Several months ago I asked people to help me find a school to volunteer at. That school finally popped up on my radar and I hope to teach them a couple times a month, during the next academic year. The school is in an LA suburb, title 1 (over 80% of students live below poverty levels) and they have obviously cut the arts programs long ago.
I am going in routinely to speak to them about photography and video work. They will learn to light, learn to shoot, learn to complete a work flow and eventually retouch images. They’ll have questions answered and shown another path. I hope to bring in friends who style for celebrities, friends who do make-up and hair, and other artists in the field.
When I was in high school, we grew up in a lower income part of Anaheim, CA. We had great activities at our school, but never had many visitors from higher institutes. We didn’t get colleges visiting or great universities. Instead our district, the AUHSD, brought the armed forces in. They came in weekly, they befriended the “cool guys” to have great influence, they smiled at us and talked to us, and in ways even intimidated us into signing. I am not sure how many of my friends went that path, and while I personally don’t believe in war, I know it is sometimes necessary; and so is signing up for the armed forces. What bothered me most was the lack of options from our school. I remember walking the school hallways and thinking, “they think we are only capable of joining the army”.
Anyhow, I can complain about it and be bitter or I can go back and help influence the kids. Hopefully one child will go into the arts because it’s what they love, and they can speak to someone about it. I hope to keep you guys updated on their progress and even post some of their work on my blog.