Stepping Into Creativity: Corban Media Arts Program Revitalizes The Barn


When media arts teacher Naomi Yanike first set foot in The Barn, her eyes instantly focused on some sign above one of the doors leading into a cluttered room. It contained a single word, “Studio”. It was a moment that launched a series of dreams for space. “It was kind of like a foreshadowing of things to come,” she says. The room was already outfitted with a red light and formatted for studio work, and among the clutter were materials and supplies for all kinds of visual arts.

In the years leading up to the pandemic, The Barn was a dynamic sheltered space at the far end of the Corban campus where any student could come and indulge in creative expression from painting to photography, woodworking to gatherings. of students. But for the past two years it has remained vacant, largely due to COVID restrictions. The series of spaces, once a splash of color, sawdust and art supplies, now housed more stored items than works of art.

With the collaboration and support of Student Life, Yanike reclaimed “Studio 1” for the Media Arts program. “It filled a mutual need,” she says. “They wanted to see life in The Barn again, and we needed space.” Yanike and her media arts students quickly set to work revitalizing and reimagining the space for their purposes.

And Yanike wasn’t the only one who saw The Barn’s immediate potential. His media arts students shared his enthusiasm and vision. “I was amazed the first time I walked in just because there was so much cool stuff,” says media arts student Natalie Spurlock. “Carpentry tools, paint, thread, fabric – it was like stepping into a treasure trove.”

The media arts program began renovating the creative space, hosting classes, team meetings, hosting photo shoots, and producing video content. Even beyond the formal activities of the media arts program, The Barn has become a haven for its students. “It’s not a classroom, it’s not my dorm, it’s not a library study space. It’s a place where I can disconnect and focus on creative ideas and outlets,” says Elijah Gish. “Every time I’ve been to The Barn to work on a project, I come away with three more ideas that I want to do in the future.”

As Yanike and her students work to revitalize The Barn, their new space is helping to revitalize the media arts curriculum. Before the pandemic, the program largely existed offsite at Capitol Community Television (CCTV), but when CCTV shut down, it left the media arts department with few resources at its disposal. Yanike chooses to see the bright side of the situation. “It has been a big change to be able to show current and prospective students that our program exists at Corban,” she says. “We have our own space and we’re building our own pool of equipment and our own resources.”

These resources have already paid off this semester, with media arts students able to engage in career-relevant projects, gain experience directing professional photo and video shoots, provide branding guides, and advisory services to local businesses, and even rebuilding the media arts. program branding from scratch.

The students chose their theme – 90s nostalgia inspired by “friends” – created and staged the barn with retro multimedia equipment, built their visual content strategy, built their narrative for the video elements and posed as models for their own trademark construction photography. “We wanted our brand to feel more personal,” says Spurlock. “With this project, we were able to generate material that presented the program with a more personal tone that sounded more like Corban.”

Although the shoot was a success and gave the program a visual boost, most media arts students emphasize more how much fun they had developing the content. “It was such a good time,” Gish says. “Having a group of people all interested in a specialty, with similar interests, but with so many unique talents gives us all the energy and confidence to do and create more.”

Content diversity can often be a challenge for media arts programs, as the discipline covers a wide range of specialties including graphic design, photography, videography, journalism, and more. “That’s the biggest challenge in media education,” says Yanike. “You teach such a diverse group of media goals and talents. But they impress me every Tuesday and Thursday when they come for an afternoon lesson, after lunch when I expect them to be tired, and still show so much enthusiasm and initiative.

To accommodate these diverse interests and needs, Yanike and her team plan to expand their studio space, create more opportunities for photo and video production, and set up a podcast studio in the University Center. Along with these enhancements, Yanike has been heavily involved in revamping the course offerings of the Media Arts program, adapting it to match the rapidly diversifying field and the unique needs of students entering it.

Convenient and customizable, the Media Arts program now allows students to create a personalized study path that begins with a solid core of Media Arts coursework and then allows for deeper exploration of skills that match interests and goals. of each one. Whether it’s general media arts, photography, film studies, creative media, or a custom mix, Corban’s revitalized creative spaces allow students to participate in new relevant creative opportunities such as producing their own podcast in Corban’s new media studio, creating and editing a short film in the digital design lab or creating a photography portfolio in The Barn’s photography and film studio.

As the creativity continues, Yanike and her team plan to use their studio space for future imaginative ideas like a special family photo shoot for local host families and are currently exploring the idea of ​​managing a “selfie house”, in conjunction with Student Life, where students can come and take group photos at a variety of individually themed booths around The Barn. “My dream is for Dr. Cornman and other teachers to come and take pictures to promote the event,” says Yanike.

As The Barn begins to take on a new shape, its form and function begin to match the career and life lessons its students are learning in their media arts classes. “The space is constructed in such a way that when something doesn’t work as expected, it doesn’t feel like an error because there are plenty of options to help you creatively fix the error,” says Spurlock. “In this program, through creative processes and collaboration, I learned the value of another person’s perspective. Having a second or third opinion is what makes our work stronger. This is how we grow and learn.

For Yanike and her students, learning and growth are central to the revitalization of The Barn and their program. As each space begins to take on new life, organically adapting to new needs and experiences, so do the students who occupy them, continually shaped by their newfound creative freedom, commitment to collaboration and their desire to make a difference for Christ through their future. careers.

For more information on the Media Arts program, or to apply today, visit:

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