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PROPOSAL: Arts Mentorship in Brockton

Monday, October 29, 2012 | Posted by Alex
Stephanie Arnett & Daniel Jakes

Describe your project.
This project is a small workshop teaching basic photography skills to two brothers, ages 10 and 13.
We first became involved with this family when the boys were enrolled in Brockton's Headstart program. Over the years, they've gone from being great photography subjects to expressing interest in making their own pictures and films. They've assisted Stephanie on a photo shoot, and have participated as actors and crew members in 48hr film productions with Dan. From the few images they've taken with our camera, we can see an earnestness and vision that we'd love to foster.
After 4 months, we'd have had several lessons and reviews of their images, and we'd have enough material to be putting together their images in a book. We'd love to find a local venue that might show a few of their images, and have the book be for sale with the proceeds benefitting the arts curriculum at Brockton public schools.

How will you use the grant?
We would use the grant to buy two small consumer digital camera for each of the boys to document their daily lives and complete photo assignments.

Why and to whom is your project important?
We are hoping that after a few months of assignments we could put together a book of their work and have the proceeds benefit the arts program at Brockton public schools. We'd like for this to be the pilot class for an annual course for young artists. We'd love to be able to tell you that we could teach a larger group this year, but realistically we don't have the structure for that in place. From speaking with other photographers and educators, youth programs in photography tend to have obstacles around access—the kids don't get enough hands-on time with a camera because there aren't enough to go around, and the cameras usually belong to the program and have to be collected at the end of each class—limiting the opportunity for creative play and visual storytelling as a part of the child's daily routine. I think the ideal would be for each child to have their own camera, to be shooting between lessons, and have scheduled meeting times be focused on how to develop and present their work. We felt that Jack and Derrick would be ideal candidates for this year because our past history with them has shown them to have an existing enthusiasm for photography as well as the maturity to handle having their own equipment.

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