Gandhi Brigade Youth Media has settled into its new home at 900 Wayne Ave. and is operating under new Executive Director Anna Danielson.
The organization, which teaches young people to use media tools to build community and promote a cause, among other goals, now occupies about 3,000 square feet in the lower level of the Silver Spring Library.
Virtually all of the space is used for programming, Danielson said, and offers room to expand their outreach and add additional equipment.
Danielson, via emails and in an interview with the Source, said she grew up in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
“I was brought up in a musical extended family,” she said. “A lot of my diverse cultural background was mostly in Charleston.”
A University of Maryland graduate, Danielson has lived in this area for about 20 years. She was director of cultural exchange programs at International Arts & Artists in Washington, D.C., where she worked with young people from around the world for 12 years.
Most recently, Danielson was development manager for Synetic Theater in Crystal City, joining GBYM in November.
She was attracted to the position at GBYM for, she wrote, “the opportunity to listen to local, under-represented young people and broadcast their voices.”
“I’m excited to get to know a new generation,” she said. “I think it’s really important to know them and what they care about as people, but also hear what they worry about and what they want to explore more. What do they want to learn about?
“Part of the reason they come here is it’s a comfortable place to talk,” Danielson continued. “But they also come here to explore issues, and then write and film about them in a way that makes sense to them.”
The students can take advantage of after-school and summer programs held around the area to tell their stories. This summer’s project is a documentary with a narrative, Danielson said.
“[It’s] time travel returning to 2019 to see what was happening from future generations of teens,” she said. “They’re very focused on communication. They’re talking about moments where people come together and listen to each other and talk in person.”
GBYM is looking to expand its programs to additional locations in the area, preferably at a school, or within walking distance of a school.
The group will be using the new Wheaton Library when it opens. GBYM also is talking to organizations that work with underrepresented families, such as the Montgomery Housing Partnership and Casa de Maryland, to help identify areas where this type of need exists.
The organization is planning an open house on Sunday, Oct. 27 to welcome the community to their new headquarters. There also will be a day of activities so families can become familiar with GBYM and its work.
More information about the open house will be released later this year.
Photo of Anna Danielson by Mike Diegel.