City Hearts

For 25 years, City Hearts has offered a broad range of arts education, including dance, theater and creative arts to at-risk and socio-economically disadvantaged youth, ages 5-18. These children live in the shadow of poverty and access to such art experiences is virtually non-existent. City Hearts will utilize our grant of $12,983.85 to create a new experiential photography and creative arts program, which will encourage young people to explore an alternative vehicle for expression of their thoughts and actions. By using photography as a tool for meaningful and creative interaction, communication and life skills will improve. The twice weekly photography and creative arts intensives will not only instruct youth in the usage of digital camera equipment, but will enable them to give visual expression to their stories, as well as facilitate oral language and academic development. The photography program will provide a safe space where, through image, each voice can be heard without speaking and otherwise unnoticed moments in the students' lives will be given significance. The children will gain a better understanding of their community and will become empowered to question and discover their own place in the world. In addition, critical and abstract thinking, literacy, language, cultural history, keen perception, editing and design skills will be developed, thereby widening the children's individual perspectives.