, Salem, MA

December 1, 2012

Lights, camera, action

Salem Y's newly renovated teen room includes media lab

By Bethany Bray

---- — SALEM — Teens have been going to town with the video equipment in the YMCA’s newly renovated media center.

The center, which opened this fall, has cameras, microphones, computers with video editing software, green screens and other equipment, said Charity Lezama, the Y’s director of teen programming.

Recent projects by YMCA teens include a video tour of Derby Square Bookstore, a motion collage anti-bullying film and a music video to the pop hit “Call Me Maybe.”

In the tour of Derby Square Bookstore, the camera weaves through the aisles and the shop’s notoriously ceiling-high stacks of books. In the anti-bullying film, a teen narrates while photos, printed words and other images move across the screen.

The YMCA, 1 Sewall St., will have a grand opening for the new media center Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.

The center was created in a renovation project that also installed new carpets, walls and furniture in the YMCA’s basement teen center. A new, separate entrance was put in, so teens who aren’t members of the YMCA can access the center without having to check in at the Y’s front desk.

Teens can drop into the center four days a week after school, 3 to 7 p.m. Roughly 15 to 20 youths have been using the media center each week, said Lezama.

The center was created with a goal of promoting creativity and teaching kids marketable skills, such as audio production, video editing and storyboarding, said Lezama.

They refer to the space as an “idea lab,” she said. Eventually, the YMCA could hire some of the teens that go through the program to do media work for the Y.

The Y has hired two local media professionals, Kevin Letourneau and Anders Johnson, to run programs at the media center. This week, Johnson began teaching media classes there to students from the Salem Community Charter School.

Equipment in the media center is all new — a mix of donations and YMCA purchases, said Lezama. Gate 3 Design of Beverly was instrumental in the center’s renovation and also supports the program, she said.

Bethany Bray can be reached at and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.


> To watch some of the videos produced at the Salem YMCA teen media center, visit