New Voices connects high school students to their communities through photography.
New Voices is a program for high school students that pairs them with community organizations to learn about and connect with important community issues. Students photograph the work of the agency and work side-by-side with members or guests of the agency to produce images and text which reflect the agency's identity in the community. Students develop a strong understanding of significant community issues and the ability to empathize with diverse socio-economic and racial groups throughout the community. Students work with their agency partners to create artistic exhibits, installations, publications and videos which express their shared understandings and experiences.
New Voices seeks to create student ambassadors for change by connecting them with individuals who are experiencing various forms of dependency including homelessness, lack of basic living necessities or addiction to name a few. Students literally put a face on significant community issues by working with individuals who are in challenged circumstances by collecting firsthand narratives from them. By working with their partners hand in hand over the course of a typical New Voices program (about 10 weeks), students develop a strong sense of empathy with those in dependent or marginalized circumstances. Past New Voices participants and partners discuss their experiences in the videos on this page.
Prairie produces school and community based photo programs outside of New Voices. These programs range from after-school or in-school photo based projects or custom designed photo programs for community organizations throughout Greater Cincinnati. Prairie has also been a proud participant in all three Fotofocus Biennial Festivals of Photography with a variety of community photo projects which have shown at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, University of Cincinnati DAAP Galleries and other venues.
Prairie produces a range of video projects in the course of its programming, ranging from student led documentaries and narratives to projects made to serve specific needs of community agencies. Student created videos have dealt with issues including bullying, freedom of religion and community planning. Longer length public service videos have been created for agencies including Hyde Park Health Center, Ohio Justice and Policy Center and Lighthouse Youth Services.