Exposures is a cross-cultural exchange program that establishes the arts as a common language among youth from diverse communities. Programming is based in artistic collaboration and exchange, and is intended to facilitate creative cross-cultural dialogue and experiences that lead to a better understanding of our diverse communities and cultures.
Exposures is designed to increase dialogue about and understanding of our cultural and personal stories. Guided by the principle that positive social and economic change rests on a foundation of understanding and respect, particularly of varied communities and cultures, Exposures creates opportunities essential for youth to cross geographic and cultural borders as they develop and exchange their perspectives, experiences and artistic skills. Utilizing photography and other arts as a common language, participants from diverse landscapes and communities develop a visual and analytical vocabulary for apprehending their own experience and that of others, and together experience the facility of these tools for personal and cultural expression. Exposures participants are inspired to collaboratively realize their assets, voice their perspectives and experience their capability in contributing to arts, culture and social dialogue.
“The diversity Exposures has put together has taught me so much.”
– Exposures participant from Arizona
Exposures was developed collaboratively by directors of The In-Sight Photography Project and the Hall Farm Center, both Vermont-based non profit arts organizations. Programming began in 2001 with a retreat in southern Vermont for young photographers from In-Sight (Brattleboro, Vermont) and International Center for Photography at The Point (Bronx, NY). The days were filled with making, thinking and talking about images, walks in the woods, spontaneous break dancing lessons, and deeper discussions of personal responses and losses in relation to the attacks of September 11th. During the same period, Exposures also began to work with youth organizations on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, assisting with the implementation of photography programming for youth on the reservation and forming relationships within the community.
The inspiration of these initial programs and partnerships resulted in the development of Exposures’ Summer programming bringing together youth from various locations for intensive programs exploring arts and culture within the context of a host community. Between 2003 and 2008 Exposures brought together youth from locations including the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, southern Vermont, New York City, and the Navajo Nation in Arizona in the host community of Pine Ridge. In 2008 participants from each of these locations traveled between Pine Ridge, New York City and southern Vermont. With the addition of Exchange programming in fall 2009, Exposures expanded to offer year-round opportunities for youth participation and collaboration between partnering communities.
During summer 2009 Exposures formally became a program of The In-Sight Photography Project. In-Sight provides photography courses to youth across the economic spectrum and provides all materials for every student regardless of their ability to pay class fees. Visit In-Sight’s website to learn more about the organization.
“I learned a lot while I was here. Not only different points of view but also how to be more precise in what I was trying to do. And I met a lot of new, exciting and intelligent people. I am glad they have the program and I hope and want them to come back year after year, for many more years to come.”
– Exposures participant from South Dakota