We don’t know how long COVID-19 will shut down Baltimore, but we do know that Prom is NOT canceled.

BALTIMORE, April 29, 2020 – Wide Angle Youth Media participants are proud to present the first-ever Virtual Iconic Prom 2020 (VIProm) on Saturday, May 9, from 7:00 p.m.to 11:00 p.m. VIProm will feature live performances from John Tyler, Kudo NYC, Julien Chang, Image the Rapper and Dina Maeva. High school juniors and seniors across the Baltimore region are invited to connect, celebrate and experience a night of joy as they dance away the social isolation and disruptions experienced during COVID-19. Students can get their free tickets, vote on the VIProm theme, sign up for Tik Tok dance challenges and request their favorite song at the official prom website: vip-vibes.com/. Adults can learn more at wideanglemedia.org/virtual-prom.

“It’s for the students, by the students!,” said Destiny Brown, student visionary of VIProm. “While a virtual prom will never take the place of a real one, perhaps this virtual experience can offer some things that an in-person prom wouldn’t be able to. For example, students from all over the state, country, and even globe can take part in the prom and interact via the internet.”

For Wide Angle’s students, VIProm is more than a dance. It’s a platform to share their COVID-19 experiences, re-envision a rite of passage and imagine a better future. With fewer financial barriers to participation than a traditional dance, VIProm is an accessible platform to bring together a diverse community of their peers. Wide Angle students and staff began planning this seminal rite of passage in late March. While they plan, they are also building a movement to focus on issues such as child abuse, healthy relationships, and essential workers. During the event, short videos and available resources will be highlighted around these topics, and participants will be directed to additional opportunities to address them longer term through Wide Angle programs. This is a youth-led event – students have planned and organized each component. They determined how to use this platform to address social issues important to them, built the event website, lined up live performances and created promotional content for social media channels.

“I think that having the ability to give even just an inkling of prom spirit to high schoolers around Baltimore will bring a smile to their faces,” said Danielle Clapperton, college senior and VIProm planning team member. “Although it isn’t the same… it’s something that may bring joy to others, therefore bringing joy to me. I remember the joy of prom and how important it was, so giving others the opportunity to do something close to it is great.”

Through media arts education, Wide Angle Youth Media cultivates and amplifies the voices of Baltimore youth to engage audiences across generational, cultural and social divides. Our programs inspire creativity and instill confidence in young people, empowering them with skills to navigate school, career and life. Since 2000, Wide Angle Youth Media has worked with over 5,500 youth from across Baltimore City who have produced hundreds of digital media projects about their lives and communities.