The MY HERO Global Exchange program, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, facilitated digital arts storytelling and video production workshops in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Jordan, and Senegal, in conjunction with screenings from the U.S. Express anthology of art videos. The project built on the very successful Web-based MY HERO project, which encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to share their hero stories. In addition to the international media arts workshops and video screenings, MY HERO also hosted an annual film festival in Los Angeles to celebrate and recognize the achievements of filmmakers throughout the world.
During the two-year grant period, each participating site established exhibits of U.S. Express and MY HERO films in public, school-based, or art organization-based screenings; promoted digital storytelling on the MY HERO website; and, with the help of the U.S. Global Exchange team, recruited and trained local artists, educators, and students to participate in digital art and video workshops.
REA conducted the external evaluation of the project, collecting data from the MY HERO staff and site administrators, through surveys, interviews, reviews of film festival submissions, and monitoring of the Global Exchange online forum. Short-term outcomes documented by evaluators included the videography and digital storytelling skills and knowledge gained by each cohort of Global Exchange participants. Evaluators also explored longer-term outcomes, including the artistic, organizational, and technical capacity built among each local community of artists, students, and educators—which in some cases bridged ethnic and political divides; the rich reservoir of films and MY HERO stories; and the global community created and sustained by the online forum.
Available upon request.