Dubuque Art Center encourages students to speak out - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque Art Center encourages students to speak out

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Not everyone learns in a traditional classroom. Two years ago Dubuque's Central High School closed it's doors. Forcing students who weren't successful at their high schools to the Alternative Learning Center. But now the ALC is partnering with the Dubuque Art Center to help students speak out about their concerns.

"We're interviewing people and making movies," Lucas Ball said.

A few times a week, students come to the Art Center in downtown Dubuque. And though some of these students are shy, this class is giving them a voice.

"Use our media lab, our mac's and get to work with artist in the community who deal with creative expression everyday," Coordinator Katie Duffy said.

Their a part of the "Speaking Out Project", a program designed to teach troubled and under privileged students how to express themselves through film.

Students who are participating in the speaking out project shoot interviews on a FLIPcam. They will then take those interviews, edit them into a documentary. The subject: something they feel is important in heir community.

"It's definitely and eye opener to see what the students choose to see what these kids deal with on an everyday basis along with what they want to do to make changes," Coordinator Kelly Cornelius said.

And those changes they hope can be made in the community and their lives. With teens exploring topics like teen drinking, violence, music and fashion, they will address issues they all face in their world.

"Not everyone learns in the same way, particularly with these kids and giving them an outlet to have that direct community involvement really allows them to see from a wider angle," Duffy said.

Project coordinators hope that wide angle carries beyond this classroom.

"They can actually make a small change or start a change or have a say in what goes on in their community even though they're teenagers," Duffy said.

And it's giving a voice, to a sometimes voiceless group of students.

The Art Center plans to open the class up to all students in the community this summer. It's free for participants and all students walk way with a documentary to share with friends and family.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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