SCCC Outreach Counselor Michelle Chong receives grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs

Michelle Chong in actionSCCC congratulates Outreach counselor Michelle Chong on her recent grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles to bring a photography workshop for teens in the Watts community.

“With the city’s four goals as our guideposts, the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is pleased to announce a program of community investments (grants) for independent artists to act as ‘artists-in-residence’ at non-arts sites of their own choice. This program seeks to fully support multi-week interactive projects that aim to stimulate: community dialogue, life-long learning opportunities for the public, and the availability of interesting free or low-cost creative activities that occur outside of traditional arts agencies and venues.” Joe Smoke, DCA Grants Director

Michelle writes, “I am honored to receive the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Artist-in-Residence grant and am excited to work with the Outreach Program here at SCCC to produce a four-week group therapy and photography workshop series for teens in the Watts community at WLCAC.  The sessions/workshops will occur next spring 2017 and will provide under-served teens with a free, fun, creative opportunity to explore their personal narrative through group discussions and photography. I will facilitate the group conversations and provide introduction level photography instruction on camera functions, shooting techniques, composition, lighting, basic printing, and group critique. During the sessions, teens will explore aspects of their communities through sharing of personal stories and capturing those stories in photographs. At the end of the four sessions, the teens will exhibit their photographs in a culminating event and group exhibition.

As a counselor, as well as a practicing visual artist, my goal is to provide a creative outlet for under-served young adult populations and to introduce basic art skills for creative exploration. The long term benefits include planting seeds in young minds that may grow and support self-empowerment, creativity, self-reflection, and critical thinking. They also include strengthening the community by supporting undeserved young adults and families, fostering connections between artists and the public, and creating and exhibiting art in places where it may not be as visible.”

SCCC is thrilled that Michelle is bringing such an exciting program to the Watts community at WLCAC.

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