Sway guest blog – artist teacher Winston Struye
My job title at the Slideluck Youth Initiative is “artist teacher” and it’s not a job I take lightly. To me, the role of an “artist teacher” is similar to that of a “creative leader” in a workplace: someone who can incite creativity in others, open people to possibilities that they did not see before, and, above all else, point students towards the “artist” they all have within them. My method of doing this is by providing students with tools (such as ideas, applications, methods) that can potentially illuminate their own creative potential. And Sway has turned out to be one of the most effective luminaries for showing my students the artists they all within themselves.
The Slideluck Youth Initiative is a branch of Slideluck that does photography outreach programs in under-served communities in New York City and Los Angeles. The program aims to empower students by having them look through the lens of a camera. I hope that by teaching my students how to take photos of the world outside them every day, they will begin to discover insights about what they already have inside of them. You see, the class is labeled as “photography class,” but the themes I get across to my students are more along the lines of critical observation, storytelling, and seeing things from new perspectives. I’m currently to teaching two classes–one with a group of middle-school students in the East New York, Brooklyn, and another class with high-school students in the Bronx.