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Photography meets social justice with a one-of-a-kind digital projection gallery that showcases youth photography anywhere.
116 backers pledged $7,900 to help bring this project to life.

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$7,900

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THANK YOU! We reached our goal of $7,500 to build Lightbox! Please keep going!

ALL FUNDS RAISED ABOVE $7,500 will help cover transportation and maintenance costs for Lightbox. And don't forget that you can catch the debut of Lightbox at our 10th annual exhibit of youth photography for social change -- No Filter -- on May 20th!

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Critical Exposure is creating a mobile digital gallery called "Lightbox." It's a first-of-its-kind digital pop-up exhibit that can project our students' photos and captions virtually anywhere in the city. With the help of MakeDC, now, our students' can share their voices, photographs, and campaigns anywhere, anytime.

Our goal is to raise $7,500 in less than 2 weeks so we can unveil the display at our Year-End Student Exhibit of Photography on Wed., May 20th. More than 400 supporters will be there to see our students' photos.  Given this short timeline, we need your support!

Critical Exposure, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, believes that those who are listened to the least often have the most important things to say. While low-income youth and youth of color are often discussed and critiqued, their experiences and perspectives rarely have a platform to be expressed. 

Lightbox is a new tool that will enable young people to be seen and heard in an innovative new way anywhere in D.C.

This project is only possible with community support. Your donation will enable us to:

  • Create a one-of-a-kind mobile gallery that amplifies the voices of disadvantaged youth.
  • Project images created by youth wherever and whenever they need to be seen, putting young people's talents and perspectives front and center.
  • Enhance D.C. residents’ understanding of issues impacting youth and build support for youth-led solutions.
Critical Exposure's Lightbox
Critical Exposure's Lightbox

ABOUT CRITICAL EXPOSURE

Critical Exposure is a nonprofit that trains youth in photography, leadership, and advocacy to develop a new generation of civic leaders and change-makers who can strengthen low-income schools and communities.

Critical Exposure students gain the skills to share what the world looks like through their eyes. Using photography, students document issues impacting their education. They then lead campaigns to advocate for solutions to the problems they face in their schools and communities.

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ABOUT THE LIGHTBOX GALLERY

HOW IS IT BUILT?

Lightbox will be a 6x6x6’ cube and will transform the way our students' art is displayed, all thanks to its small but mighty nerve cell. Made of four projectors, the nerve cell will project students’ photos on the 4 surrounding screens.

Scale model of Lightbox.
Scale model of Lightbox.
Lightbox’s small but mighty nerve cell is made of 4 projectors that each cast a different photo on the encompassing 6’x6’ fabric screen.
Lightbox’s small but mighty nerve cell is made of 4 projectors that each cast a different photo on the encompassing 6’x6’ fabric screen.

The projectors have built-in Wi-Fi, so we can live-stream events, engage community members through social media, and add new photos and captions in real time! 

Lightbox will be battery-powered and able to be folded up into a duffel bag. We'll be able to pop it up in under 20 minutes. 

Students at our annual exhibit of youth photography for social change. This year's exhibit, No Filter, will take place on May 20th and will feature the debut of Lightbox.
Students at our annual exhibit of youth photography for social change. This year's exhibit, No Filter, will take place on May 20th and will feature the debut of Lightbox.

LIGHTBOX BENEFITS OUR STUDENTS

Our students shoot thousands of photos each year, but they can’t always attend the exhibits we set up to showcase their work. In addition, many schools can’t accommodate a standard photo exhibit, and many of the neighborhoods our students live in, especially in Wards 7 and 8, do not have art galleries. 

Lightbox’s mobility would allow us to return the photos to our students’ schools and communities -- simply by popping up the gallery in front of schools, on street corners, you name it.

LIGHTBOX BENEFITS D.C. RESIDENTS

Critical Exposure students’ photographs give insight into the experiences of D.C. youth. Lightbox will allow youth to educate and engage the D.C. community, with the goal of collectively creating change.

With Lightbox, community members can support our students’ work by using social media to sign virtual petitions projected on the screen, take their own photos in support of a student campaign, or tweet at decision-makers to demand action. Imagine the potential for engaging the community. Imagine the results of that engagement.

D.C. has few art galleries in low-income neighborhoods.
D.C. has few art galleries in low-income neighborhoods.

Lightbox’s mobility will also address a disparity that affects nearly 25% of the city’s population. The most economically distressed areas of the city, particularly Wards 7 and 8, have little access to art galleries, especially within walking distance of most of the residents’ homes.

Critical Exposure students’ artwork illustrates important issues that many D.C. residents are unaware of. Along with educating the public about these issues, Lightbox would allow supporters to take action in support of students’ campaigns when and where students choose.

The full cost of the project is $10,000, but thanks to the SuPau Private Trust, we're already 25% of the way! Can you help us find 750 people who can give $10+ each? Everyone who donates will be invited to a special night-time viewing of Critical Exposure's Lightbox!

The new distribution of art with Lightbox.
The new distribution of art with Lightbox.

Check out our work on Facebook and Twitter

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Critical Exposure is a registered 501(c)3. All pledges for this project, Lightbox, are tax-deductible. 

Risks and challenges

For certain locations, we may need D.C. city permits. We're researching restrictions and avenues to navigate the system so that we can display Lightbox on sidewalks, in residential neighborhoods and public parks, and anywhere else our students want to share their photos.

If we raise more than $7,500 we'll be using the funds for transportation of Lightbox to different locations, and for costs associated with maintenance.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    I want to be at the debut!

    Get exclusive access to find out when and where we'll have our first under the stars viewing of Lightbox.

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    21 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Button up!

    Receive a limited edition Lightbox button at our annual Spring Exhibit on May 20th and skip the line, plus all items listed above.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    21 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    I want to own the photos!

    Receive a copy of a Critical Exposure hard cover photo book, plus all items listed above.

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    Ships to Only United States
    22 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    See my name up in bright lights!

    Your name will be projected on Lightbox during our opening reception and at our under the stars event.

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    15 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Up my coffee table game!

    Receive a copy of our not-yet-released 10-year special-edition coffee table book, plus all items listed above. This book features the best photos of the last 10 years!

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    2 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    I want to celebrate 10 years!

    Receive two tickets to our 10-year anniversary celebration in D.C.

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  7. Select this reward

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

    I want to join the society!

    Membership in the Gordon Parks Society, which grants you exclusive access to Critical Exposure events.

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    1 backer
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  8. Select this reward

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

    I want to host Lightbox!

    Choose one 4-hour block of time for a Lightbox exhibit location. It could be your front yard, your office lobby, you name it! Plus all items listed above.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 7,500 or more About US$ 7,500

    Name game!

    Lightbox sponsorship naming rights -- you're the title sponsor for Lightbox. Plus all items listed above.

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Funding period

- (11 days)