Shift the Lens: A Youth Inspired Photography Exhibit

On May 26th, 2016, in collaboration with the Lower East Side Girls Club, lf8 Creative Studio is presenting, Shift the Lens -- an exhibition featuring the work of New York City's, East Village youth.

Located at 80 East 7th Street, in lower Manhattan, student photographs will be presented from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and followed by a wine and cheese reception, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the exhibit is the culmination of a series of workshops designed to explore and expand students' perspectives on their neighborhood, into a kaleidoscope of possibilities from which they may exercise their influence as artists and effect change in their communities.

Participants are taught the fundamentals of photography in an environment purposefully designed to provide inspiration for them to find peaceful and sustainable solutions for their community's shared social, economic, and racial concerns.

For example, the "Work Shots" session is a gently structured process of sharing photos in a setting that uses "mindful" engagement as a tool to cultivate a "safe space," thus facilitating a climate of mutual respect, vulnerability and trust, where all participants can be heard.

Shifting the Lens is a unique container for meaningful dialogue that enables participants to give voice to things that would be challenging to speak about in other spaces. This includes, speaking from the heart -- speaking with your whole being and listening from the heart -- listening with your whole being.

While using the medium of photography to capture, share and gather new meaning from participants' life experiences, the workshop's focus on individual learning, supports students in developing their communication skills and their capacity for empathy. It is a fulcrum for their evolution into becoming change agents in their neighborhoods.

Says Harun Tolbert, lf8 Project Coordinator and workshop co-facilitator: "I am dedicated to giving young people a platform to productively express the challenges they face. Lisa [If8 founder] and I are always trying to develop initiatives that encourage young people to find their voice. The Shift the Lens exhibit is a space that accomplishes this by highlighting the interconnectedness that is present within a community and by recognizing and acknowledging the similarities that exist within each artist's individual experience."

Lower East Side Girls Club, Photographer and Digital Media Associate, Allana Clarke, who co-facilitated the Shift the Lens workshops notes, "This workshop and exhibition is so important for aspiring female artist. As humans, we all want recognition, power, and agency. For young women to have a platform that allows them to productively express themselves through art and to see that expression on display, is both inspiring and empowering."

lf8 Creative Studio develops strategies and initiatives to facilitate the effective engagement between individual causes, organizations and the world around them.

The mission of Lower East side Girls Club (LESGC) is to break the cycle of local poverty by training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial and environmental leaders. The LESGC provides a place where girls and young women, ages eight to twenty three years old, can grow, learn, have fun, and develop confidence in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world.

For more information about the event and lf8, email Harun@lf8elevate.com or visit www.lf8elevate.com.