LYCEUM SPEAKER'S SERIES
photo courtesy of From the Heart Foundation
Margarita Sweet - From the Heart Productions by Earl Morris
During a recent visit to STX, Margarita Sweet, graciously agreed to visit UVI and drop a few "pearls of wisdom" on students in the Deartment of Communication.
A resident of Caifornia, with ties to the Caribbean, Sweet is a writer and entrepreneur who loves the art and business of production. She believes without effective production a project idea remains just that - “a project idea.”
With this understanding, her creative vision and knowledge plays a role in producing innovative projects. She believes in the power of the filmmaker to become more than a story teller; he/she might be an entrepreneur.
In addition to being an active board member of From the Heart Foundation, she is creator and owner of Visit My Child, the Exhibits Manager for the Creative Talent Network Expo (CTNx) and serves as a founding board member of Chocolate Chix. She has worked on a variety of published media as a story consultant helping authors complete their works on time and on budget.
Sweet spoke about How to Write and Secure Documentary Film Proposals, Fiscal sponsorship, Budgetary constraints. She also discussed her work with successful grant proposals that evolved into award winning films.
Margarita believes the art of film and storytelling have the ability to create culture. It is this belief that inspires her to be an active part of From The Heart and share her ideology with UVI students.
photo credit: S.A. Honore
As an island reporter and CBS USVI correspondent working to establish affiiates in the territories, Kellie Meyer admits that she is "living her best life."
Meyer, a CBS USVI Correspondent says "trading Capitol Hill for the Caribbean coast," has been a great career option. She recently shared her experiences as a college student, intern, anchor and correspondent with UVI students.
In between coverage of the gubernatorial race on STX, she made a point to schedule a visit to the STX campus and conduct a stimulating lecture to students on both islands. Complete w/powerpoint (when did she have time?) Meyer thoroughly painted a picture of the glamorous and not-so-glamorous life of a successful news person.
Students were given information about the realities of news gathering and reporting. Meyer talked of early morning interviews, which included 3am calls to cover stories. She interacted with students about pragmatic acceptance of rejections and disappointments.
One of the most interesting points Meyer made was the fact that although she was lucky enough to interview Trump a few years ago and have the photo go viral on social media, she was unsure if she would accept another chance. She explained that her ideology has changed significantly since their initial encounter and might certainly influence her objective reporting.
Although Meyer's entire lecture was an incredible experience, her comments about resilience in the media profession seemed to resonate with students.
The young woman from Pennsylvania, who has worked as a broadcast journalist in London, New York, Washington D.C., and now the USVI offers this simple advice to UVI communication students who want to go into tv news, "the [media] competition is tough...but you're tougher."
photo courtesy of K. Meyer-- FB
photo courtesy of Fee King productions
photo credit: S. A. Honore
a NAACP-Nominated artist recently collaborated with the Deparment of Communications, other business entities and individuals to bring her one-woman show and writing workshop to the USVI. She solicited participation from UVI dramatists and included a student opening performance which empowered and enlightened audiences.
King worked with the VI Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council (DVSAC) and Dahlia Stridiron-Felix, of the UVI Counseling Center to engage te following supporters: Khnuma Simmonds Esannason, Xaulanda Simmonds, Denise Humphrey, Dr. Sharon Honore, Khalarni Rivers, Nyaila Callwood, Techelle Evans, Dr. Chenzira Davis Kahina of the @Virgin Islands Caribbean Culture Center, the UVI College of Liberal Arts and Social Science, the other UVI students (who helped with lights, music, backstage production), and UVI alumni.
Watch videos + pics from the feedback after the show @Daramonifacooper @https://www.facebook.com/wuviradio.vi/videos/693325544357180/UzpfSTEzNjY1NjgwMjA6MTAyMTc1MTQ5OTEzMzExMTU/?__tn__=%2Cdl%2CP-R&eid=ARD6cF9-R_SR-HVhdzJwVqCun606qBTugS2g5I9Z_0IiJkYsCH6iYW22G2XfZGtPL7UHCb5bhAwCjhtx
photo credit: Daramonifa Cooper
photos courtesy of E. Rideout and S Honore
WTJX PERSONNEL advise captured student audiences (both campuses) via video conference in standing room only settings.
The Department of Communication began productive engagement with WTJX (STT and STX) in August 2018. The successful collaboration involved the tv broadcast team taping in-studio panel discussions with political nominees at the Little Theatre on UVI STT campus. Early in the election season, sessions of political hopefuls were taped by WTJX and hosted by the League of Women Voters.
The partnership between UVI Department of Communication and WTJX led to a beneficial volunteer internship exchange with student majors. Tanya Singh, CEO headed the cooperative and interested students directed their applications to Diane Richardson, Human Resources Director.
Personnel from STT and STX participated in the Lyceum Speaker Series and shared professional advice and personal experience with a standing-room-only crowd via video conference. Students were encouraged to ask questions and discuss their career ambitions. The exchange was mutually appreciated.
"WTJX provides vital services to the local community and offers invaluable benefits by way of non-profit broadcasting," claims Dr. Sharon Albert Honore, Chair/Associate Professor of the Department of Communication. Honore stated, "The reputation of WTJX for more than 45 years serves as a testament to their standing in the USVI and we are privileged to have our students work with and learn from such distinguished professionals."
"Has America Forgotten the Virgin Islands?” was the title of a column in The New York Times’ written by STT native and acclaimed journalist/filmmaker
Bailey 'preached to the choir' of UVI students who witnessed, first-hand, the devastation of upon the islands and identified with the premise of the much talked about column. A common sentiment echoed throughout the territories by residents: had the US mainland forgotten about the USVI? Bailey entertained a lively discussion about the lack of media coverage in the USVI and explained to students the process of how he turned his NYT column into a documentary, “The Unbreakable Virgin Islanders.”
The movie received its mainland debut in October at the University of Southern California, hosted by the Council for Diversity and Inclusion at USC’s School of Cinema Arts. A second screening in the VI will be December 7th in STT.
See UVI Voice NOTICES for details.