A PhotoVoice Student Showcase and opening reception with beverages and hors d'oeuvres was Tuesday, May 27, at the Moniteau County Library at Wood Place, 501 South Oak Street, California. The event featured the artistic endeavors by students using photography. The students have taken part in the Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) sponsored PhotoVoice classes.
PhotoVoice has been around since the 1990s and focuses on working with youth to learn to see what is in their community and photograph what they see. For seven class sessions over six weeks, photographer Dan Bernskoetter worked with seven young people encouraging them to "step out of the box" with point and shoot cameras and photograph what they see in the community, and caption them to present to others.
The students who took part in the sessions are: Joseline McGinnis, Morgan Kempfer, Christian Contreras, Bohdi Fernandez-Tolentino, Jasmine Kerley, Ashlee Thomas and Dakota Freeman. They learned to experiment with different perspectives, angles and distances. According to Bernskoetter, the young people learned fast and surprised him with some of their photos. A plus for the class was that the Jefferson City Photo Club, of which Bernskoetter is a member, found the funding to allow the students to keep the cameras. "Ordinarily, the students have to give the cameras back after the classes," Bernskoetter said.
The program was developed through the work of Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA). The program is to "empower youth to create social change through photography," according to CMCA facilitator Ashley Varner.
Varner may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-635-4480, extension 24.