Since 1991, Sixth Street Photography Workshop has provided free photographic training to the homeless and low-income community of San Francisco. We have an on-going beginning photography workshop taught by S. Renee Jones, an advanced Workshop photographer. We recruit participants for our classes from shelters, residential hotels, social service agencies and community organizations. Classes meet every Wednesday for darkroom and field sessions with occasional museum and gallery field trips. Participants are supplied with film, paper and cameras and have access to our darkroom and studio. They can also work with digital cameras.
Interested students are invited to continue in the weekly advanced photo program. There they conceptualize projects, photograph in the community, print images and mount exhibits. They work in traditional film based and digital photography. Some advanced photographers have been involved with the Workshop for as long as ten years.
Our constituency is as culturally diverse as the community we serve. Most are receiving financial assistance due to disability and some are recovering addicts of drugs and/or alcohol. The program is open to people living below the poverty line.
This letter of support is from an adult participant who has been working with the Workshop for over a year:
"I am a domestic violence victim who turned up in San Francisco two years ago with only the clothes I was wearing. Being homeless in San Francisco has been difficult.
My life in San Francisco can be viewed as life before the Sixth Street Photography Workshop and since then. In every way my life has improved dramatically since I joined the workshop. I had a psychotherapist, but that relationship did not provide the support I needed to put my life back together.
The workshop, on the other hand, caused my creativity to re-emerge and my enthusiasm to reappear. This has affected me in a profound way.
My fellow workshop participants and instructors have coalesced into a supportive group…I now cannot conceive of life without photography"
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