Carnegie Celebrates Youth Based Photography Programs

The NeON Arts exhibit at Carnegie Hall Resnick Education Wing was breathtaking last night. All seven NeON offices were represented by large, framed prints on easels and by bodies scattered throughout the foyer and main room. Each NeON office presented 5 physical photos and were part of a slide show of other captures throughout the evening. It was obvious that friends, family and probation officers were all blown away by the work of these young people who were either DoP clients or community members. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, said it best as we headed out of the space “We need to keep these programs going. They are important.”

This summer, the NeON Arts program partnered with organizations and individual photographers to lead seven groups of students around their neighborhoods with the goal of mapping assets and resources that serve the community or improve the lives of youth. The photos will be used in an online Google map and each of the seven NeON sites will host their own exhibit receptions of only their local work in the coming weeks.

JHP and the Harlem NeON focused on “Healthy Harlem.” Brandin, our student representative spoke truthfully last night to a crowded room of strangers, “When you come from the hood, you don’t always get to learn how to live healthy.” And that ladies and gentleman was the goal of the overall project—to introduce students to new ways of life that support their positive growth. Brandin was, to his own shock, later approached about an internship that would teach him all about healthy eating and living. Co-teaching photographers Wendy Correa and Alberto Vasari led this dynamic group and were able to make a real impact on the way these students see the world around them.


JHP and Harlem NeON participant Brandin presented Gail Brewer with a photo from his group.

The Harlem NeON team with Brandin and volunteer photographers Wendy and Alberto.

JHP Program to Exhibit at Carnegie Hall

We’ve been busy this summer. One of our exciting new programs was in conjunction with NeON Arts, a program of the NYC Department of Probation in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Participants from each of the seven NeOn Arts were guided through an asset mapping project led by professional photographers. JHP was given the opportunity to work with the Harlem NeON Arts team and volunteer teachers Alberto Vasari and Wendy Correa focused on a “Healthy Harlem” theme with their group. Students learned more about living healthy lives and maintaining healthy relationships from visits to the Harlem Grown office and farm, New York Restoration Project Gardens (Rodale Pleasant Park and Herb Garden), Work Hard. Train Harder! (gym and personal training) and a visit from When Love Works (relationship building).

This unique photo project introduced participants to new resources in their local communities with the opportunity to create an asset map using photographs taken of each of the five found assets. The photos will be used in an interactive Google map and will be on display in an exhibition and reception held at Carnegie Hall on Monday, September 28th. This reception is free and open to the public. Funding for NeON Arts programs is provided by the Open Society Foundations and grant money was awarded to JHP for this project by Carnegie Hall.

Participants capture the greenery at Rodale Pleasant Park.

Enjoying the fruits of labor in garden life.

Participant puts to work some new people skills learned from When Love Works.