Stories of the South Side told in photos on view downtown and throughout the community

In March, the South Side Newspaper Project was one of seven awardees of the Finding Common Ground grant. The selection committee reviewed more than 50 proposals to narrow down the winners, which received $11,000 each for efforts to increase trust between media organizations and communities.

With The Stand’s success in completing eight walks, the grant sponsors felt our event helped to unite our newspaper with residents.

Syracuse University Art Galleries digital archivist Emma Geiler volunteered her time Aug. 20 to help The Stand’s Director Ashley Kang hang 30 images for the expanded Photo Walk exhibit. | Emily Dittman, Staff Photo

The Stand used these funds to expand our Ninth-Annual Photo Walk offered this past July. Each summer, our Photo Walk brings together people at all skill levels, ages and from both the neighborhood and surrounding area to explore and document a typical Saturday on the South Side. Thanks to this additional funding, we were able to add a gallery exhibit to showcase images to the wider Syracuse community and place a collection of photos on permanent display starting at five locations.

It was thanks to the efforts of Newhouse photo graduate students Emily Elconin and Todd Michalek to secure the five spots. The pair scouted South Side locations for interest and space in displaying an image or two permanently.

We hope more images can pop up in the future, but for now funding only covered the cost for these five locations.

Grant funds were provided by the Robert Bosch Foundation, the News Integrity Initiative, Zeit Online and administered by the University of Oregon’s Agora Journalism Center. This funding made it possible to print 30 images for the gallery show and the cost to print, frame and hang 10 images permanently.

If local businesses, residents or organizations would like to see an image or collection showcased, contact The Stand to learn about sponsorship opportunities. New locations will be promoted and shared in future print issues and online.

In addition to the grant money, additional funding was provided for The Stand’s new faculty advisor Greg Munno to attend April’s International Journalism Festival held in Perugia, Italy. This one-of-a-kind conference has been held for the last 12 years and brings together top minds in journalism. In April, a focus of several panels was on how to build trust and connections with readers. Munno’s presentation on The Stand’s Photo Walk and our community news project resonated with many in attendance and expanded the reach of our community paper to a world audience.

The grant aims to also promote cross-border collaboration by sending grant winners to visit one another in order to directly learn from a similar engagement project. Ina Daniel, a freelance journalist from Germany, and Dustin Bratcher from Ohio County, Kentucky, both visited Syracuse in July to participate in our Photo Walk. And The Stand’s Director Ashley Kang traveled to Alaska at the end of August to observe the Community in Unity project.

Daniel shared that she was impressed with the openness of South Side residents to tell their stories, share their perspectives and welcome a large group of photographers into their community. While in Syracuse, Daniel also met with Interfaith Works of Central New York to learn about the nonprofit’s dialogue circles that offer a space where small groups of people from diverse backgrounds come together to share their personal thoughts on cultural clashes — an effort similarly aligned with the project Daniel runs in Germany.

Bratcher, who runs a newly launched community news website, The Ohio County Monitor, visited to meet the staff of The Stand and see the Photo Walk firsthand. While his website covers a widespread, rural area, he became inspired by taking part in our annual Photo Walk. Upon returning to Kentucky, he collaborated with one of his community contributors to put together a plan for his project to host a Photo Walk as part of a larger community festival, which will coincide when a grant winner from the U.K. visits his project.



WHAT: The South Side Photo Walk Exhibit
WHEN: Exhibit is on display throughout the month of September, with a special reception scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6
DETAILS: View 30 images captured by Photo Walk participants during the annual Photo Walk held July 28. Free refreshments will be served during the reception. The Stand T-shirts will be available for purchase and orders for image reprints will be taken.
WHERE: The Link Gallery at the Nancy Cantor Warehouse, 350 W. Fayette St.
ACCESSIBILITY: The Link Gallery is accessible to wheelchair users via a street-level power-assist door adjacent to The Window Projects Gallery on West Fayette Street. For more information or groups with special needs, call Greg Munno to make arrangements at (315) 730-4621.
EVENT PARKING: Limited parking is available in The Warehouse Lot (WHSE); call SU Parking Services for details at (315) 443-4652. The gallery is on the Connective Corridor Free Shuttle Route, see Centro #543.

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