Winning Student Voices Videos Announced at Summit

Statewide Advocacy Campaign Provided Opportunity for Student Input and Real Change
San Francisco, California (May 9, 2016) - Students today care about a lot of things, from the need for arts education and updated computers, to securing safe bathrooms for transgender youth.  The 3rd annual STUDENT VOICES CAMPAIGN, presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education, gave California students an opportunity to use video technology to communicate what matters to them and share their vision with their local school board. This year, one local school board listened and responded quickly, proving that student voices truly can create change.
Hundreds of students representing 7 California counties participated. 20 finalists were selected and the three top submissions were announced at the recent Student Voices Summit & Screening, held at the San Francisco Art Institute on April 30.
“The Student Voices Campaign is a creative way for young people to make their voices heard in their school district,” said California Alliance for Arts Education Director of Communications Sibyl O'Malley.
“It’s also an effective way to share their vision for their schools,” she added. The San Jose Unified School District responded quickly to the call for gender neutral restrooms and has already updating their policy and opened two restrooms for trans and non-binary students.
In response to the submission, Susan Ellenberg, School Board Member, San Jose Unified School District wrote, "Your case is compelling and I am impressed that you took the time to create a persuasive and professional video to make your case. I agree that every student should feel safe at school and the only concern should be learning.”
“I applaud the bravery and vulnerability of everyone who participated in creating this video.  I found the honesty and directness with which every student expressed the need for gender neutral bathrooms to be not only inspiring but incredibly compelling," said Ali Ahn, Broadway and TV Actress, Student Voices Judge.
The three winning videos represent teams from Los Angeles and San Jose. The awards were presented by California Poetry Out Loud State Champion and Master of Ceremonies Chigozie Maduchukwu. “Together, we can make our voices heard in our schools and help shape them into places where young people are happy, healthy, interested, daring, bold and come into their own as leaders!,” said the junior from Pleasant Grove High School in Sacramento. 
Winning Submissions

First Place: “A Student Named Art" – Get Lit-Words Ignite, Los Angeles Unified School District
Second Place: “What If” - East Los Angeles Performing Arts Magnet, Los Angeles Unified School District

Third Place: "Trans Non-Binary Message" - Lincoln High School, San Jose Unified School District
“I think the act of making the movie in itself fulfills the message of the piece: that art is important, and schools should take it seriously,” said first place film maker Miriam Sachs, a senior at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach. “By making a movie with students from many different schools coming together for a common purpose to celebrate art, we were able to show that art is vital. When people watch it, we hope that this spirit of expression, freedom, and collaboration is evident and contagious!"
Winning videos were selected by an esteemed panel of judges including Game of Thrones director, Jack Bender, TV Actor Jason Ritter, California Arts Council member, Louise McGuiness as well as students from Oakland and Los Angeles. The winning teams receive a free trip to San Francisco for the Student Voices Summit & Screening where their video will be shown on the big screen and a one-year subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.
“In California, students are guaranteed a voice in planning and budgeting for their school district. The Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF, requires that districts consult with students, parents, teachers and community members to create an official plan for the coming years,” O’Malley explained.
In the third year of the Student Voices Campaign, the California Alliance for Arts Education has expanded the program with support from the California Arts Council.  Partner organizations for the 2016 campaign include some of the state’s most influential arts and education leaders, including Adobe Project 1234, Alameda County Office of Education, Arts for LA, the California Arts Council, Bay Area Video Coalition, the California State Summer School Arts Foundation, Center Theatre Group, Get Lit Words Ignite, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Clarence E. Heller Foundation, Inner-City Arts, Oakland School for the Arts, San Francisco Art Institute, Sony Pictures Entertainment, San Francisco District PTA, and Venice Arts.
A complete press kit is available for download with complete list of winners, photos, quote sheet and winning videos:
Student Voices Campaign Video:
Student Voices Campaign: