2016 ANNUAL REPORT
In 2016, Seeing for Ourselves continued to have an impact while laying the groundwork for the next big step.
Project Lives: New York Public Housing Residents Photograph Their World was a focus of the well-attended Hunter College exhibition "Affordable Housing in New York" running from February 10 through May 15 in its East Harlem Gallery. This show earned Project Lives yet additional coverage in CityLab/The Atlantic. We followed up this triumph by staging an exhibit at the Art League of Long Island from June 21 through August 22, earning a notice in The New York Times.
Meanwhile, Project Lives won the coveted Montaigne Medal in the spring for the most thought-provoking book of 2015, also placing as a Finalist in two categories of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. The book won yet another prominent fan in the fall, earning a strong plaudit from Noam Chomsky.
Our next effort, Supervised Lives: New Yorkers on Probation Photograph Their World, earned strong reviews in the applications for grants by the Pinkerton Foundation, NeON Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Unfortunately, Pinkerton ran out of money, the 17-month project could not fit into NeON's timeframe, and a strong endorsement by Senator Kristen Gillebrand in June was outside the timeframe to be considered by the NEA for its 2017 awards. NEA has encouraged us to include this endorsement in our re-application for 2018.
With Chelsea Davis assuming 24/7 responsibilities at her new non-profit job, Seeing for Ourselves succeeded in recruiting a valuable participatory photography practitioner for Supervised Lives, Thi Bay Miradoli. And we prepared a campaign to raise money in 2017 using the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.
Seeing for Ourselves is strongly positioned to take its work to the next level in 2017.
Hunter College East Harlem Gallery exhibit
Art League of Long Island exhibit
"Revealing and playful."
Project Lives: New York Public Housing Residents Photograph Their World made an appearance at yet another major exhibition, this time the Hunter East Harlem Gallery show "Affordable Housing in New York," running from February 10 through May 15. We staged our own exhibit at the Art League of Long Island over the summer.
Meanwhile, word came in the spring that Project Lives had won the Montaigne Medal, awarded by the Eric Hoffer Foundation to the most thought-provoking book of the year, a follow-up to winning honors for the best photography book at the New York Book Festival in 2015. And then, the icing on the cake: Project Lives was named a Finalist in not one but two categories at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Current Events/Social Change and Multicultural Non-Fiction.
Finally, a glowing endorsement of Project Lives by Noan Chomsky in the fall added to our list of illustrious supporters.
Supervised Lives: New Yorkers on Probation placed strongly in applications for grants from the Pinkerton Foundation, NeON Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. It is anticipated that a strong endorsement of our NEA application received from Senator Kristen Gillibrand in June will push us over the line in 2018.
Meanwhile, we have prepared a crowdfunding appeal slated for Kickstarter in 2017 and recruited a talented practitioner of participatory photography to assist in this new project.
NYC probation centers
Thi Bay Miradoli
Twitter and Facebook outreach continues even though Project Lives was published in April 2015.
Coverage of Project Lives has come from every channel. Each review was positive, with all reproducing the photographs.
Audited financial statements in progress
In 2015, shown above, we at Seeing for Ourselves volunteered our own labor, which dominated Revenue and Expenses. We otherwise essentially used 2014 investment of capital to promote Project Lives, while also scoping out Supervised Lives. In 2016, we simply volunteered our own labor, amounting to around $28K in Revenue and Expenses.
LOOKING TO 2017
We at Seeing for Ourselves look forward to launching our second project in 2017.
The political climate in this country will be way different than in the first two years of our existence. This will entail new challenges, including to the cause of criminal justice system reform. But the encouragement we continued to receive in 2016 has us fired up and ready to go!