Free Spirit Media's Digital Yearbook 2018


By FSM Communications


This year has been a great one for Free Spirit Media. We've traveled all over, bustling around New York, marching in Washington D.C. and relaxing on rural farms in India. We've won awards, hosted parties, done a little rebranding and truly celebrated one another's work.

Thank you to all of the youth artists who trusted us, laughed with us, worked with us, and taught us more than we could imagine. Have a great summer and enjoy these highlights from the past year! 

-Development & Communications Team at Free Spirit Media

Two senior documentaries won a $1,000 prize competition of the NLCP seniors at Collins and Christiana campus! The documentaries that won were "Poverty: Oppressed by the Systems" by Arieyanna and "Police Work for or Against Minorities" by Shania. 

The FSM team at NLCP also started teaching a new Graphic Design class, where we produced some really cool self-portraits and album covers!

HoopsHIGH crew with Chuck Swirsky (Chciago Bulls announcer) 

This year we began live streaming our games, which boosted our YouTube channel to 100 new subscribers over the past year, and helped contribute to the 50,000 viewers we have across YouTube, Facebook and CAN TV (Channel 19 in Chicago)! We also began archiving and posting throwback games each week on YouTube and Facebook. 

We had the opportunity to partner with Chicago Bulls announcer, Chuck Swirsky, Little Village High School, and Westinghouse high school. 

We're excited to be hosting the 2018 Summer Classic, a 6-week basketball tournament at North Lawndale College Prep - Collins Campus. See you at some games! 

FSM News West Advanced Crew

FSM News West Apprentice Crew

Three of the summer documentaries were selected to screen at film festivals this spring, including "Legally Dope" at the Irvine International Film Festival (in California!), and The "Miseducation of Gen Z" and "Seeking Sanctuary" were finalists in the Chicagoland High School Film Fest (at the Latin School of Chicago). 

Both Apprentice & Advanced crews were able to explore shooting with green screen this semester. Advanced used it in their news anchor segment, and Apprentice used it for their new Dream Sequence project.

Both crews celebrated their hard work on our end of semester group trip to Jak's, where we spent hours on the ropes course, go karts, arcade games, rock climbing, and laser tag...where sophomores & juniors beat out staff & seniors!

FSM News South at the CineSpace set visit

Hosting the walkout as a junior at Gary Comer College Prep along with four other seniors made me feel empowered as a young African American female in Chicago. I wanted everyone to feel like they have a voice to speak out about any injustice that affects them or their community.
— Patricia Joyner, FSM News South

FSM News South had a huge year of growth! We learned cinematography techniques and took beautiful photos at Millenium Park and took a field trip to the CineSpace Studios to see the behind the scenes set up. 

We got a gig shooting a world renowned speaker at the C.H.A.M.P.S Conference and interviewed a 2013 Time Magazine top 100 most influential people in the world at The Obama Foundation Summit

We organized and produced a video about the National School Walkouts, and worked with PBS Student Reporting Labs to create a newscast that got into the Screen Test Student Fest! 

And though we're all stars, huge shoutout to Desiree for winning the  Rising Star Award!

FSM News South crew members with world renowned motivational speaker, Dr. Eric Thomas

Patricia and Jamaari interviewing  Roya Mahboob at The Obama Foundation summit


The Real Chi had an exciting year, including a rebrand (from Real Chi Youth) to more accurately represent our mission and vision. 

We hosted a Public Newsroom with City Bureau where we highlighted some of our work for the local community and other journalists. We took a trip to the Chicago Tribune, we recorded a podcast with AirGo Radio, and hosted a podcasting workshop at the Chicago Public Library - Douglass Branch! 

Check out our updated webpage for the most recent stories. 


Industry Pathways had another exciting year, with the Flash Forward Summer internship program still going strong and the Chicago Track hosting a lot of different cool workshops including the last one of this year, "Web Series 101 with Open TV Beta."

The Industry Pathways Cohort completed their short film, "Fuzzy Legs" after a lot of preparation for two intensive days of shooting! The first public preview of the film premiered at FOCUS 2018 and we can't wait to see where it will go.  

2018 Industry Pathways Cohort

Another highlight is the After Effects class that InPathways members had the opportunity to take at SAIC! Special thanks to all of the great partners that have connected us with these opportunities. 



Free Spirit PRO was all over the place this year. We shot in cities around Illinois for "Continuing Ed.," which aired on WTTW. We filmed in Detroit and Minneapolis for The Joyce Awards and went to Washington D.C. to film the March for our Lives. Crew members Yarnome and Danielshé traveled all over India for the Peace Exchange documentary. And locally, our "Out of Eden" walk video was featured in National Geographic!

Over the course of the year we worked with 20 crew members on 54 projects and filmed over 80 days. 

I was able to evaluate myself and others to get a better understanding of why conflicts happen. In each city we traveled through (Jaipur, Agra, New Delhi), we met people from different organizations who are dedicated to building peace and maintaining a stress free atmosphere.
— Danielshé Rodgers, Free Spirit PRO

Danielshé, Chad and Yarnome filming in India for The Peace Exchange