My Park, My Neighborhood

Organization and community: Fairmount Park Conservancy (Philadelphia, PA)

During the summer of 2018, 11 students spent six weeks exploring Fairmount Park and Strawberry Mansion, cameras in hand, snapping away at their surroundings. They were a part of Fairmount Park Conservancy’s “My Park, My Neighborhood” program that offered local youth a chance to learn digital photography and storytelling techniques with nature and explore the history of their neighborhood. "My Park, My Neighborhood" was developed by Fairmount Park Conservancy in partnership with the Strawberry Mansion Neighborhood Action Center, the Strawberry Mansion Learning Center, and the East Park Revitalization Alliance.

Intisar “Star” Hamilton was the teaching artist hired by Fairmount Park Conservancy to lead the new photography program. When asked what drew her to this project in this Q&A, Hamilton responded, “I make art to express my freedom in this contemporary context. This camp spoke to me because it’s an opportunity for kids to speak their truth, to show the world what they see, just as they see it. It’s a special thing to witness when a child grabs hold of their freedom. It’s a blessing to be a part of that.”