was an opportunity to do something different and something they might not do otherwise. It made for a rich experience."
Writer: Marty Levine

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