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(en)Visioning Hyde Park is a summer art and photography program for underserved middle school students in North St. Louis.
(en)Visioning Hyde Park is a summer art and photography program for underserved middle school students in North St. Louis.
118 backers pledged $4,741 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

On Sunday's Post-Dispatch article

Post's Chief Photographer J.B. Forbes' article

Rebuild Foundation's Urban Expressions summer art program is highlighted in the Sunday, July 10th edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an article titled, "Kids learn about their neighborhood through photography."

The article by J.B. Forbes outlines the program's activities and intentions based upon his visit with our group on Wednesday, July 6th, our first day back in session after the 4th of July holiday weekend.

The above photograph by J.B. Forbes (for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) was captured at a key moment during our walking tour of the neighborhood. A family living across from the old Krey meat-packing plant was arguing loudly on their doorstep capturing everyone's attention. We paused for a few moments while the kids took some photographs from a distance before continuing down the street.

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We discussed the incident as an occurrence they'd all previously witnessed on the streets of Hyde Park. We talked about the possible functions that photography and the internet can play in sharing stories, ideas and emotions with others. Having Mr. Forbes with us in the classroom helped to illustrate the journalistic uses of photography and how such images can transmit powerful messages based on the context within which such images are presented.

In this case, it became a "live" opportunity to talk about perceptions and representations of Hyde Park in the media, the functions that mass media can play in a community, the role that social media has in our daily lives and the relationship between (and relative strengths and weaknesses of) text and images to communicate.

The above photograph by J.B. Forbes (for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) depicts me teaching Angel about downloading and organizing photographs on a computer after they've been transferred from their digital cameras.

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We also talked about why others outside their immediate friends and family would be interested in seeing their photographs. The implications of these questions and issues have only begun to be raised and discussed. We'll continue to explore these concerns and others during the remainder of the program.

I'm interested in getting our backers' (and others') perspective on the article and whether they feel the overall tone and content supports our educational and artistic goals. What other issues do you feel we should address in this regard?

Update #4: We made it!

Thank you so much to all of our backers and partners in making this happen. We met and exceeded our goal of $4,200 reaching a total of $4,741.50!

We've been getting more attention for our project in the St. Louis media. Today the St. Louis American ("Continously published for more than 82 years, the St. Louis American newspaper has emerged as the leading, most-trusted voice of the area's African-American community") published the following article with a link to a gallery of our kids photographs:

Photos 'North of Delmar'

Twenty children enrolled in a photography class in the Urban Expressions summer program in the Hyde Park neighborhood are now able to view their photographs on the website of Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice. 

The Urban Expressions program is part of an effort by the Rebuild Foundation, which works to build vibrant neighborhoods in a variety of ways, including hands-on education and artistic programs.

"Everyone needs to see what these children see," said Women's Voices President Mary Clemons. "Some of their photos are heart-breaking, and many of them are heartwarming."

To view some of their work, go to and click on the "North of Delmar" photo gallery in the right-hand column.

You can find this article online by clicking here.

Moving Forward

We're working to implement plans for the exhibition at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group's gallery as well as our collaboration with the CityStudioSTL program organized through Washington University's Sam Fox School ("Somethingness: Ways of Seeing and Building" takes place from Monday July 11 through Friday July 29, 2011). This program for university students will intersect with our programs for middle school students enriching both groups.

We are in the final hours - can we reach $5,000?

We are in the final hours, can we reach $5,000 - we're just a little shy of it - please pitch in and help the kids.  It would be a great accomplishment if we could get there.  We are less than $300 away - what do you say?  Add on an extra $5.00 each and we are there!

Envisioning Hyde Park Backers are the BEST!

Stewardship in the Community video

Enjoy this update and celebration of the program that is going on in the neighborhood.  In addition to doing photography, the kids are also performing stewardship work.  These benches, designed and painted by the kids, will go in the garden of the Most Holy Trinity Church.  Check out the beautiful work they accomplished.

Update posted by Lynn Raimist, spouse of Andrew and supporter of Kickstarter Hyde Park and the Envisioning program.  Video and editing by Andrew.

First Week

Our program has begun! The kids are totally psyched and I've already got them taking pictures. In addition to working with Canon Powershot digital point-and-shoot cameras, each day I bring in a different camera to show them.

The first day they all got to try out my Nikon DSLR.The second day I brought in a Kodak Brownie from the early twentieth century. I explained that fundamentally all of these cameras do exactly the same thing.

We concluded the week with plans for a barbecue and afternoon creative celebration with volleyball, face-painting, t-shirt screen-printing, portraits and more. Friday's intense storm drove us inside, but didn't dampen our spirits!

I shot everyone's portraits in a makeshift portrait studio set-up. I've edited and posted several to my Flickr photostream.

Urban Expressions

Urban Expressions

We also got a wonderful article published about our program in St. Louis Magazine by Zakea Boeger. A special shout-out goes to their Arts & Entertainment Editor Stefene Russell who made it all possible!

St. Louis Magazine article

And here's a self-portrait taken in the midst of all the action:

Urban Expressions

Thanks again for your support. Please be sure to let others know the deadline for reaching our goal is Wednesday 6 July.