Like many artist-run art centers, Toronto’s Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography is particularly interested in supporting and advancing the work of local artists, in this case photographers. Offering something for all levels, the Gallery puts special emphasis on education, with a strong roster of weekend workshops, photography summer camp for teens and a professional photographer – as – mentor student outreach program. A resource centre, a darkroom and production facilities round out the organization’s assets. Submission guidelines are provided for what looks to be a healthy exhibition schedule, the quality of which is confirmed by the Gallery’s impressive publication list. Exceptional documentation is provided by an online database that allows searches by artist, exhibition or image.
Hyde Park, Chicago
The Hyde Park Art Center calls itself “the oldest alternative exhibition space in Chicago” and is equally known for its longstanding community education program. Classes range from a variety of art and crafts classes and workshops for adults to youth and pre-school programs. The Teen Photography class leads adolescents through the basics of film photography and developing. In this increasingly digital age, classes like this offer kids an understanding of the “do it yourself” possibilities of the medium.
What began with a couple of photographers trying to address the problem of an epidemic of teen loitering with a free course in photography has become an established and respected outreach program. Photographers Bill Ledger and John Willis thought that someone should give the kids in their Brattleboro, Vermont, neighborhood something creative to with their free time, and thus what began with a one time course quickly became a year round program that has attracted a consistent following. Judging by the quantity and variety of student work displayed in galleries on the site, the project has taken off. Beyond the technical classes that introduce kids to the basics of analogue and digital photography and web design, there are side projects that bring kids and their work into the wider world. One such project is Exposures, a cross-cultural youth exchange program that brings kids together from Vermont, New York City, the Navajo Tribe in Arizona, and the Oglala Lakota Tribe in South Dakota.
Kids Camera Project, New Orleans
The New Orleans Kid Camera Project was created to address the psychological and emotional impacts of Hurricane Katrina on children returning home to New Orleans. Through the use of photography, creative writing and mixed media, children from flooded neighborhoods explore their environment and express themselves, their stories and feelings with their friends. The project provides a venue for growth and recovery. The project teaches the children tangible skills, exposes them to new means of expression, and hopes to empower them to impact their lives and environment.
Leave Out Violence
Canadian based Leave Out ViolencE (LOVE), is a long-term violence-prevention youth program that uses photography and writing to work through the causes and impact of aggression. Here, victims, witnesses and perpetrators of violence come together. Young mentors lead their peers in multi-media and leadership training to develop life-skills, a sense of community and critical thinking. Photojournalism becomes the medium through which kids can come to terms with the complicated feelings the violence in their lives creates, all the while finding a new voice. The site features a gallery of photos and writings by kids from across Canada.
Literacy Through Photography
Literacy Through Photography was launched in the Durham Public School System in 1989 as a two-week project through the Center for Documentary Studies. Now, almost 10 years later, it thrives in 14 public schools, including a day treatment center for students with behavioral and emotional disabilities.
My Story Workshops, Portland
Building upon Wendy Ewald’s Literacy Through Photography program, MyStory collaborates with families, schools and community organizations in developing projects that build confidence and engage the creativity of young people. MyStory works primarily in the disadvantaged neighborhoods in and around the city of Portland, but also operates similar projects in South Africa. In each case, MyStory puts cameras in the hands of young people; “Photography is a uniquely accessible medium that empowers” and provides opportunities for youth to share their stories with the world.
National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)
National Press Photographers Association site provides a central meeting place where photojournalists can discuss topics that relate to the profession, including the stresses and traumas associated with being a photojournalist. NPPA Member Services offers a crisis intervention team, a peer support network that consists of fellow photojournalists, trained to listen and support. The NPPA’s site also contains news and events pages, professional development information, competition notices, and services for members. Members have access to active message boards covering a broad range of topics including business, news, current events, digital editing, ethical issues and photo gear.