Saturday, November 03, 2007

Check out Panwapa Island

One of the most exciting projects that I worked on when I was with Sesame Street was a new project called "Panwapa" - a sprawling undertaking for 4- to 7-year-olds, introducing them to the idea of worldwide citizenship (not an easy concept for this age group). Because the target audience was older than Sesame Street's audience, we created a whole new cast of muppets, an older-skewing illustration style, and interactive broadband experience, all designed to appeal to older children. The original music is appealing and catchy, carrying the message of the curriculum right in the lyrics. And to pump up the degree of difficulty, the whole thing was created in five languages across all these media - Arabic, English, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish! it was extremely challenging, but our intrepid, multimedia Panwapa team persisted, and the outcome is quite wonderful.

I particularly like the "create your own avatar" feature. These little characters are absolutely irresistible....this is the little "me" that I made when I was on the project. Jump online and create one yourself!

Panwapa Island

Merrill Lynch funded the whole project and were hands on throughout the process - this is a topic they are passionate about. Merrill Lynch Global Philanthropy - Whoopi Goldberg and Elmo Help Unveil Panwapa Program in New York

And by the way, "Panwapa" means "here on this Earth" in Tshiluba, the national language of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A perfect name for the project!

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