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PROPOSAL: B.I.R.D. Street: Building Individuals, Reconstructing Dorchester

Sunday, September 22, 2013 | Posted by Alex
JayPix Belmer

Describe your project.
B.I.R.D. Street is a touring photographic exhibition, whose purpose is to expose local unconsidered and undiscovered people in Boston. The mission is to get the word out, share the connection, and introduce residents to the other kinds of people who exist in their neighborhood.

During this 3-neighborhood tour, we will invite undiscovered individuals to tell their stories and make a connection. I am a community leader motivated to capture images of people and places that are undiscovered by most, and that go unnoticed in day-to-day life. During the changes and transitions in our neighborhoods, I will serve as a photographer and resource to enhance and connect various communities. I am here to shine a light on the people of this city, and to convince people to get involved by seeing themselves in the community. I want to capture who you are and what you’re all about though my photographic work. This tour is part of a larger project called B.I.R.D. Street (Building Individuals, Reconstructing Dorchester).

How will you use the grant to make your idea happen?
This grant will allow me to prepare for the exhibition. I also plan to get outside help for promotion and space for the tour through 3 neighborhoods and an accompanying social event.

A printed hardcover book called Bird Street will be at each show on the tour to inspire more conversation about changes in the community and the people and places that make community valuable.

Why and to whom is your project important?
The people, streets and values of Dorchester are continuously changing. My goal is to create a visual record of people, places and things that are important and that bring value to our community. I want to motivate. By showing my work, I will create a visual demonstration that inspires folks to learn more about the people, streets and values of the community we live in. I am currently engaged in documenting and updating the work of Eugene Richards, a respected documentary photographer from Dorchester, whose book Dorchester Days was published in 1972. Richards’ collection showed the hardships of the city, both political and personal, up until that time. The “B.I.R.D Street” portrait series shows the vibrancy of the people, the places, and the greatness of the city today.

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