Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Going under the surface with at-risk teens to create a one-of-a-kind collection of underwater photographs of a world rarely seen.
84 backers pledged $14,392 to help bring this project to life.

About

New Light Under the Surface project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$14,392

84

Last summer, we did an experiment. After four years of being awed by the astonishing strength and artistry of the youth in our In a New Light therapeutic nature photography program, we decided to venture under the surface.  Funded by a National Park Service grant, our intrepid teens created a stunning and unprecedented collection of underwater photos of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.  But even more importantly, the water brought out a level of skill, passion, and resilience that blew everyone away.  The "New Light Under the Surface" experiment worked.  

This year,  we need your help to expand the world's first and only therapeutic underwater photography program to accomplish the following goals:

1.  Double the number of youth doing underwater photography by expanding our programming to the Northwest Passage girls' facility.

2. Expand our expeditions to build image collections of our region's beautiful lake ecosystems, including Lake Superior and its watershed.

3. Publish a hardcover coffee table book of images to share with the world.  

We'd be honored if you'd join us in this mission. 

"This turtle is coming out of the darkness and into the light.  Confidently."  Photo and caption by Greg, 16.
"This turtle is coming out of the darkness and into the light. Confidently." Photo and caption by Greg, 16.

About New Light Under the Surface

This beautiful article published in the current issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine sums up the program well:

ARTICLE"Finding Hope under the Surface," by Laura Proescholdt

This project will take place at Northwest Passage, a non-profit residential mental health facility for youth ages 12-17. Located in the Wisconsin Northwoods, Northwest Passage emphasizes nature-based therapeutic programming.  Its In a New Light therapeutic nature photography program has been featured in dozens of exhibitions around the United States, as well as in the media, including this Emmy-award winning piece by Wisconsin Public Television:

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

There's no other programming like it anywhere.  New Light Under the Surface is accomplished in partnership with Northland College ecologist and research diver Dr. Toben LaFrancois.

Dr. LaFrancois leads a lesson on macroinverterbrate ecology.
Dr. LaFrancois leads a lesson on macroinverterbrate ecology.

Why do we need your help?

We strive to help our kids find their voice, to empower them to rewrite their narratives through a lens of hope and strength. In turn, these young artist-adventurers are rewriting society's narrative of what it means to struggle with mental health, and the roles of nature, water, and creativity in healing.  In the process of revealing an underwater world seldom seen, the young artists reveal their own rich, inspiring stories for us. They deserve the right tools and platforms to express their talent as powerfully as possible. 

Durable, quality equipment and high quality publishing are expensive.  Your contributions will enable us to get great gear and publish a beautiful book of underwater images.  

"Hello, Mr. Bluegill" by Jacob, 15
"Hello, Mr. Bluegill" by Jacob, 15

Risks and challenges

A complex project like this is rife with potential hurdles. The upside is that we've already accomplished one season of underwater photography programming AND we've already published a book. We know where all the pitfalls lie. We were very fortunate last year to not have even one safety incident. However, keeping all of our kids safe will always be our top challenge and concern. Dr. LaFrancois is a certified rescue diver, and will lead all underwater excursions. Few in the world have higher levels of training and experience in underwater safety, and Dr. Lafrancois conducts in-depth safety trainings for all kids and staff. We also typically have as close as possible to a 1:1 staff to student ratio. This not only ensures safety of all the participants, but also facilitates ideal conditions for mentoring. In terms of producing the end products, we have been producing photos and books for the past five years, and have the experience to overcome nearly any production hurdle that may emerge. We operate out of the In a New Light Gallery in Webster, WI (a space solely dedicated to showcasing our youths' work) in which we are accustomed to high volume fulfillment, and are continuously building capacity.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank you! You'll receive a 4x6 New Light Under the Surface print by our young artists and a thank you email.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You'll receive the above, plus an 8x10 New Light Under the Surface print along with a written reflection by the artist.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    12 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    All of the above, plus get your own copy of the hardcover 8.5x11 New Light Under the Surface coffee table book! Your name will be listed in the back of the book. PLUS your name will be said aloud in a fun "thank you" video that we'll make with our young artists.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    25 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above, but this time, your copy of the book will be signed by the young artists.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    16 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    All of the above, plus get your own professionally framed 11x14 New Light Under the Surface photograph.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All of the above, plus your name will be added to our "Hope Tree" donor recognition space at our In a New Light Gallery in Webster, WI. And, get free attendance to a full-day group photography workshop in Webster, WI.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All of the above, plus earn the right to name a section of our In a New Light Gallery in Webster, WI for a year.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    All of the above, plus receive a guided 5-day wilderness photography expedition to Apostle Islands National Lakshore or St. Croix National Scenic Riverway - your choice. Trip will be guided by Ben Thwaits, founder of Northwest Passage's photography programs and experienced expedition guide. Learn all of our program's photographic methods, tips and tricks, both terrestrial and underwater, and hear years of stories from our In a New Light programming. Must provide own transportation to Northwest WI or Minneapolis, MN. All other expenses included. Timing flexible to match your schedule, and could make a great gift if you are unable to make the trip. A transformative experience that will change your perspective.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (27 days)