How NYCT is Using "Hunger Games" and Skateboarding Culture to Engage Teens

Teenagers in New York will soon have the opportunity to remix music on wired steel drums, play a Hunger Games-inspired video game, and create digital maps and videos of local skateboarding haunts.

It’s all part of The New York Community Trust’s Hive Digital Media Learning Fund, and the recent grantees’ programs are more creative than ever before (Read New York Community Trust: New York City Grants).

The NYCT recently announced a batch of 13 new Hive grants totaling $663,000 to boost digital media learning in New York City after-school programs. These are some of the top grant recipients:

  • $150,000 to DreamYard, the largest provider of arts education in the Bronx, to train teachers and students how to boost college applications with digital media
  • $100,000 to City Lore for its KickFlip program, which gets skateboarders to build digital maps of New York’s best skate parks and create videos about skate culture
  • $50,000 to Global Kids for its HungerCraft program, which is an educational video game that combines Minecraft with Hunger Games to make kids think about inequality and oppression
  • $50,000 to Lower Eastside Girls Club for its Making Waves program, which engages girls in creating, mixing, and distorting musical sounds

“The Hive has taken what teens do after school to the next level,” says Kerry McCarthy, New York Community Trust program officer and manager of the Hive Fund. “Fun, hands-on programs connect what young people are passionate about—skateboarding, fashion, music, social media, and gaming—with science, technology, engineering, and math.”

Hive was originally established by the NYCT and the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation in 2010. Since that time, donations have also been made by the Altman Foundation, Renate, Hans, and Maria Hofmann Trust, Mozilla Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and David Rockefeller Fund.  

Hive has 55 member organizations, including museums, libraries, afterschool programs, code clubs and informal learning spaces. In this latest round of funding, Hive has made more than $5 million in grants to dozens of groups throughout New York City.

To learn more about securing a Hive grant in the next round of funding for your organization, browse the HIVE NYC website or send an email to