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Media Rhythm Institute (MRI) is a collection of youth education programs focused on using media and art skills to promote STEM, enhance academic achievement and develop future entrepreneurs. In the midst of a pandemic, their scholars created an educational video about the environment called CHOP. It was accepted to four film festivals and they won one award, all during Covid. MRI is doing amazing things for our Baltimore youth so it was only right to learn more about what they have to offer.


Raven ParisWhat is the importance of exposure to the media and entertainment industry at an early age? 

MRI: It’s just like playing basketball, you learn different skills and fundamentals. When it comes to journalism, film and the entertainment industry, you have to learn simple things, like having conversations. The most important part of an interview is listening to someone. In the beginning, you’re learning how to express yourself, we know that it takes atleast 10,000 hours to master anything. So getting these kids started at an early age to master their craft is very important to us because we want to create moguls who have a skillset that they can build upon. It’s also teaching them teamwork to at an early age.  

Raven Paris: How have y’all scholars been finding their voices and building their self-esteem through media rhythm community?  

MRI: We have some young people who nobody listens to, the parents don’t talk to them, who get in trouble in school all the time, who just don’t have a free form of expression. Those students come to us and tell us, Hey, listen.. at my old school, I got suspended every week, I skipped school, my attendance was bad, I was in trouble all the time but now that I found something like MRI, I come to school every day, because I know y’all not going to let me make my songs if I don’t. People see a value in me that they didn’t know or understand before I started making music with MRI. So, you know, that’s another way that young people have really found themselves and found their voice, you know? When a young person tells you that they upset about politics, you think, what do they know? But when you see a young person, talk about whatever their heart’s desire in a documentary that they made at school you say, wait a minute, they put some thought into this. We really have to listen and pay attention to what these young people are saying. People overlook them until they create this art. When young people find out people are finally starting to listen to them because they’re now experts of their art, they never want to go back. They stick with MRI because of that.

Media Rhythm Institute Program

Source: MRI / MRI

Raven Paris: One of y’all scholars actually won a reward for a film during this pandemic right? How does that make y’all feel? 

MRI:  I was talking to one of our scholars yesterday, prepping her for interviews this week and you know, it’s always humbling to hear, what they’ve learned and what they’ve taken away from this program because everybody’s different. So she was just like, I never expected to be able to accomplish what i’ve been able to accomplish in MRI. Her name is Tenasia Summers, she’s an eighth grader now at Lakeland. She’s one of the ones, who won the film festival. She’s very talented, very smart and is doing real good in school. She just got accepted to Western. Tenasia told me, when she joined in the sixth grade, she just figured she would make some songs, probably learn how to take pictures, then go on to high school and do something else. She didn’t have a clear understanding of the work ethic you have to have, to make it. Winning this film festival showed her a whole different side because it was several days where every, single person that was in MRI wanted to quit. We was creating art, at a high level and you know, sometimes that’s hard. Not everybody can make it through and do that, yet they all stayed. Then for them to win and for them to get the love that they been getting, it’s amazing and it showed her that, anything you want to do with hard work, you truly can accomplish it. 

Raven Paris: So I see, y’all do a lot of different concept videos. How do y’all come up with those ideas? Do you do it? Do the students come up with it? What’s that process? 

MRI: They do. As a content creator, it’s pre production, production and post-production. In pre-production, they talk about what we should impose. During production, they talk about what we should do in post. We haven’t gotten to the level of teaching them post-production yet, because it’s just not enough of us to teach that, to be honest with you. So to answer your question, they come up with how the videos are going to look. How many times have you been told as a child?  NO, That’s silly. That’s crazy. You’re too loud. That’s too much. When they come to us (MRI), they know that we want all that, cause that’s what you need to convey when you’re doing a video for the masses, you don’t want it to be boring.

Raven Paris: l love that, It gives them a chance to be a producer. That’s really important. Last question, so how can more scholars be involved in future classes of MRI?

MRI: So, uh, currently right now we have four classes that are open to the youth of Baltimore city. Young people can come to class with us on Mondays and Wednesdays for channel media in which they’ll be able to learn, YouTube. Depending on how hard they work, they could have their own YouTube channel set up with one video uploaded. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, young people can learn podcasting. Then on Monday and Wednesday we have a creative writing class. We also have a music production class where we teach them how to become a beat maker. Mind you, it’s all virtual. So all the young people have to do to to find our sign up link is, go to our social media, or to our website  Once they fill out the information, we’ll call them. We talk to their parents to verify for them; but If they are a little older, we speak with them and just make sure that they are really interested in taking the class. 

I connected so much with the founders at Media Rhythm Institute because there passion for these young students is so real. I remember, when I was a young trailblazer growing up in Baltimore, back in the 90’s. I wished I had a program like MRI growing up, I would be so much further which is why I encourage all of my parents out there to get your kids submitted if they’re into the arts!! Until then yall be safe and mask up! Also check out MRI New music project they released! – Raven Paris