MacPics was a languishing student organization two years ago when Leah Krieble ’11 (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Lauryn Gutierrez ’11 (Hickory, N.C.) got their hands on it. After re-chartering the organization, they decided to really kick-start it by organizing a photography class for high school kids enrolled in YouthCare, a Twin Cities nonprofit that directs services for urban youth.
Krieble had worked as a YouthCare summer camp counselor and knew that the kids it served would love learning photography. So after Krieble and Gutierrez received an action grant from the Civic Engagement Center, the Camp Camera Youth Project came to Macalester last year.
For nine weeks, nine teenagers from St. Paul and Minneapolis came to campus for three-hour sessions with Krieble, Gutierrez, and other members of MacPics. Over those weeks they met with professional photographers, learned styles, vocabulary, and techniques of photography, and took lots of photos, among other activities. They used both film and digital cameras, and even learned to print from negatives.
The Camp Camera student staff were helped along the way by Media Services staff, Krieble’s three-credit Educational Studies internship, and of course that
Civic Engagement Center action grant. YouthCare provided student transportation and dinner for participants.
“The kids were so excited and produced outstanding images,” says Krieble. “In the program evaluations, both the Mac students and the YouthCARE kids noted how much they had enjoyed learning about each other’s lives and exploring photography.”
The program’s culmination was a proper exhibit of high school and Mac student photos at the Minneapolis gallery Hennes Art Company, complete with a grand opening sponsored by the Macalester Program Board.
Best of all, Krieble and Gutierrez recruited some underclassmen to help with Camp Camera, Mac students who have promised to keep it going into the future.