Mission & History


The Educational Video Center is a non-profit youth media organization dedicated to teaching documentary video as a means to develop artistic, critical literacy, and career skills of young people, while nurturing their idealism and commitment to social change.


To be successful in high school, college, and the 21st century world of work, students now need critical media and technology literacy, and the ability to collaborate, problem solve, and explore their imagination.  At EVC, youth develop these capacities and learn to harness the power of media so that their voices will be heard widely on social issues that are of vital importance to our civic life.


EVC began in 1984 with a simple idea: put video cameras in the hands of kids from low-income communities and teach them to go out into the city, ask hard questions and tell stories about the world as they see it – with all its problems and possibilities. The result was impactful and life-changing.  And it was ahead of its time. Since then, learning to use these tools well has become more indispensable than ever for full participation in our democracy.


Over the years, our students have created award-winning documentaries on a range of issues from immigration to the environment, from bullying and youth depression to policing and the juvenile justice system. They are honest and gritty portraits of life at home, in school and in the streets of their neighborhoods that ring true for young audiences. EVC students are now also exploring new forms of interactive web-based documentary storytelling.


We are proud that our pioneering work has become nationally and internationally recognized as a successful model for media arts education. Through our Professional Development Programs, we scale up the impact of that model and reach thousands of students each year  through intensive  teacher training courses, in-class coaching, and curricula. EVC’s publications and educational methodology are now read and taught in teachers colleges, high schools, and community centers across the United States and abroad. Visit EVC’s Timeline below to see our history of accomplishments over the past 3 decades.