First Person Festival virtual brochure is up!

Photographs and writing by last year’s students from Nueva Esperanza Academy High School will be on view in a few weeks during  First Person Festival, November 10 – 20 on the 4th Floor of Christ Church Neighborhood House located at 2nd Street just North of Market. Check out the Virtual Brochure for more details on page 23 of 25!


Banners are up!

I just received images from Phillip at North 5th Street of our LTP banners now OFFICIALLY installed along North 5th Street, just north and south of Olney Avenue. If you are in the area and get a chance to see them please snap a photo to share with us, or let us know your thoughts!

Word on the street is…banner installation began at 10am today!

We are anxiously awaiting pictures to share, and would like to again thank North 5th Street for all their work to make the FIRST community installation of work by students participating in LTP happen in the FIRST year of the program in Philadelphia!

LTP at this fall’s First Person Arts Festival!

I am pleased to announce that works by 14 students from Nueva Esperanza Academy Charter High School have been selected to be part of a small traveling exhibition of Seeing Through Young Eyes at First Person Arts’ Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art at Christ’s Church in Old City from November 10 – 20.

Alissandra Colon, Nueva Esperanza Academy Charter H.S.


First Community Installation

In partnership with the North Fifth Street Revitalization Project (NFSRP), located near 5th and Olney, we are proud to announce that the first community-installation of work by students participating in Learning Through Photography at Moore will commence this July!

Representatives from NFSRP selected 12 works to introduce Learning Through Photography at Moore in the community surrounding three of our five inaugural schools: Nueva Esperanza H.S., Grover Washington, Jr. M.S. and William Cramp Elementary School.

This is only the first in what we hope will be a continued effort to place student work created as part of  LTP in ALL communities that surround our participating schools.

Congratulations to these students and stayed tuned for details about a small ceremony to mark the unveiling in late July!!

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Angel Hogan @ Esperanza

Angel Hogan, a Philadelphia-based poet is working with Zafka Christensen and her students at Nueva Esperanza Academy Charter High School as their teaching artist for the LTP Project. As a workshop leader in storytelling at First Person Arts and with experience also at Art Sanctuary, Angel worked with students yesterday on a Thesaurus Brainstorm to begin her activity.

She began by having each student stand, introduce themselves and say “ONE thing that we would not know by looking at you.” She gave an example, introducing and talking about herself and then recited Perkasie Dirt to present the idea that understanding someone may not necessarily mean that they really/truly understand who you are.

A Thesaurus Brainstorm takes eight commonly used words that students would most likely use during a writing exercise about themselves, and as a group, they brainstorm synonyms for these 8 words.  The eight words chosen included: Nice, Bad, Like, Good, Great, Fun, Love, and Happy. Below is the list is synonyms that students came up with:

The words on the list, along with a few others, were written on paper and placed in an Inspiration Bag which students pulled 2 words from to write a headline of a story. Imagining themselves as “reporters,” once a headline had been created, students wrote one-paragraph first-person stories describing something interesting or intriguing about the person. What makes them unique? Why are they important to you? In what way do they influence your life?

Next week the students will share their stories, and discuss editing, designing and connecting their stories to a photograph.

Cameras, printers and paper OH MY!

On January 10 I was so excited to start delivering the cameras, printers and paper and ink sets to each of the LTP classrooms!

Of course there was a impending snow storm and I ran into numerous buses out for early dismissals, but this was an important day that I could not put off any longer. Students and teachers had been anxiously awaiting the delivery since November; it was like Christmas in January! I had spent the previous Sunday packing up boxes and boxes of new Kodak digital cameras, Canon compact digital printers, photographic paper and ink sets. Tuesday afternoon I loaded up my car, bundled myself up and headed out for delivery.

The  supplies given to each classroom are now the property of that school to be used for years to come as LTP continues to grow to include new classes, teachers and students.