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Africa And Diaspora Heritage Festival February 27th

Hey Raptors! It’s been a minute, I know. And that’s exactly why I’d like to catch y’all up on everything that happened since my last post.

On February 27th, I got a super cool opportunity to go with MCTV to attend the African Diaspora Heritage Festival at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring (TP/SS) Campus. I was super excited because, one I had never been at the TP/SS Campus. Second, it’s an African festival, so duh! Of course, I got hyped! and third, I was tasked with creating the Instagram stories for the event, which is a learning opportunity that I had been searching for. In fact, let me tell you how I got this gig in the first place. 

So, if you’ve followed my blogs so far, y’all know, I am big about networking and maximizing opportunities. Back at the Bootcamp, I was interested in interning for Voice of America (VoA), and I got on LinkedIn to see who my connections were to the company. Low, and behold, I found Danielle Stescki who worked both at VoA AND MCTV! 

Afterward, I asked around and got connected with someone who knew someone ELSE who knew Danielle. I set up a meeting with Danielle via email, and from our initial exchange, I immediately vibed with her. Without even asking, she gave me an awesome tour of the MCTV studio and introduced me to all of her colleagues, including the MCTV student production manager, Brian O’Neal. It was through him that I found out the existence of the MCTV Media Production Aid, where students get media training opportunities with hands-on learning. So, think about the people behind the commencement ceremony, course recordings, and Facebook lives. Some of the students’ film projects even get featured at the Smithsonian Gallery!

I thought it was a pretty awesome opportunity since I had been wanting to learn all these creatives skills including video editing. The cool thing is, the program was in need of someone to hop on the social media asset creation, and there I was, hungry to learn anything I could get my hands on! So, I applied, got an interview, and got called for the African fest – which itself was –  MAD DOPE!

During the event, I loved seeing the different African countries represented at each stand. Participants were given a passport for which they had to get at least five stamps from each of the countries represented in order to get the delicious foods at the buffet table. Throughout the event, I followed Danielle and Jaime, in charge of the camera, around to do some crowd control while they did Facebook live interviews with the guests. 

At first, I kept overthinking things when it came to producing the Instagram stories, but eventually, I learned to capture compelling scenes, save them, and add the captions later on. My favorite part of the day was when the Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers came out to showcase their latest dance steps. They brought very high energy to the room and combined both traditional and modern moves. The cool part was their interactions with the crowd, both drummers and dancers alike, and they gathered a small group of attendees to teach a simple routine. 

Of course, as a dancer myself, I jumped at the occasion to join the group, and let loose some cool moves as well!

In the end, our three-member crew wrapped up the day by taking some leftover food – nothing gets wasted, and once we arrived on the Rockville Campus, I was happy to see that my Instagram stories were well received by the viewers!!!

For those reading this, just know that there could be a place for you to pick up creative skills with MCTV. 

All you gotta do is ask! 

Anne-Marcelle Kouame

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See you next week for new updates!"

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