Phoenix—Learning about the economy and constitutional issues may not seem like the most exciting thing to most teenagers, but a new program from the Goldwater Institute is helping young people better understand and appreciate their constitutional rights and economic freedoms.
Artists 4 America seeks to involve students, artists, activists, social media celebrities, and storytellers in a discussion of how to advance individual freedom for the next generation. The campaign has already reached over 15 million teens since its inception, using everything from iconic film scenes to interactive social media exchanges to educate and engage teens on constitutional and economic issues that materially impact the quality and happiness of their lives.
“We knew we needed to give teens edgier, more entertaining content in the communities and social platforms where they spend their free time, and that’s what we’re doing through Artists 4 America,” Goldwater Institute President and CEO Victor Riches explained. “By collaborating with popular artists and celebrities who are interested in the educational aspects of this project, it’s given us the ability to spark a conversation on issues that are important to teens’ futures.”
To date, Artists 4 America has explored a variety of topical issues, including free speech, education reform, and the sharing economy:
- Launched this past June, Share Wars is a parody video series featuring Star Wars clips. A fresh dose of funny dialogue and voiceover work helped turn some of the film industry’s most enduring characters into unlikely teen educators, helping the young demographic better understand the importance of free markets and the specific impact the sharing economy is having on innovation and entrepreneurship. The video series, in collaboration with EconStories, has already received over 2.5 million views and driven almost 80,000 visitors to the Share Wars and Artists 4 America website.
- Artists 4 America has produced three Teens React videos, each of which focuses on live responses to a video as it is viewed by teen participants, allowing for “real-time” engagement during the viewing and the question-and-answer format that follows. For example, Teens React to Free Speech centers on Modern Educashun, a viral video that uses satire to examine today’s overzealous politically correct culture and its chilling effects on free speech rights on campuses across the country. The Teens React to Free Speech video has received thousands of YouTube comments praising it for opening up a dialogue about campus free speech. In addition to Teens React to Free Speech, Artists 4 America has also produced Teens React videos on cyberbullying and the antiquated methods under which students learn in our public schools. Together, the three videos have amassed more than 14 million views.