Our theme this year, Sanctuary, could not have been more appropriate. We and our students are living in the most unusual of times and we all will come out the other side the better. That said, the DiverCity Lens Project is the project I most look forward to with my students every year.
Edward R. Murrow High School, Alan Barge/PrincipalJaclyn Roberts/Visual Arts Teacher
The DiverCity Lens Program invites students to reflect on their identities and examine their lives through the lens of a camera. Working with talented and dedicated fellow art educators and DiverCity Lens founder, Zion Ozeri as a collective, has enriched my pedagogical practice. Students see their work and the work of their peers displayed and published, and are encouraged to continue to use the medium of photography to tell stories and make their voices heard. Families report their child was motivated by the program because their visual voices were heard. This program is particularly important during these challenging times; it encourages students to respond to new and uneasy political, social and physical situations. Feeling connected is so important, even before the pandemic. As a collective, we support the students and one another in this creative initiative.
James Madison High School, Mrs. Jodie Cohen/PrincipalDavid Mahl/Art Teacher
As our world becomes more and more chaotic and unpredictable our sanctuaries become more vital.
New Utrecht High School, Maureen Goldfarb/PrincipalAdrienne Mikulka/Visual Arts Educator
“It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb that means an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow wholly, completely and deeply. The Office of Arts and Special Projects in collaboration with Zion Ozeri and a profoundly astonishing group of educators is the village and together we raise up, enable and encourage these emerging photographers. It is an honor to be unified by this commitment and to have access to the kinds of conversations that make a difference for everyone involved—especially when in isolation.