Photography is notable among the arts for its ability to make change in the world. This can take many forms, from documentation of hardship to inspire social change to the exploration of invisible realms, leading to scientific discovery. Equally relevant is the use of photography as a teaching tool, dedicated to building confidence and affecting change in the lives and ambitions of underserved youth.
For the first in a series that reveals the dedication and effort at work behind the scenes within notable youth photography nonprofits, we spoke with Alicia Hansen, founder and executive director of NYC Salt. For the past 12 years, Hansen and a small group of teachers, mentors, and other advisors have engaged, inspired, and empowered New York City students in their journey through high school, into college and beyond, helping them to reach their full potential through photography, video, and an understanding of the visual industry.
Our interview below is illustrated with student photographs from NYC Salt’s recent book project To Each Their Own, a visual representation of how each student is coping with the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. To view more student images and read their project statements, follow the drop-down menus under the Our Students tab on the NYC Salt Website.
Above photograph © Frances Sy
Program Name: NYC Salt*
Location: New York, NY
Year Founded: 2005
Non-Profit Status: 501c3 not-for-profit organization
Length of Program: Sequential, multi-year
Ages Served: Male and female students approximately 14 to 24 years old
*B&H Photo is proud to support NYC Salt as a program partner.