In-Sight Photography Exposures Program coming to town
BRATTLEBORO >> This summer, youth from all over the country will gather to take part in the In-Sight Photography Project's Exposures Program.
Though this program often takes place on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, this year In-Sight is offering youth a chance to travel to a new place, bringing them to its home community. Youth from eight states will gather in Vermont to immerse themselves in three weeks of photography study and New England culture.
The Exposures Program is a life-changing experience for many. If I characterized Exposures in a compact little nutshell, I'd call it an eye-widening, mind-expanding, heart-opening, life-broadening experience for the budding young adults who take part. Part of why Exposures is so successful is that it's a structured program for using photography as visual communication. And, it leaves room for spontaneous interactions that allow the group to find their own meaning in their experiences.
Eighteen youth will take part this year in Brattleboro. They range in age from 15 to 21. They will arrive from Arizona, California, South Dakota, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont. They come from many ethnic backgrounds and life experiences. They all value the particular slice of opportunity In-Sight offers: the meeting place of photography and cultural understanding.
Exposures is a cross-cultural exchange program that establishes the arts as a common language among youth from diverse communities. Programming is based in artistic collaboration and exchange, and is intended to facilitate creative cross-cultural dialogue and experiences that lead to a better understanding of our diverse communities and cultures.
For 13 years, Exposures has been guided by the principle that positive social and economic change rests on a foundation of understanding and respect, particularly of varied communities and cultures. For three weeks in July participants will visit culturally and historically significant places around New England. Participants will spend their time taking pictures and telling stories, living and working together, fostering a diverse community of young individuals. After three weeks of adventures, Exposures culminates in an exhibition of the work produced and a community dinner. Every aspect of the Exposures programming is designed to ensure that students are actively engaged with their host community, and like all programs at In-Sight, students can participate regardless of their ability to pay. The program is supported by program fees, grants, and donations.
In-Sight currently is running its online campaign for Exposures scholarships. Those willing to donate any amount are encouraged to visit www.insight-photography.org for a link to a donation site.
Since 2003, Exposures has been changing the lives of young people. As one former Exposures participant put it, "I learned from each moment, each day and each conversation. And now I can go home with memories; cultural enrichment, photography skills ... More than anything, I felt part of something, like I was working towards something real, something that mattered."
The In-Sight Photography Project and its Exposures Cross-Cultural Youth Arts Program empower youth to find their own creative voices and to communicate their unique personal visions through photography. Classes in photographic arts are provided regardless of ability to pay. Curriculum is guided by understanding and respect for individuals, communities, and cultures. For more information, call 802-251-9961 or visit www.insight-photography.org.
Teta Hilsdon is the executive director of In-Sight.
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