Aug 03, 2017
Press Release by Leesly Leon, North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative
The North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative (NDCC), Denver Smart City, the University of Denver, The GrowHaus, and PCs for People partnered this past month for the Smart City Photovoice Project in North Denver. The project engaged 13 teenagers from the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods to have their voice heard through photography. The participants artistic work will be exhibited at The GrowHaus on Thursday, August 3 from 5-6:30 p.m.
The participating youth, ages 13-16, are part of The GrowHaus’ Seed2Seed summer leadership program. They met in July at the Valdez-Perry Library for workshops led by University of Denver and Denver Smart City, where they established group rules of conduct, learned about ethical considerations for photographers and how to use their disposable cameras, decided aspects of their community to explore, took pictures, and developed their artistic statements.
“Taking the pictures was my favorite part of the Photovoice Project,” says Antonio Luna, one of the participating teens. “We got to express the bad things about our community and now we have the opportunity to make a change,” adds 14-year old Lizbeth Zamudio.
Photovoice is a process by which project participants are provided cameras to document their lived experiences revolving around a project topic or theme. The Elyria and Swansea Photovoice Project sought the youth’s perspective about their community, helping shape the development of future initiatives and efforts for Denver Smart City.
Through their photographs, participants shared what they love about their community and what they would like to change. The exhibition celebrates the youth work and honors their experiences of mobility in Denver.
“This exhibit puts teens’ voices front and center,” explained Emily Silverman, Denver’s Technical Program Manager for Denver Smart City. “I was impressed with the teens’ photographs and the conversations they spurred within their community.”
“It is so important for the students to understand both the positive and negative aspects of their communities. Photovoice has given them a space to see themselves as part of the solution,” says Jackie Beavers, Education Program Coordinator at The GrowHaus.
City officials will be at this exhibit to honor the participants and will embrace the work of the teens to help shape the development of future initiatives and efforts.
About Denver Smart City Program
Denver Smart City is a multi-agency program of the City and County of Denver aimed at leveraging innovative technological advances to improve the quality of life for residents. Supported through industry and community partnerships, along with more than $6 million in federal funding, Denver Smart City is working to ensure residents receive immediate, complete access to city services in a manner that is mobile, affordable, and environmentally sustainable.
About the University of Denver
The University of Denver (DU)’s vision is to be a “great university dedicated to the public good.” DU’s Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning’s mission is to educate, engage, and equip the campus community to accomplish tangible, public work that improves the lives of people in our communities.
About The GrowHaus
The GrowHaus is a nonprofit indoor farm, marketplace and educational center in Denver's Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, whose mission is to create a community-driven, neighborhood-based food system by serving as a hub for food distribution, production, education, and economic opportunity.
About PCs for People
PCs for People strives to bridge the digital divide by providing the necessary tools to put a functional computer into the hands of low-income individuals and get them online.