Projects for Arts and Creativity

Goal: to utilize the arts and creativity for social impact and change; raising dialogues and furthering conversations

Snapshots: Portraits of Community

The use of photovoice, participatory action research methodology; photography, video, audio, written, digital story- telling and drama in an arts in prevention strategy, giving people a voice, empowerment, a sense of identity, development of a sense of community, self-awareness and a tool for self-expression.

Photovoice is a participatory prevention and health promotion strategy that entails providing people with cameras so they can photograph their everyday health, and work realities; engage people in group discussion about what their photographs mean; and reach policy makers. As participants engage in a group process of critical reflection, they may advocate for change in their communities by using the power of their images and stories to communicate with policy makers. In public health initiatives all over the world community people have used photo voice to carry out participatory needs assessment, conduct participatory evaluation, and reach policy makers to improve community health. (The Photovoice model, created by Caroline Wang, Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the School of Public Health, University of Michigan and Mary Ann Burris, is designed to empower the marginalized or disenfranchised members of any given community) “Photovoice is a method by which people can identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique.” (Wang and Burris,1997, Photovoice: Concept, methodology, and use for participatory needs assessment. Health Education and Behavior, 24, 369-387) The photovoice process aims to use photographic images taken by persons with little money, power, or status to enhance community needs assessments, empower participants, and induce change by informing policy makers of community assets and deficits. (Wang & Burris, 1994, Empowerment through photo novella: Portraits of participation. Health Education Quarterly, 21, 171-186)


Marlboro High School

Portraits of Homelessness


Proposed: Portraits of Our Freedoms:

Project Synergy [in conjunction with the Arts Marketing Partnership]; the use of design to raise awareness of social issues and raise money for these same issues; the use of design to create an awareness of the power of arts and creativity.

  • Work with young artists on designs [giving them a voice and opportunity to make a difference]; create competitions
  • Produce limited edition designs on merchandise
  • Use only American made or green products

The possibilities are unlimited: One design can make a difference.

First Project: American Plates

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