Montgomery County (Poolesville, MD), while boasting 4 of the nation’s top 10 most diverse cities, is also deeply divided with significant inequities in access to resources – particularly related to digital literacy, access to equipment and to the arts as tools for personal and community development. Digital Solutions that Bridge the Divide, launching in October 2021, will provide free monthly Tech-Savvy Soundbytes, a Digital Fundamentals course, and access to a lending library of equipment to support course participants as they develop their digital portfolio. Programs are geared toward community members 16 and older who are experiencing economic hardship and wish to expand their income-earning potential and/or create deeper community connections through digital literacy.
Digital Solutions that Bridge the Divide is made possible by funding from Comcast NBCUniversal and OmniSystems and could not happen without their contributions. Story Tapestries is also supported by funding from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation.
Tech Savvy Soundbytes are free, online 30-minute sessions featuring guest speakers who will share how technology impacts their work life, helped them find work/education opportunities, or supported their ability to become an entrepreneur. They are an opportunity to gain awareness about digital tools such as digital photography, videography, and software for editing and publishing a digital portfolio. It’s also an opportunity to hear stories from and network with professionals in the community.
Digital Fundamentals is a free 5-month course designed to support community members in building their own digital portfolio. Through monthly 2-hour workshops, participants will gain practical skills and will have mentor support as well as priority access to a library of equipment to support their efforts. Mentors will also connect participants with local businesses and institutions to support their exploration of educational and work opportunities.
This program harnesses the power of the arts to address the national economic and racial equity crises, which need immediate attention. Learn more here.