Since 2011, I have had the privilege of teaching photography and video to youth in Chicago and Los Angeles with a focus on social justice and identity. I’ve taught at Marwen, Step Up Women's Network, Street Level Youth Media, YouThink and Dorsey High School. In 2014 I had the honor of receiving the Chicago 3Arts Award , a $25,000 grant for my work as a teaching artist.
Scroll down to see student photographs and videos.
Photography Teaching Artist. 2012-2013
I Created and instructed weekly lessons in photography for a group of young women through Street Level Youth Media.
True Focus Photography was an arts program hosted by Street Level Youth Media, through the CYC after school program at YWLCS, using photography and writing as a method of self expression, empowerment and storytelling. Each week students created work that promoted individuality and creativity as well as addressing social issues.
Student photography work published on The Los Angeles Times "Framework". http://framework.latimes.com/2015/01/29/giving-kids-a-platform-to-be-heard/
Video Power: Hidden Media Messages
Marwen Teaching Artist (Created Course and Curriculum).
Full Playlist https://vimeo.com/channels/749363
Using video as a means of social change and self-expression, students addressed issues that were important to them. They explored the power of their voice and raised awareness of issues by creating socially conscious videos. This course delved into the history of subliminal messaging and propaganda while learning about the technical aspects of filmmaking to create powerful message.
(Video featured-Student Work, Forrest): Using found footage and video remixing Forrest created a film addressing his views on the change of black leaders in the United States from the activists of the 1960’s to rappers in the mass media of the 21st century.
Assistant Teaching Artist: Gabriel Anaya
Marwen Teaching Artist: "Art At Work" . 2014
"Openlands TreeKeepers" is the result of a creative partnership between students at Marwen and the conservation community organization Openlands. 19 high school students were commissioned as young artists to document Openlands' Urban Forestry work. I worked as the lead teaching artist and was in charge of helping students research, storyboard, learn equipment, plan, shoot and edit a final 6 min video about the community outreach program.
Assistant Teaching Artist: Hayley Martin
Photography Teaching Artist. 2014
(YouTHink, student Cynthia.) A 3-session photography program for middle and high school-aged youth. This program, focusing on the theme “Where I’m From,” was part of a year-long social justice leadership program at youTHink.
The name of my photograph is ‘What Might Have Been’. This photograph shows a part of my family history. We either sale crops or we grow them. My father has a garden full of crops, he has watermelons and strawberries. My mother has her own little flower garden. The thing that amazes me about gardening is you have this ability to create something. You're creating life. I’m amazed how I have the lowest self esteem and sometimes I want to disappear off this earth. But I look and see this little flower and think if this flower can survive rain and heat, why can't I survive everything life throws at me? I was born in Mexico, When I was two years old my mother decided she didn't want me to have a life like she did. She wanted something better for me. 'What Might Have Been' means that if I had stayed in Mexico would I have had the option to make my own life?
Photography/ Photojournalism Teaching Artist 2011- 2013
Step Up Women's Network. I created weekly lesson plans that encouraged confidence building and empowerment while instructing students in skills of photography, journalism and critical thinking.
Photo by Tamera M of Kalani V.
One Minute One Movie
Video Teaching Artists: John Lyons and Sophia Nahli Allison / Course created by John Lyons
In this course Marwen high school students used HD video cameras and Adobe's Premiere Pro to collaboratively produce one minute films based on the word "Dream. These films range from the whimisical to the metaphorical and social issues, all from the brilliant minds of youth.
Student portrait of Andreass, 9th grade, Dorsey High School: I think I would describe myself as a different and outgoing person because I’m not trying to be like everyone else and I’ve been through a lot. So it comes together as I’m overcoming everything that happened in the past and I just want to help other people that’s going through the same stuff that I went through when I was younger.
Emilio, 12th grade, YouThink: This photo is important to me because people know Compton, my hometown, as a violent place with gang- banging and drug dealers. I won't lie to you, It's kind of a section to it, but every city has its defaults. I want to show in this picture a nice and peaceful place in Compton. The majority of the city is like that. I used the train to show how productive it is. I got on my roof and I actually waited for the train to pass. I used the sunset in the background to make it seem peaceful, nice, and quiet. I used the shadowy trees to add a nice harmony. Compton means everything to me. I was raised here. My whole childhood is here. It's home to me.
Photography Teaching Artist.
(YouTHink, student Alessandro.) A 3-session photography program for middle and high school-aged youth. This program, focusing on the theme “Where I’m From,” was part of a year-long social justice leadership program at youTHink.