"My photographs portray my transformation from dark to light. In the beginning I was in a dark place facing obstacles. However, I was looking toward the light. I portray the obstacles I was trying to overcome such as poverty, stress, and unhealthy relationships. My photographs show my epiphany that I am a strong woman and I can do better. They show the changes I've made starting new." —Talia

ICP's Community Partnership with Friends of Island Academy (Friends) provides instruction in the basics of digital photography, writing, and public speaking as integrated into the pre-existing educational goals of Friends. Working with the themes of self and community empowerment, students work with digital cameras, laptop computers, and journals becoming more comfortable with their possibilities as tools for learning, self-expression, and affecting change.

"I can accomplish my dreams by working hard and focusing on a positive path. I can take my life seriously and focus. I can work harder than I ever have before." —Hamed

The curriculum includes: theme-based discussions, photography and writing assignments, visual presentations, group critiques/sharings, a guest artist visit, field trips, and time to prepare for the final presentation. The program culminates in a multimedia celebration of the students' work for staff, family, and friends.

Friends of Island Academy is a youth development center, which anchors and empowers young people newly released from jail in New York City and offers the protective factors necessary to keep them from going back.

CASES is an organization that provides critical support services to predominantly court-involved youth.

Special Thanks

ICP’s Community Partnership with Friends of Island Academy is made possible by the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation, Keith Haring Foundation, and William Talbott Hillman Foundation. 

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Alumni Work

A woman holding a book.
© Karisma, Student
A man standing in front of a map.
© Hamed, Student
A portrait of a woman
© Star, Student