Youth in Focus: The First Ten Years
September 2nd - September 27th
Reception : Thursday September 4th/ 6-8pm
Benham Gallery is proud to host the Youth in Focus: The First Ten Years exhibition on September 4, 2003. Experience the past ten years of graduates' work and discover how this nationally recognized program empowers urban teens to make positive changes in their lives through photography. Log on to www.youthinfocus.org to get involved with the program.
Youth In Focus
The mission of Youth in Focus is to enable urban teens, through photography, to experience their world in new ways and make positive changes in their lives.
Youth in Focus (YIF) is a nonprofit photography mentoring program for teens, started in the summer of 1994. With cameras in tow, Walter Bodle and a handful of students set out to explore and document relationships with family, community and culture. The result was an inspiring collection of images revealing a rich visual landscape reflecting the lives of Seattle's young people.
Nine Years Later
Now offering year-round programs, YIF serves teens from diverse backgrounds looking for a spark of inspiration in their lives. Working in small classes and one-on-one with adult mentors provides youth with support and encouragement. Each student exhibits their best work for reception at galleries and community events. Public celebration of their work validates young people as creative, articulate, and visionary members of the community. The sense of pride and accomplishment has a deep and lasting impact on their lives.
In the Darkroom
Youth in Focus runs a darkroom and gallery in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood in partnership with Southeast Youth & Family Services. Generous support from the community makes it possible for YIF to offer programs at no cost to participants. Youth are referred by youth workers, parents, and other concerned adults. Participants learn, in small groups, to hand craft black & white images from viewfinder to negatives and prints. Each student meets one-on-one with an experienced photography mentor outside of class to improve their shooting skills. The experience is transformative for youth and mentors alike.
Power of Photography
Photography is an engaging, rewarding way for youth to express themselves as they experience the world in new ways. In documenting their cultures and communities, young people learn to look beyond the surface of their world. The power of imagination is found in seeing things from a new perspective, seeing reality in new ways. The camera allows youth to explore their familiar world as if for the first time. In the camera frame the ordinary becomes extraordinary and from apathy and frustration, a world of infinite opportunity arises.