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March 5, 2011 / pcatcityartsri

Storytelling

Not all of the artists in our photo class are from the City Arts! neighborhood, but I was lucky enough to walk around with some artists who are. On our walk, one artist showed me where his grandma lives, while another artist pointed out the street that she lives on. The roles reversed and I became the student, learning about the neighborhood from my artist-teachers. It was great to see how confident they were walking around their neighborhoods, in their element and showing us the ropes.

I realized then that they have been our teachers all along, just as we have been theirs. We are all learning from each other. It’s not that long ago that I was in third grade, but I’m far enough removed that I forget what it feels like to be 8 sometimes. Each session at City Arts, however, I am reminded of what it is like to be a that age, and more importantly, I learn what it is like to be a kid from Providence. I look forward to having more opportunities to follow the artists through the neighborhood, hear what they have to say about it, and learn what it is like to be them. In the end, learning each others’ stories is what it’s all about. It teaches us how to build relationships, to empathize with one another, and to live compassionately. In fact, that is exactly what we are doing in this class–giving our artists the opportunity to tell their stories through photography.–Nicole

Check out this cool organization in New York City dedicated to recording people’s oral histories. They’re called StoryCorps:

http://storycorps.org

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