SPAS alumna welcomes RIT volunteer participation in Brooklyn photo festival

Aug 25, 2017

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Thumbnail for SPAS alumna welcomes RIT volunteer participation in Brooklyn photo festival

Left photo by VII Photo Agency photographer Ashley Gilbertson. All images are by VII photographers for Newest Americans projects.

For RIT students, alumni and faculty interested in photography, there are exciting volunteer opportunities in New York City next month. 

On behalf of Talking Eyes Media (TEM) and Newest Americans, a College of Imaging Arts and Sciences graduate is coordinating a volunteer effort for Photoville. The free, open-to-the-public photography festival will be active Sept. 13-17 and then again Sept. 21-24 in Brooklyn, and aims to treat attendees and volunteers to a positive experience.

Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII Photo 

Brenda Bingham, a 2014 alumna of the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences’ fine art photography option, is welcoming intrigued RIT graduates, students and faculty to take part in the celebration by lending a hand and volunteering at TEM's display space. Bingham is the social media manager for TEM, a non-profit production company that “strives to stimulate public dialogue and advocate for positive social change,” according to its website. She is also the studio manager for Ed Kashi, photojournalist and VII Photo Agency member.

For the festival, Brooklyn Bridge Park — situated in Brooklyn’s lively, artsy Dumbo district — is set to transform into a community teeming with screenings, outdoor exhibitions, discussions and workshops for nine days. The area along the East River will be populated by shipping containers that effectively serve as galleries where art and forms of media are to be showcased.

Photo by Ron Haviv / VII Photo

TEM’s container, Bingham said, will feature work the organization has created for Newest Americans, a Newark, N.J.-based online magazine with stories centered around immigration and identity. Newest Americans is a partnership between TEM, VII and Rutgers University - Newark.

TEM, founded by Kashi and Julie Winokur, has open volunteer shifts at its exhibit throughout the two-part festival. Each volunteer block is three to four hours, Bingham said, and all shifts are scheduled so that the helpful individuals have plenty of time to explore and enjoy everything the festival has to offer. To sign up to be a volunteer, visit here.

Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII Photo: Spectators and participants at the annual Portugal Day Festival on June 14, 2015, in the Ironbound section of Newark, N.J.

TEM’s setup is scheduled to have photographs, looped films and a booth where visitors can take a photo and record their own — or their family’s — immigration/migration tale. According to Bingham, TEM will need the most volunteer assistance at the immigration story area, called the arrivals booth. Bingham said volunteers will also be briefed on everything so that they can answer visitors' questions and be tasked with ensuring the video loop is functioning properly.

Contributing at Photoville is a valuable opportunity since the festival is a gathering of scores of talented photographers and filmmakers that provides fest-goers and workers a chance to engage and communicate with professionals in an inspiring environment.

With dozens of partners supporting the event, Photoville is expected to attract thousands of attendees.