2019 ANNUAL REPORT
In 2019, Seeing for Ourselves continued its second effort, on behalf of the clients of New York's Department of Probation, another population like public housing residents whose media image had hamstrung their efforts to create a better life and who might benefit from obtaining a marketable skill and an open career path.
Chelsea continued to run the project on the ground as a temporary employee of the Department, staging exhibits at the Hunter East Harlem Gallery in March and the Denise Bibro Fine Art Gallery in September. Meanwhile, Jonathan refined the book manuscript, produced a four-minute trailer promoting the book, obtained interim approval by the Department of a draft, prepared a book proposal, found an agent, and began work on a 30-40 minute documentary. Meanwhile, George continued to provide overall direction while arranging for a major exhibition of our work at the Islip Art Museum in 2020.
The effort was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Sigma Corporation of America provided the cameras, and the city's Work Progress Program allowed us to pay stipends to participants so they could earn while they learned.
In the view of the NEA, our pre-existing camera stock had no value, so in effect the balance sheet for the year was effectively a blank. We put out funds and then were reimbursed by NEA and WPP. But Jonathan and George continued to contribute a person-year between them in voluntary labor, Jonathan paying his own way down from his Maine home to NYC periodically.