Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hanging out with Eli Reed and the kids from The Community Darkroom

I had the pleasure of taking Eli Reed over to The Community Darkroom here in Rochester. The Darkroom runs a Urban Youth Program and has so for many many years. Here is the official word from the Darkroom.

"The Center provides free arts programs to encourage personal creativity, connect young people to our community, and showcase the positive accomplishments of our youth. Our primary demographic is inner-city children from low to modest income families ranging in age from 10 - 17 years. 

Our photography programs instill the confidence, discipline and critical thinking necessary for future success in school and the workplace while teaching practical skills and nurturing self-expression. 

The curriculum includes elements of composition, how to use a professional 35mm camera, field trips to community sites to take pictures, taking the cameras home to photograph friends and family, and taking portraits in the lighting studio.

The students then make 8X10 black and white prints at Community Darkroom, write poetry or stories to accompany their images, create special projects or a book that incorporates their writing and photography, and produce a slide show of the photographs combined with music and spoken word.

The programs conclude with a public showing of their finished work in the form of a matted and framed exhibition and/or as a multimedia presentation. "

We really only had 30-45 min for Eli to talk to and be with the kids, as I needed to get him back to the museum to get ready for his lecture. We ended up staying for an hour and a half. The kids were glued to Eli's every word. The students put one of their 8x10 photographs on the wall and Eli took the time to talk to each kid about their photo. Eli said he had a wonderful time and would like to visit them again when he comes back to photograph Rochester. 

Thanks to Sharon at the Darkroom for contacting GEH to see if Eli would want to visit and thanks to Eli for taking the time to spend with each student.  

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