ART CHANGES LIVES.
Studio 678 provides an intensive arts experience for thirty city youth ages 11-14. For 15 years this program has used photography to integrate practical applications of all school subjects, cultivate strong mentoring relationships, provide a means of self-expression, and develop important life skills.
54% of Rochester children live in poverty, the 7th highest poverty rate in the nation
The neighborhoods we serve are home to 27% of the city’s residents and 80% of the homicides.
The four year high school graduation rate in Rochester is 46%.
Most city middle students do not have access to a photography program at their school and many do not have access to art at all….but photo club is about more than photography.
The four year graduation rate for former Studio 678 members is over 85%.
The life skills acquired - confidence, discipline, perseverance, and problem- solving - are skills our students will use for the rest of their lives. The introduction of caring and positive adult role models into their lives is invaluable. Lifelong bonds have been formed between students and teachers as well as among students that didn’t know each other prior.
BUT DONT TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT:
“Photo Club was probably one of the most memorable memories that I cherish most. The three years I spent in the club gave me the tools and a hobby that I will use for the rest of my life.”
-LeNee Ward, Studio 678 Member 2002-2004
“At the age of 11, I had no idea how this after school program would shape and change my life. From this program, I took away more than basic photographic skills. The most important lesson I learned from this program was persistence and being passionate about what you love to do. I can honestly attribute every positive achievement in my life, in some way, to my experience in photo club.”
-Tiffany Heard, Studio 678 member 2000-2002
“When I was in college, I was fortunate enough to have been accepted as a teacher for this wonderful, wonderful program. I met so many amazing kids & watched them grow into confident young adults as they learned photography & explored their creativity. One of my former students is now one of my closest friends & will be in my life forever.”
-Erica Eichelkraut, former lead teacher/funder
“Photo club was a wonderful experience for me! I love teaching and could see the benefits for the students I worked with. More programs like this need to happen in the community. I am by no means the richest person, but this is a cause that can definitely use everyone’s support.”
-Kaci Smith, former lead teacher/funder
ABOUT THE PROGRAM:
Studio 678 started in the spring of 1999 and is now entering its sixteenth consecutive year as a 24 session after school photography program for 30 students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades at Wilson Foundation Academy. The club is free to the students and receives no funding from the Rochester City School District.
The 30 students are broken up into groups of 5 and assigned a lead teacher that they will work with throughout the year. The 1:5 ratio is essential for accomplishing depth of instruction and mentoring relationships. We meet with students one day a week, Thursday, after school for 4 hours each meeting. The program runs from late September through the end of March, resulting in over 100 hours of after school student commitment. In addition to the lead teachers, Studio 678 also enlists many volunteer photographers to achieve the 1:1 ratio we like to see in the darkroom printing sessions.
The photographers of Community Darkroom work in partnership with teacher advisors from Wilson Foundation Academy. These teachers provide an essential link from the school to this after-school program. They help recruit students and monitor their academic performance, attendance and individual needs.
Since 1999, SWAN at the Southwest Community Center has provided bus transportation for all 24 meetings. Students experience an exciting array of field trips to college campuses, businesses, artist studios, urban neighborhoods and natural environments, historic and cultural locations and more.
The six goals of photo club are for students to:
Students learn how to use a professional 35mm camera, go on field trips in the community to take pictures, make their own 8x10 black & white prints in the darkroom, compose writing to accompany their photographs and create their own pages for the annual club book using Photoshop and InDesign. All students also cut their own mats and frame a selection of their 8 x 10 photographs for exhibition and second and third year students complete special projects.
At the conclusion of the year, all of the club members' photographs and writing are displayed at the Link Gallery in City Hall with an opening reception and awards ceremony in City Council Chambers. A student created video featuring their photographs as well as photographs of them working throughout the year is shown, the finished book is given to students and funders and members are presented with certificates of achievement from community leaders. Our second and third year eighth grade graduates received their own cameras. Each year, over 200 parents, teachers, friends, funders and community representatives are in attendance.
WE NEED YOUR HELP.
Studio 678 is a $60,000 a year program ($2,000 per student). This money pays for transportation, food, supplies and equipment, facilities usage, teachers, exhibit and book preparations for 30 children.
We receive no funding through the Rochester City School District. Our program is funded through donations from individuals, businesses and foundations.
Despite a proven track record of success, our program desperately needs support that will sustain it. After significant funding cutbacks both nationally and locally, we must find new funding sources.
You can help us in several different ways:
Our goal is to stabilize funding for our current program and be able to bring this program to other schools. Every RCSD student deserves access to quality hands-on arts experiences.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 585-271-5920
This video, shown as an into at the City Hall exhibition, includes portraits of each Studio 678 member, images of the groups in action-on field trips photographing, printing, matting & framing and thank yous to our many fantastic funders and field trip hosts that help make it all possible. Run time of 6 minutes 56 seconds.
Each of our 6 groups of students edit and sequence their work, setting it to music of their choice, creating a video. Each of the group videos are combined into one final presentation that is shown at the exhibit opening at City Hall’s Link Gallery. Each group video has a run time of around 3 minutes. Additionally, rounding out this year’s presentation, our students were interested in making a video of their version of the Harlem Shake dance craze (and is not to be missed) for a total video length of 20 minutes 29 seconds.