Wide Angle Youth Media
We are striving to be the model for financial sustainability and innovation in the nonprofit industry.”
Wide Angle Youth Media has helped more than 5,500 children and young adults in Baltimore create and produce hundreds of digital media projects in the last 20 years. Susan Malone, executive director since 2010, said keeping the program sustainable has been her primary focus.
“We have a team that can adapt our programming in times of change, and we support our students and families with robust programs that meet their out-of-school and workforce needs,” she said. “We are striving to be the model for financial sustainability and innovation in the nonprofit industry.”
Wide Angle Productions, established in 2014, is a video and design production studio that tells stories of social impact while also providing training in media production work, Malone said. It accounts for 38 percent to 40 percent of Wide Angle Youth Media’s annual revenue and provides yearlong paid apprenticeships to 12 people.
“The long-term goal of this program is to prepare new media makers for entry-level jobs in the field and to diversify the regional media and communications industry over time,” she said.
Malone wants Wide Angle Youth Media to move beyond its after-school programming and offer programs that will help prepare residents for more meaningful employment.
In March, Wide Angle moved to virtual programming and sought new channels to distribute youth videos, design and photography to maintain its youth apprenticeship and advanced high school video design studio tracks. Malone said the organization continues to look for ways to better serve the community.
Wide Angle has also provided more money to its emergency fund to help students, alumni and staff with personal needs, Malone said.
“The organization will continue to make this a priority through the duration of COVID-19,” she said, adding that its virtual programs will continue through at least the end of 2020.
Malone said she is aware of the many challenges facing young people. “Through holistic wraparound supports – such as a college application mentoring program for high school seniors and apprenticeship positions for young adults that pay minimum wage or higher – we interweave creative arts engagement and youth development to set participants on the track for long-term success.”
“Giving our patrons an experience that keeps them coming back is a priority for our entire team.”