The Adobe Foundation and The Black Eyed Peas Foundation will unveil two new state-of-the-art music and multi-media academies for youth in Oakland and Redwood City, California.

The collaboration focuses on giving youth access to multi-media production tools for video, dance, music and art. Through the creation of digital media, teens are given the opportunity to comment on critical issues and inspire social change in their communities.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug.1, Grammy award-winning recording artists The Black Eyed Peaswill.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo and Fergie – will officially open the first integrated Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy located in Redwood City at the Mervin G. Morris Clubhouse of the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula. A second Academy will be housed in a new facility operated by Art In Action, a local non-profit youth leadership program in Oakland. Both academies will begin offering services starting in the fall for youth up to age 19. An estimated 200 Bay Area youth will participate in the academy programs annually.

“As a group, music has given us amazing opportunities. With the Peapod Foundation, we want to give back to inner-city kids so they can realize their potential through artistic and digital expression,” says will.i.am, who grew up in the projects in Boyle Heights, Calif. “Together with the Adobe Foundation, we are giving more kids a chance at a better future.”

The academies will incorporate a high-tech curriculum developed by Adobe Youth Voices with the latest professional-grade multi-media production software – including Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection Suite, donated by Adobe Systems Incorporated, and professional music studio tools for a state-of-the-art recording facility donated by the Peapod Foundation. In addition to mentoring in the performing arts, youth participants will receive structured multi-media training in video, audio, photography, design and art, enabling them to creatively express their points of view on vital issues and contribute to social change in their communities.

“The Adobe Foundation and the Peapod Foundation share a vision for empowering youth to address social issues that directly affect them,” said Michelle Mann, executive director of the Adobe Foundation. “The launch of these two academy sites is just the beginning of our journey. It’s exciting to make such a direct, tangible impact by inspiring youth to demonstrate their potential and take action in their communities.”

Following the Redwood City academy opening, The Black Eyed Peas will make a special appearance to kick off Adobe Youth Voices Live! The event is the closing session of the first annual Adobe Youth Voices Summit, a three-day digital immersion experience bringing together 100 international youth (ages 14-19) and educators from underserved communities around the world.

The Adobe Youth Voices Summit at Stanford University (July 30 – Aug. 1) will focus on all aspects of digital media, including filmmaking, photography, animation and design, with workshops designed to empower youth to create media for social change and cultivate a deeper sense of social and civic engagement.

Summit highlights will include: an opening keynote by David Nakabayashi, creative director of the Industrial Light and Magic Art Department, mentoring in creating collaborative media projects using Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere Elements; a visit to Dreamworks Animation, makers of popular movies such as Shrek and Madagascar; and a keynote by Black Nature, a musician and aspiring filmmaker with the Refugee All Stars.

Youth participants will document their own travel and experiences at the summit through videos shot with Flip Video Ultra Camcorders donated through the Flip Video Spotlight program. They will have the opportunity to enhance their films with skills learned during the summit.

The summit will conclude with Adobe Youth Voices Live! an invitation-only event at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco the evening of Saturday, Aug. 1. In addition to the Black Eyed Peas’ appearance, the event will include exhibitions and screenings of youth media work developed during the summit.

More info can be found here.

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