Work Through My Lens

A revolutionary photo-storytelling project by food service workers!
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debby florence
Photography
Missoula, Montana
United States
5 Team Members

Tweet to your friends! #workthrumylens  #newlabor  #voicesofthepoor #photovoice

"So often the stories of marginalized individuals and communities have been told by outsiders – if they’re told at all. Those who have power and resources at their disposal often speak so loudly that the voices of others are drowned out. Photovoice is an effort to balance conversation by valuing the stories of the previously unheard." - Margaret Cissel, Look Out Loud

"This worker gave up a day's wages to pay for the non-slip shoes her boss required her to wear to work. How many meals did that worker miss? A bill that went unpaid? Medicine not taken?" The Alliance for a Just Society

What does empowerment mean to you?

Using photos and text, ‘Through My Lens’ participants will produce a statewide fine-art exhibit to instigate cultural discussion about an overlooked population; the project, which uses the national “PhotoVoice” framework, will provide a tangible narrative and visible community that will increase solidarity among workers and engage new and unexpected allies. ‘Through My Lens’ will pull the stark reality of the working class out of the alienating realm of faceless numbers and statistics.

Food service workers contribute to their communities.  They volunteer, they teach, they create music and art, and they also eat food and pay their bills in Montana. Their kids go to our schools, their families play in our parks.  We want to give them a chance to show you the whole picture. The best way to do that is to give food workers the camera.  We'll provide tools and training.  They will do the rest. Wondering who "we" are?  "We" organizers of this project each have years of food service work experience ourselves. Some of us are currently working in food.  So this project means a lot to each one of us. 

 In Missoula Montana, food service work is one of the only viable jobs. And we know this is true in many communities.  Our mountains and rivers attract people from all over the world.  Montana was listed by residents as the number one state to live in, in a 2014 Gallup poll. Missoula is a place where food service is a major part of our economy. We pride ourselves on our tourism, our arts and entertainment, and our bustling restaurants downtown, at our local mall, and along our shopping corridors. However, the average food service worker only makes around $12,000 per year. We don't think our story is very unusual.  But we know its not being heard. We want to make an exhibit that speaks truth to power, and hopefully resonates with low wage workers all over the nation, and joins the new movement of working people today.  


The project budget and itinerary.....

Your donation is an easy way to add energy, voice and power to this dynamic project.  We have learned that we have to be flexible as we respond to the needs of our participants who are holding down two and sometimes three jobs.  Here is what we are budgeting for: 

- 8 to 10  basic digital cameras

-  two training sessions provided by a professional photographer  ( $100)

 - High quality photo prints, frames, and materials to create our touring exhibit

-At least a $50 gift card for each of the 8 - 12 participants. We hope to raise more and provide more!

-Travel costs for participants who want to and are able to travel to exhibit locations to share their stories and meet communities

- Food for our training sessions, to help make attending meetings easier for busy food workers  

- Transportation stipends for any participants who need help getting to our trainings, or for our facilitators to come to them instead, when coming to meetings is just not viable

- Printed curriculum materials like handouts, packets, and markers or other teaching materials. 

- A humble but important celebration for the completed exhibit

- Photos will become an exhibit that tours communities and museums across the state. Participants will have the opportunity to travel with the photos.  With your help,  we will cover travel costs.

- And to be realistic, even fundraising has a cost.  We have included this cost in our budget, to help us be as successful in our planning as we can. 

Timeline:

July 30, 2014, Info meeting for participants ( done!) 

August 2014 ( late August) , storytelling photovoice projects begin

September - October: Photography and storytelling workshops continue.  Photos are taken, and workshopped as a group. 

November- December:  Photos are selected and printed.  We will make an exhibit which will tour the state.  We already reserved the rotunda at the Montana State Capitol during the legislative session of 2015. 


Find This Campaign On
$1,655USD
raised by 59 people in 1 month
17% funded
0 time left
$10,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on October 9, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Supporter

    Thank you! Every dollar is a meaningful vote of support , and helps us get closer to our goal! We will list you as a supporter on our website and invite you to our exhibit when we complete it!

    8 claimed

  • $10USD
    Voice

    We are making our voices heard! For a ten dollar donation, we'll give you a card made of one of our photos, with the accompanying story. We will list you as a supporter on our website and invite you to our exhibit when we complete it!

    13 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2015
  • $20USD
    Endorse!

    We're really excited that you are helping our stories get out there!! We'll thank you with a card made of one of our photos, with the accompanying story, hand signed by the photographer. We will list you as a supporter on our website and invite you to our exhibit when we complete it!

    5 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2015
  • $50USD
    Empower!

    Thank you for urging food service workers to share their stories! Your donation is equal to one gift card for a participating worker-photographer. We will send you a four pack of cards bearing the photos and stories from our project, and a signed thank you from our participants. We will list you as a supporter on our website and invite you to our exhibit when we complete it!

    3 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2015
  • $100USD
    Happy Dance!

    We are doing a happy dance right now because of you!!!! We will send you an 8 x 10 print of your choice, from our photos! We will also give you a signed thank you card from all the participants. We will list you as a supporter on our website and invite you to our exhibit when we complete it! You will be able to choose your photo by February 2015.

    1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2015
  • $250USD
    Joy!

    We are jumping up and down AND doing a happy dance right now because of you! A donation like this helps us cover printing costs and travel expenses! We will give you two 8 x 10 print of your choice, from our photos! We will also provide the accompanying story, a signed thank you card from all the participants, list you as a supporter on our website and invite you to our exhibit when we complete it!

    1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2015
  • $500USD
    Sponsor

    Your donation will sponsor travel to Helena for three participants. All the gifts listed above , plus a framed 8 x 10 print of your choice, from our photos! You will be able to choose your photo by or before February 2015. Keep an eye on our project website, because we will post some photos as they happen, so you'll be able to get an idea of what you want most likely by November.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2015
  • $1,000USD
    Building Grassroots Power

    This level of funding will go a long way toward funding all the aspects of our project, including the many hours we put into organizing individuals at all levels of engagement. This donation will also help fund social justice trainings for our organizers and volunteers who are helping make this project happen, and the costs of the exhibit: printing, mailing, framing, and producing the backer gifts and prizes.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2015
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