Toronto not-for-profit facing severe shortage of photography equipment for youth in media programs
Lawrence Heights area not-for-profit, Leave Out Violence known as LOVE in the community, is facing a challenge: there are more youth than cameras for their Media Arts Program. Photography has long been at the centre of LOVE’s mission to change the lives of young people who have experienced violence in high priority neighbourhoods. Using the camera as a tool to document their lives and learn new skills, youth in LOVE’s Media Arts Program use cameras to view the world in different ways. Leave Out Violence Executive Director says “Media has great power in the lives of young people. It is a conduit to their world and a critical influencer of attitudes, behaviours and choices. Youth in LOVE are given the opportunity to find their voice and explore their world through the safe lens of a camera. They discover that what they communicate has impact on others and that their voice can change lives.”
Leading up to Valentine’s Day, LOVE is launching a crowd funding campaign “Spread the LOVE” on the popular Go Fund Me platform. They hope to raise $5,000 to buy enough camera equipment for youth in programs today and for next year. For the past 20 years LOVE has provided local young people who have experienced violence the chance to explore and learn through photography and are asking for support to keep it going.
Arts based service programs like this increasingly have less funding but increased numbers of participants seeking them out. With growing violence and isolation in Toronto communities, LOVE wants to make sure they can continue getting young people to go down the right path by being involved in positive activities. LOVE is asking supporters to contribute on their Go Fund Me page Spread the LOVE! Cameras for Youth and to help spread the word – and the love.
For more information, please visit http://leaveoutviolence.org or contact the Ontario office at 416-785-8411.