Youth Summit For Change provides students with experience in the arts

Sam Shriver, The Lima News, Ohio
·2 min read

Mar. 27—LIMA — More than two dozen students participated in the first Summit for Youth For Change on Saturday at Heir Force Community School.

The students learned about filmmaking from Nick Kellis, Youth For Change/Heartland Image director and spoken word with Carla Thompson.

Naomi Fike, a 17-year-old senior at Lima Senior High School, has learned a wide variety of skills.

"I've learned a lot about how to walk with cameras, sound equipment, lighting equipment, set design, makeup, making props and also editing. I've learned a lot about working with others and leadership," Fike said.

Kasteel Johnson, a 13-year-old 7th-grader who attends Heir Force Community School is hoping to study filmmaking in college and has found the workshop invaluable.

"It really started to spark my interest a lot more. So I picked up a lot from it, more than I thought I would," Johnson said.

Funding for the event was made possible through a variety of sources.

"We got a CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) from Lima City Council that allows us to focus on students specifically regarding inspiring students to embrace a variety of arts and also develop leadership skills, the thought being that you become a leader by completing projects, you learn to play nice in the sandbox to delegate, to take responsibility," Kellis said.

Kellis, who produced the motion picture "A Walk With Grace," which was filmed in the Lima area, is acting as a mentor to these students.

"Every aspiring artist needs a mentor. Anybody who became an artist can remember the time somebody not only infused them with the desire to do the art because everybody has that but give them really practical tips, hints, techniques, smart things that take art and turn it into craft, so we married those two things and came up with this initiative Youth for Change," Kellis said.

The students will showcase their various projects that touch on filmmaking, spoken word, dance, music, musical performance, acting, culinary arts and the fine arts. "There will be another student summit in April. We'll cover three topics, then there will be another student summit in May. We'll cover three more topics and then we're shooting for June, that's when the kids will present their projects and bring to life what they've learned," Kellis said.

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.