December 2016

Chili and Chat

Before the winter holidays, the Sr. Viewfinders organized a gathering to help facilitate some conversations with East Baltimore residents for the Eastside Stories III project. They decided that having a meal be at the center of the gathering would create the atmosphere they wanted. So, we reached out to a range of residents: elders who'd lived in East Baltimore their whole lives, new residents who just moved here, younger folks who grew up here, people who did community work in the neighborhood, and more. Then, a few days before Christmas, we all gathered for what the Sr. Viewfinders called Chili and Chat.

At the Chili and Chat, we all ate some delicious food. Then, we went around and everyone introduced themselves, who they were, what their relationship to East Baltimore was, and some other information about themselves. As we ate, the Sr. Viewfinders talked to the residents about their experiences in East Baltimore and about what home meant to them. They arranged to do some more in-depth interviews at a later date. The goal of the gathering was to get to know one another and  begin the process of gathering testimonies about home from community members. And, it was a success on all fronts! We have a few pictures of the event below (some of which ultimately ended up in the Eastside Stories III publication).


Silhouettes | Terri and Messiah Show

With the Campaign for Change project finished, we started a new project. Given that we only had three weeks of programming before the winter holidays, we decided to make the project a short and simple one. So, we decided to do silhouette collages! First, the youth traced each others' profiles by using a studio light to cast a shadow on the paper on the wall. This was a really fun activity, and while it required some patience and focus, they did a great job. We wanted to continue to build on their interviewing skills, so the youth interviewed one another about their lives and their interests. Then, they looked through magazines and printed out images from the internet that represented them or told the story of who they are. After looking at some examples, the youth collaged their images into their profile to create the silhouette collages. Check out some of the results below!

For our last session before the holidays, we decided to create a professional set for the youth to interview each other on. We modeled it off of a late night talk show, so there was a desk for the host and a cushy chair for the guest. We set up studio lights and three different cameras: a wide shot and two closeups of the host and guest. When the youth arrived, they came up with their own questions for the interview. Ultimately, that day we only had two youth come because of the impending holiday and some bad weather. So, Terri and Messiah got to interview each other. And they had an awesome time. You can watch the video below!