Aitina Fareed-Cooke’s beginnings may not have started off ideal. Losing her biological mother to drug abuse, dealing with low self-esteem and depression, left her feeling worthless as a child. However through the support of her adoptive mother, a few mentors, and youth programs during her teens, she was given the opportunity to strive.

Aitina learned about the “magic” of photography and film and since has started her own photo and film business, Get Fokus’d Productions, specializing in children & family portrait photography and commercial video. “My camera is my weapon of mass creativity and as the artist behind the lens I am able to capture reality’s truth with the hope to influence thought in those around me.”

Aitina has served as a Say Yes Community Schools’ Navigator, Young Audiences WNY Education Coordinator and Teaching Artist, Youth Services Site Coordinator with the CAO N.U.R.T.U.R.E. Academy, Boys & Girls Club Youth Development Professional, Youth Skill Builder and Mentor with The Heart Foundation and Gateway Longview, and CEPA Gallery Photography Teaching Artist. She currently dedicates her time to her photo and film business, serving as a teaching artist for Young Audiences WNY and CEPA Gallery, managing a youth program/movement, Young & Fokus’d (created in order to promote youth who display dedication, perseverance, and “fokus” in their academics, arts, and/or their community), and performing as a lyricist/rapper.

Aitina also teaches youth how to use art as their weapon and voice through life’s challenges. Her desire is not only to compose compelling images and film that allow viewers to reflect on life, evoke ideas, and to construct their own stories, but also to teach and inspire the next generation with this tool of expression.

Art Forms:
Ensemble,Multimedia

Programs

Power of Words

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Combining original poetry and hip hop, teaching artist Aitina Fareed Cooke illustrates stories of endurance through hardships.  While sharing personal and creative stories of trauma and triumph, the artist explains the power of words and how writing can be used to heal, motivate, and inspire ourselves and others.
This performance explores the effects of many social issues that plague the world, such as bullying, youth violence, homelessness, depression and how the power of words can inform, ignite and inspire change.  Cooke also presents an artistic video that highlights historic leaders and poets and how their words affect others’ lives.
Grade Level:
3-12
Audience Limit:
300 performance, 30 workshop
Performance cost (single):
$530.00
Workshop cost (back to back):
$196.00
Performance cost (back to back):
$715.00

iChange!

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iChange! is a Media Arts program created to engage middle school and high school youth in hands-on graphic design, visual art, and cooperative learning activities. This program will foster opportunities for growth in creative thinking, self-esteem, social awareness, and peer collaboration.
Through the use of Apple iPad Mini’s, youth will create visual art documents that will promote self-esteem, career readiness, technology, and graphic design skills. The desired outcome of this project is that through educating youth about various technology tools used in Media Arts, it will ignite and inspire.
Grade Level:
3-12
Audience Limit:
15
Workshop cost (back to back):
$210.00

Aitina Fareed Cooke, Education Coordinator, manages all after school programs and is the main educator for our Most at Risk program.  She is an entrepreneur and media artist with 10 years of experience working with young people in Buffalo’s most impoverished neighborhoods. She has a B.A. in Arts and Humanities from Buffalo State College and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Educational Technology.

Click here to read an interview with Aitina

Art Forms:
Ensemble,Multimedia

Programs