SAN DIEGO, July 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, July 14, the national winners of Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Digital Arts Festivals and ImageMakers National Photography competition were named during an awards gala as part of a weeklong culmination event for teen finalists. Sponsored by Sony Electronics, the Digital Arts Festivals and ImageMakers recognition trip is a fun-filled, educational trip in which teen digital artists are treated to local cuisine, entertainment and the arts.
In its 13th year, the Digital Arts Festivals program invites Club members ages 6 to 18 to submit their computer-generated art in one of six categories: photo illustration, music making, graphic design, game design, movie animation and film. Each year, more than 35,000 kids participate in the Digital Arts Festivals.
Also celebrated this week, the ImageMakers National Photography program provides fun, creative activity ideas for three skill levels, contains a brief, user-friendly guide for advisors and details information about the annual photography contest that provides local, regional and national recognition. Club member's photographs selected at the contest's national level are exhibited at BGCA's National Conference and other events. Each winning artist's work is featured in a virtual gallery at arts.bgca.net.
According to the National Science and Technology Council, occupations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are expected to grow 1.7 times faster than non-STEM occupations by 2018. Programs like BGCA's Digital Arts Festivals help spark an interest in technology in teens and support the creation of a strong STEM workforce to keep up with the growing demand.
Studies have shown that fewer than half of all public schools offer visual arts programs. Additionally, children from low-income families are 50 percent less likely than youth from affluent families to participate in arts programs outside of school. Thanks to program sponsors like Sony Electronics, Boys & Girls Clubs are offering quality, affordable arts programming during the out-of-school time.
2015 Digital Arts Festivals Winners
13 – 15 Age Group
- Graphic Design: Ricky Tedesco, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County
- Music Making: Tatyanna Jourdain, USAG Fort Hood CYS Services
- Photo Illustration: Sofia Velasquez, The Boys & Girls Club of Venice
- Stop-Motion Animation: William Nettles, Ramstein AB Youth Programs
- Film: Jamie Hinojosa, Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica
16 – 18 Age Group
- Graphic Design: Steven Tran, Lawrence Boys & Girls Club
- Music Making: Vince Benavidez, Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County
- Stop-Motion Animation: Sheyenne Arduc, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands, Inc.
- Photo Illustration: Joshua Joe, USAG Daegu Child & Youth Services
- Film: Joshua Joe, USAG Daegu Child & Youth Services
- Game Design: Aiden Baker, Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains
2015 ImageMakers Winners
13 – 15 Age Group
- Nature and Surroundings: Geisha Lovell, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs, West Mabee Unit
- Portrait: Andres Balolong, Boys & Girls Club of Iwakuni
- Culture and Traditions: Kelisha Parker, Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama
- Photo Essay: Pmilia Sullivan, USAG Kaiserslautern Youth Programs
16 – 18 Age Group
- Nature and Surroundings: Bethany Jones, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs, Broken Arrow Unit
- Portrait: Honour Kimbell, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Nashua
- Culture and Traditions: Damien Rucker, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Gorgonio Pass
- Photo Essay: John Michael Pearson, MCAS Iwakuni
Each of the category winners received a Sony a5000 mirrorless camera and a 32GB high-speed memory card. To learn more about the Festivals and the ImageMakers National Photography program, and to view artwork from this year's winners, visit arts.bgca.net.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives.
SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America