Contact: Patti Phillips-Best
Director of Development and Communications
m. (412) 223-7025
For immediate release
PITTSBURGH, PA, MAY 4, 2023 — The Maker's Clubhouse will host the Through My Lens: What It’s Like to Be a Child in My Neighborhood exhibit on Thursday, May 11th from 6:30 – 8:00 PM. The family-friendly exhibit will showcase the Photovoice projects of 30 fourth and fifth graders in The Maker's Clubhouse’s after-school program. The event will take place at Bible Center Church, 717 N. Homewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15208.
The Through My Lens project asked the question “Have you ever wondered what life today is like through the eyes of a child?” Since January of 2023, students in the Homewood and Lincoln-Lemington neighborhoods have been learning to use photography and Photovoice methods to creatively share their experiences and leverage their stories to advocate for change. Funded in part by the City of Pittsburgh’s Stop the Violence grants, the project guided these young voices on their path to becoming key agents in transforming our communities.
“Through My Lens is part of The Maker’s Clubhouse’s three-pronged approach to violence prevention,” said Executive Director of Bible Center Church’s The Oasis Project Cynthia Wallace. “The two-generation approach equips parents and students with the tools they need to speak about violence occurring in the neighborhoods where they live, learn, work and play.”
In addition to Through My Lens, students enrolled in The Maker’s Clubhouse’s after-school program are learning tools to manage emotions through the Too Good for Violence curriculum. Parents and caregivers also participated in cohort-based learning through the University of Pittsburgh’s Parenting While Black program, which is a group intervention that provides parents with tools to both support their children's healthy development and their wellness.
Photovoice is an established method developed initially by health researchers (Wang and Burris, 1997). Students used photographs they took with cameras provided of their neighborhood and reflected in journals on the reasons, emotions, and experiences that guided them to choose their selected images. The May 11th gallery-style exhibit will feature student presentations and dialogue with community leaders, as well as, a documentary of the students’ learning and creative process.
The May 11th Through My Lens event will also coincide with a Memorial to the Lost installation from May 6th through May 20th honoring recent victims of gun violence in Homewood.
The Maker's Clubhouse, a program of The Oasis Project which is the community and economic development division of Bible Center Church, is a STEAM enrichment Out-of-School-Time program offering after-school and summer programs for over 200 children who live in and around Homewood. After-school programming takes place at Pittsburgh Public Schools Faison Elementary and Lincoln Prek-5 during the academic year. Green STEAM is a seven-week summer day camp for students in Kindergarten through eighth grade. Additional support for The Maker's Clubhouse is provided by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Richard King Mellon Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The McElhattan Foundation, United Way of Southwestern PA, Jack Buncher Foundation, Giant Eagle Foundation, and Dollar General Literacy Foundation.
The Oasis Project is the community outreach and economic development division of Bible Center Church. Our work focuses on Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, and improving the Environment where people live, learn, work, and worship.