Then & Now: JHP Celebrates Evolution

More specifically, we are celebrating the evolution of our beloved organization. In 1941, Josephine Herrick founded Volunteer Service Photography (VSP), an organization that sent photographers into VA Hospitals to work with the wounded warriors of World War II. Offering the camera as a tool for holistic healing and recognition of the whole person, VSP evolved and expanded to reach other populations who faced challenges, like children with physical disabilities.

In March 1983, VSP became Rehabilitation Through Photography (RTP), which had been the VSP tagline for 42 years. Renamed Josephine Herrick Project (JHP) in 2013, we continue this legacy of strengthening individual voice, self-confidence and community engagement through participation in our programs and internships.

Like the evolution of the camera or even the evolution of our understanding of the human condition, our organization has evolved in our mission to make art accessible and uplifting for all. As we enter our 75th year of enhancing lives through photography, JHP is proud to celebrate our long lasting legacy and our growth in supporters, volunteers and individuals served.


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.

Program Spotlight: Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh NY

This summer, Josephine Herrick Project (JHP) and the Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh New York in conjunction with Safe Harbors of the Hudson partnered to bring a social justice focused photography workshop to the youth of Newburgh. Under the direction of Vincent Cianni, photographer, educator and social justice advocate, Richard Rabinowitz, director of the Digital Photo Academy, and Josephine Herrick board member and Jose Vasquez, director of programming at Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh, twelve young photographers documented the streets of Newburgh for five weeks with cameras aimed at capturing the essence and local resources of the community. The results of their investigation are on view in the exhibition: Newburgh: Past, Present and Future. 

An opening reception was held August 26th, but photographs will be on view from August 26 through mid-November, 2015 at Safe Harbors on the Hudson in the Lobby at the Ritz (107 Broadway, Newburgh).

“We couldn’t be more excited about our collaboration with Safe Harbors and the Josephine Herrick Project and we are honored to have Vincent Cianni volunteer his time and work with our Club members. The Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh believes strongly in the value of a quality arts education and the impact it can have on youth.  We are incredibly proud of the work our members produced and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at their exhibit.” – Kevin D. White, Executive Director, Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh

See You at Photoville!

As I look out my office window, I see the blue, yellow and red shipping containers of Photoville!

We will load in on Wednesday, September 9th and are very excited to introduce Josephine Herrick Project to a brand new audience. We will showcase photographs by participants in 2015 programs as well as highlight work from the high school students of the Step Up program at McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at NYU. Our volunteer teaching photographers have also submitted work to exhibit and we are introducing our organization’s founder, Josephine Herrick (1897- 1972), photographer and social activist.

Plenty to see, so we hope to see you at Photoville!

Photoville is held at Brooklyn Bridge Park and will be open to the public September 10-13 and September 17-20.

Opening Night Party: September 10

Program Spotlight: JHP Summer Internship

Our office was buzzing this summer!

Earlier this year, two students visiting from Brazil to study photography at Parsons approached JHP about an internship. They learned of our organization and felt that our mission closely aligned with what they seek to do with their photography skills in their home countries—engage the community. Fernanda Verdi and Betina Schmitt sat down with the JHP staff and outlined a very special internship program.

The two photography students would serve as instructors and create a mini-photography program that would be held in our office and their participants would be two students from the Pace University OASIS program and one from Cooke Center Academy, all of whom had already completed one JHP program. Their decided focus was social justice and each of them, instructors included, would consider an issue and then work to capture photographs within their chosen theme.

Participants each created their own Blurb books to feature their work. Malcolm looked at poverty in the city while Nils investigated American culture in NYC. Michael used images to create an anti-bullying campaign poster and Betina and Fernanda created a book that highlighted the 2015 Pride parade and commissioned other visiting artists to contribute.

This small but dynamic group met twice a week for five weeks and split their time between discussing social justice issues, learning photography and walking the city to take photos. Though our two visitors have returned to Brazil to continue their studies, we are so grateful that they joined the JHP family this summer and contributed even more to the growth of our participants and to the valuable work that we do.


I HAVE A VOICE, a new JHP program at International High School

By Maureen McNeil – August 28, 2014

I HAVE A VOICE is a new Josephine Herrick Project 8-week photography program starting in October at the International High School in partnership with the Cartwheel Initiative and Children’s Museum of the Arts. Nousha Salimi will teach the class along with a Parsons intern, Julia Himmel. Students will also write stories, compose music and use their photographs to create a stop film animation with Ashok SInha, Deborah Feingold and the staff at the Children’s Museum.  Click on the link to see a film the I.H.S. students created last spring.  Also, you can “meet” our participants in this short video:

The Josephine Herrick Project began partnering with the International High School in 2013 in an afterschool photo club. Students at I.H.S. are English Language Learners from all over the world who are new to NYC in the last two years. Photography is a perfect tool to help them tell their stories and to explore the city.