‘Warwick Voices through Photos’ exhibit travels on

Warwick. Check out this community-run photo show coming to the Albert Wisner Public Library.

| 24 Dec 2023 | 02:11

On January 5, the culminating exhibition of We the People Warwick’s “Warwick Voices through Photos” dialogue program will open at Albert Wisner Public Library in Warwick, the second stop of the exhibition’s travels. On Saturday, January 6, from 1 to 2 p.m., We the People Warwick will host a presentation by some Warwick residents who participated in the six-week program. The presentation will be followed by a reception during which light refreshments will be served.

“Warwick Voices through Photos” was an “Essential Photovoice dialogue program” — a combination of amateur photography and facilitated group discussion — offered by We the People Warwick in the fall of 2023.

Over the course of the “Warwick Voices through Photos” program, Warwick residents who participated were asked to take photographs in response to questions created by Essential Photovoice to generate dialogue between participants about themselves and the community. Participants then shared their photos and the stories behind them at the weekly meetings held at the Warwick Valley Community Center.

“A very important element of this program is that as the series progresses, participants feel increasingly comfortable and safe with each other, and sharing deepens. This allowed participants to work together to identify, from the nearly 100 photos shared and discussed, which should become part of the exhibit and to help each other write the titles and captions that best communicate what they were trying to express through them. This process culminated in a collection of nearly 50 images and stories that reveal shared values and the caring, talent, and ingenuity that contribute to our town flourishing,” said Beverly Braxton, founder and director of We the People Warwick.

The first public exhibition of the participant-selected photos was held from November 12 to December 3 at the Greenwood Lake Public Library. The exhibition will be open to the public again from January 5 through February 28 in Albert Wisner Public Library’s Community Room.

Braxton added that she is “confident that the program made additional progress toward We the People Warwick’s goal of fostering deeper connection among Warwick’s diverse residents” and shared that, “Facilitators and participants alike were new to this approach and so learning took place on both sides. It is our belief that this challenging work deepened everyone’s understanding of human complexity, the value of diversity, and that what we share is more powerful than what divides us.”

Results of the anonymous feedback survey of participants at the conclusion of the program included that 100% of responding participants found that they “have some things in common with someone they might not have expected” and 86% shared that “having participated in the ‘Warwick Voices through Photos’ dialogue series will make them more likely to engage with others at a deeper level in the future.” A total of 78% of participants responded to the survey.

Additional information about the Warwick Voices through Photos program can be found at wethepeoplewarwick.org/photovoice. Funding for the Warwick Voices through Photos program and exhibition was provided through a grant from Essential Partners (whatisessential.org), a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

We the People Warwick is a volunteer grassroots organization that was formed in 2021. In 2022, We the People Warwick was incorporated in New York and became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. More information about We the People Warwick and their other upcoming programs can be found at wethepeoplewarwick.org.