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Need for Media Arts

According to Americans for the Arts, students with consistent access to the arts have higher GPA’s, higher standardized test scores, and lower dropout rates. Media Arts Education fosters self-directed learning and ultimately, developing the full range of 21st Century skills. All media arts students are better-prepared for college and career with skills in communication, creative problem-solving, collaboration, and lifelong learning. Through Media Arts, students are empowered to be cultural participants and engaged citizens. While engaged in the multi-modalities offered through the media arts, students acquire critical new literacies in media, technology, and digital culture. However, youth in our community do not have broad access to these learning opportunities. In fact, of the 1,877 middle and high school students in Northern Sonoma County, less than 250 will have access to a class in digital media or the media arts.


The Alexander Valley Film Lab works to bridge this gap in Media Arts programming. Through creative collaborations, innovative program design, and broad community support, Alexander Valley Film Lab will bring Film Studies and Project- Based Filmmaking to more than 1,000 Sonoma County students.


Media Arts Program Description

The Alexander Valley Film Lab provides programming to youth, ages 3-18, across Northern Sonoma. 55% of the youth we serve come from low-moderate income families and are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch. We serve approximately 60% Latinx and 40% Caucasian students. Participation in this program enriches the lives of students and drives academic success through two categories:


  1. FILM STUDIES - Through Film Studies, Alexander Valley Film Lab will challenge students' minds and expand their world view through regular screenings, field trips, and meetings with professional filmmakers. This program provides:

    1. Free film screenings for Boys and Girls Club members and their families

    2. Free family-friendly screenings during the summer throughout the region

    3. Student internships/fellowships on film sets and within AVFS

    4. Field trips to neighboring film festivals

  2. PROJECT-BASED FILMMAKING - The objective of this program is to provide hands-on, project-based film classes. Activities include:

    1. Project-based Summer Film Camps with instruction from local, professional filmmakers.

    2. Annual student film competition in concert with the Alexander Valley Film Festival.

    3. Standalone Master Classes with subject-matter experts such as Animation Workshops with Pixar Animators. 

    4. Full Circle Cinema     program


AVFS Educational programs made possible through funding from the following Adam Burke Student Funders: 



Austin Basis

Linda & Grumpy Bennett

Kris Borchardt & Gabrielle Simmons
Community Foundation Sonoma County

Patricia Dahl

Ann Elston & Larry Lossing

Michael Enright

Renay & Michael Fanelli

Walter Gendell & Jack Fitzsimmons

Healdsburg Kiwanis Foundation

Kiwanis Club of Cloverdale Foundation

Kathy & Tony Laglia

Barbara Lannin

Management Connections/Mary Jo Winter

David McChesney

The Miner Anderson Family Foundation

Ernest Osborn & Lucia Boutte-Osborn

Papa's Pizza Cafe

Helen Philip
Bob Scott & Tim McDonald

Roberta Rose

Jane Rosenberg

Rotary Club of Cloverdale

Tony & Deborah Rust

Peter & Kathy Turbott

Amy & Agid Velasquez

Dianne & Mark Vernon

Dick & Madeline Wallace

Laurie & Norm Webb