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Spotlight on Barrio Alegria’s OJOS Photography Project

by The Berks Alliance

Spotlight on Barrio Alegria’s OJOS Photography Project

Using experienced photographers as mentors, Barrio Alegria’s OJOS Photography Project provides the skills and education for aspiring artists to learn the basic elements of shooting photographs and editing their work.  The project, which has been operating for nearly six years, offers workshops between June and September for anyone wanting to explore their interest in photography.  Participants take a two-hour workshop and then are given a Digital Reflex Camera to use for a week.  After the workshop is completed, the participants choose five of their photos for a public display, and they are asked to tell a story related to each of their photographs.

Initially focused on young potential artists, the program is open to others in community.  The idea is to not only hone the participants artistic skills but to enhance their connection to the community. Program participants have described how the program has not only improved their skills, but it has enhanced their appreciation of the city in which they live and a broader understanding of life in the city.

This initiative fits well withing Barrio’s focus, to enhance community engagement by using the arts while stimulating involvement and helping transform the city.  Envisioning a Reading in which poverty is eliminated through the engagement of Reading citizens in building community wealth, increasing self-reliance and economic resilience, and promoting social justice.

Over time, Barrio has established itself as a place residents can trust. As its relationship with the community has developed, young people in particular were attracted to its programming. Using the arts to engage neighbors in the community, it has helped foster safe spaces where people are comfortable talking about challenges and look for solutions.

Join the Berks Alliance in learning more about Barrio Alegria’s OJOS Photography Project.

When: May 31, 2023, 12:00 PM

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