Community TV Network (CTVN), a leader in community access to digital media arts, empowers low-income young adults and children in Chicago to identify, address, and resolve issues through the use and understanding of digital media arts. CTVN gives youth the awareness, motivation, and tools to create a positive future for themselves and their neighborhoods.
CTVN equips future leaders with skills to produce and consume high-quality video news relevant to their lives and communities.
What We Do
Year round, CTVN provides free digital media programs for at-risk youth. So far this year, 411 young people have participated in our programs, all from underserved areas of Chicago.
In partnership with organizations such as After School Matters, Alternative Schools Network, and Chicago Public Schools, CTVN implements quality youth development programs at our Youth Media Center and in schools throughout the city. Program participants learn everything from pre-production to post-production through in-school video classes, on-site paid apprenticeships/internships, on-location job training with professional filmmakers, summer employment, and service-learning opportunities.
Combining an accessible medium with accessible locations, CTVN programs: 1) provide meaningful learning experiences in safe and nurturing environments throughout Chicago; 2) develop youth potential through hands on activities that improve academic and workforce skills; 3) engage young people in a media literacy curriculum that hones critical thinking and problem-solving skills; and 4) cultivate authentic youth voices that articulate positive images of underrepresented youth.
In Chicago, about 40% of youth drop out of high school. Schools in minority districts are often disproportionately affected by funding cuts, school closures, and other problems that feed into the dropout rate. This is where CTVN steps in, with its social justice focus and on-the-ground solutions, to help at-risk youth stay in school, reenroll, graduate, and otherwise achieve their best futures. Most of our students are low-income (90%), minority (95%), and/or former dropout (80%) youth. Attendance increases by 16% in schools where we have video classes; evaluations indicate that 83% of program alumni feel "inspired to finish high school," and 92% feel "inspired to go to college" as a result of our on-site programs.