Make a Film, Make a Difference

This summer, Creative Art Works’ Youth Apprentices created five mini-documentaries as part of CAW’s Public Art Youth Employment program. Each four-minute documentary focuses on the work of a New York City nonprofit organization including, Girl Be Heard, Nonprofit New York, Chess in the Schools, and West Harlem Group Assistance. CAW chose to partner with these four organizations because of their shared commitment to youth development. A fifth documentary focuses on the life of Keonne Samuel, a former CAW Youth Apprentice.

Watch the Films

"Randolph Houses" explores the restoration of a New York City block once riddled by urban blight into a safe and thriving community. The story is told through historical footage as well as interviews with residents and senior leadership of West Harlem Group Assistance.
Youth Apprentices: Karol Cuellar, Jashaan Freeman, Brandon Trent, Tierrah Rivera

"Girl Be Heard Beyond" at once embraces and slyly subverts the conventions of the rock documentary to tell a story of a nonprofit that "develops, amplifies, and celebrates the voices of young women." Footage includes poetry slams recorded live as well as interviews of young poets and Girl Be Heard Artistic Director Kim Sykes.
Youth Apprentices: Robin Koiner, Destiney Ramos, Kalisha Negbley, Reign Gray

“New York Runs on Nonprofits” examines the vital role nonprofits play in making better communities and specifically looks at the contributions of Nonprofit New York, which is a services-to-the-field organization that helps nonprofits continue their good work.
Youth Apprentices: Koki Shido, Justin Cruz, Sophie Applewhite, Nikita Shadurski

The upbeat video, “Pawns to Queens,” explores the impact of the nonprofit Chess in the Schools, which engages students in primarily underserved communities by getting them excited about chess. The story is told through interviews with instructors, students, and key leadership of Chess in the Schools.
Youth Apprentices: Kassandra Crespo, Yinery Duarte, Josue Reyes, Victor Zapata III


“Keone Samuel: Life Lessons” explores a transitional moment in the life of former CAW Youth Apprentice Keonne Samuel, who has remained in contact with the organization that he credits with changing the direction of his life.
Youth Apprentices: Diana Pagan, Timothy Rogers, Carolyn Schmit, Etinosa Uwaifo


Our Clients Give Their Films Rave Reviews

These films premiered on August 15th at the Jacob Schiff School Campus auditorium in Hamilton Heights. Representatives from all our program partners were in attendance.


Donald Notice

Executive Director, West Harlem Group Assistance

This is about our sixth project with CAW, and it's just been an honor working with the team. After doing my interview with CAW, I had an interview with the Wall Street Journal on a senior citizen project, and trust me, the interview with these young kids was better!


Kim Sykes

Artistic Director, Girl Be Heard

Wow, I loved that film. It speaks to the work that we do… to help girls write and form their own stories around social justice issues. Because, if a girl can tell her story and save her own life, she can save the lives of girls everywhere. And you do that through this film, and all the other films – you make a difference.


Will Staso

College Bound Coordinator, Chess in the Schools

Thank you so much! That was fantastic and it did an excellent job capturing what Chess in the Schools does. The Youth Apprentices came into our office multiple times. The students did everything. They came up with ideas, they did the filming. We had long wonderful meetings talking about their great ideas, and then we also sent them to schools and chess camps all around the city. We really cannot thank Creative Art Works enough. It’s such a fantastic video and we are so happy for the partnership we had this summer.

More Than Just Technical Skills


Brandon Trent

2019 Summer Youth Apprentice

I was very excited to work on the Randolph Houses film, because it's based in Harlem, and I wanted to do something that was based on my culture. My favorite part of this summer was getting to meet all the people and see their reactions to this positive thing that we're doing.


Koki Shido

2019 Summer Youth Apprentice

Before this summer, I never really thought about film or what goes on behind the scenes. This program required thinking in detail, planning, mind-mapping, story-boarding, making our own decisions, contacting clients, scheduling shoots, actually going out there to shoot, editing and organizing. Filmmaking is now a career that I want to pursue. I'm really grateful that you helped me decide my future and really figure out who I am.

Read About All our 2019 Documentary Filmmakers in
the Commemorative Brochure