Participants in each community are given a camera and learn how to use it with intention to express their ideas. Working with skilled professional photographers, youth learn a variety of comprehensive skills from taking photographs and developing film, to making exhibit quality prints. These photographs are then displayed and sold in numerous exhibits across Baltimore City.
Since 2001, Youthlight students have created a revealing and powerful portfolio of inner city life and community in Baltimore. From graffiti marked and drug strewn corners, to smiling neighbors and family dinners the participants of Youthlight have utilized photography to reflect their voice back to their community producing work that is real, disturbing, and poignant. The images they create are documents of the complexities of their neighborhoods and families, and the longing to create and be something better. With the help of Youthlight, disadvantaged children in Baltimore champion their own ideas, tackle everyday problems by placing a critical eye on their surroundings, and ultimately recognize their own power and dignity, the true seeds of peace.
The Youthlight program provides youth in each neighborhood access to Macintosh computers to learn Photoshop software to create magazines, business cards, newsletters, and book layouts utilizing their own images. Youthlight participants also design media messages to address a problem they would like to change in their community or highlight a positive aspect of their community. Youth do all aspects of the design from initial concept, photography, to final layout. The finished PSA designs are then shown on actual billboards in their communities and around Baltimore City. Students have designed and exhibited over ten Billboard PSA's throughout Baltimore highlighting the positive power of youth in city communities.
Another way that Access Art young people become aware of their power and ability to create change is by designing and painting murals in communities throughout Baltimore. These murals not only provide invaluable artistic instruction, but also beautify communities and connect students to neighbors and local community members. Access Art participants have completed ten public murals and designed one fish and two crabs for the Fish Out of Water and Crabtown campaigns respectively.