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.