The Big Byte was a year long-programme of events aimed at introducing digital art and creative technology to a wider audience. The programme was produced by Lovebytes and supported by Arts Council England and Screen Yorkshire and delivered in partnership various community organisations in Sheffield including The Sheffield Children's Festival, Sheffield Young Singers and Showcomotion Film Festival.
We took a year out from our annual festival to develop a series of projects aimed at promoting creative digital skills and digital media literacy amongst the local community. We worked closely in partnership with established community groups and organisations to add a digital dimension to their activities whilst also developing our knowledge and understanding of the needs of young people.
The Big Byte kicked-off in January 2009 with 'Avatars', a series of creative digital workshops taking young people 'behind the scenes' of digital media, video games and interactive art. We worked with a year group 90 children, aged 7-8, from Hunter's Bar Junior School who gained hands-on experience of computer programming, interactive technology and graphic design through making their own multimedia projects. Avatars introduced the children to some of the fundamental principles of computer programming and helped them develop their digital literacy and IT skills through creative activities. The project culminated in an exhibition at the Showroom Cinema as part of the Sheffield Children's Festival. We also ran a series of open public workshops as part of Showcomotion Film Festival in June/July 2009.