RIOT MPLS Teen Media Program

Spring Session applications are now open until spots are filled!



Do you have an interest in media technology, TV and radio, and want to tell stories about identity, culture and community that are important to you? Does collaborating with your peers on impactful stories sound exciting? Looking for academic support and real-world career experience? Then the RIOT MPLS teen media program is for you!

Reclaiming Identities and Our Truths in Minneapolis (RIOT MPLS) is a paid, 11-week after-school media program for 9th through 12th grade students attending Minneapolis Public Schools and surrounding districts interested in pursuing careers in media production, TV, and radio. Students will collaborate with local media professionals, mentors and peers in small groups to produce stories that will premiere on the new TV and radio series, RIOT MPLS!


Spring session programming will run from March 28th – June 10th on the following days and times:

  • Tuesdays from 4:00PM - 7:00PM (Required program day)
  • Saturdays from 11:00AM - 2:00PM (Tutoring and extra project time)
  • Final screening- The week of June 5th


    Participants are required to attend Tuesday program days. Students may attend on Saturdays for academic tutoring and extra project workshops.

    Experienced media professionals and mentors will guide students in becoming experts in telling stories they are passionate about through hands-on workshops in media and audio production, impactful storytelling, 4K cameras, lighting, and editing.

    This is a great program for teens interested in working with a creative cohort of peers to develop impactful stories that explore identity, culture and community. Participants will develop strong leadership and organizational skills, and experience how teen voices can create change in our schools and communities. Participants will have access to academic tutoring and homework assistance, and gain valuable portfolio-building opportunities and experience in media, TV, radio and journalism careers.

    The program will wrap up with a special screening event and the series will be featured on SPEAK MPLS TV’s family of channels on Comcast in Minneapolis and on partner radio stations.

    RIOT MPLS is presented by SPEAK MPLS and Listen Up! Youth Radio, and powered by Minneapolis Public Schools.



    What are the additional details of the program?
  • RIOT MPLS programming will take place at SPEAK MPLS’ south media center, located at 2429 Nicollet Avenue in South Minneapolis
  • All students will receive a $300 stipend during the course of the program
  • Dinner on Tuesdays and lunch on Saturdays provided by Café Racer Kitchen
  • Students needing bus cards will be provided Metro Transit passes
  • All students will receive an annual SPEAK MPLS Storyteller membership (a $200 value, issued upon completion of the program) to advance their journey in media with access to production studios, equipment and discounted media production classes
  • Who is encouraged to apply to the RIOT MPLS Teen Media Program?

    We recognize that youth have unique identities and experiences that aren’t always represented in media. While RIOT MPLS welcomes applications from all students, those who identify as the following are encouraged to apply:

  • High school students enrolled in 9th-12th grade at Minneapolis Public Schools for the 2022-2023 academic year. Online students are eligible, and priority will be given to Minneapolis Public Schools students
  • Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch
  • Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) students
  • English language learners
  • Students with disabilities
  • Students experiencing homelessness
  • Students with a strong interest in storytelling and media, TV and radio careers
  • It’s free to participate and students get paid? How is the program funded?
    The impact of the COVID-19 student experience has been tremendous in many ways, with the impact stretching far and inequitably for many students and families. RIOT MPLS is free to all participants and is supported by Minneapolis Public Schools through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funds to address academic losses for students most affected by COVID-19.
    So my work will be featured on the TV and radio? What is the RIOT MPLS series?
    Yes! RIOT MPLS is a new TV and radio series featuring student-created narratives focused on identity, culture and community. The series will feature a compilation of short stories created during the program, set to air on TV, radio and on the big screen at a community showcase event.
    What is SPEAK MPLS and Listen Up! Youth Radio?

    SPEAK MPLS is a member-powered media center reimagining the future of media in Minneapolis. Our mission is to activate community connections and creative opportunities with two studios, classes, and equipment. Amplify your voice on SPEAK MPLS TV- the home of Minneapolis public access TV channels 16, 17 (798 HD), and 75 on Comcast. Stream online 24/7.

    Listen Up! Youth Radio is a social enterprise working at the intersection of youth employment, civic engagement, and media storytelling providing programming for Twin Cities young people ages 14-24. We have been supported by generous community donors, the Minneapolis Foundation, the St. Paul Foundation, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and State Farm Foundation, and Youthprise, Listen Up started as a podcast conceived by the “Just Listen” crew of young people from the 66W Apartment Building Community Council in September 2017. “Just Listen” became one of the first shows when Listen Up! went live on KRSM Radio in Minneapolis on June, 2018. In January 2019 the show started broadcasting on KRSM’s sister station, WFNU (94.1FM) in St. Paul, Minnesota. Since then, Listen Up has grown into a year round youth media program.



    Applications are currently open for the spring session. All applicants will be notified about the status of their application. Please contact SPEAK MPLS with any questions, or if you need assistance completing the application at or call 612-208-7215.



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