When artistic and nonprofit endeavors collide it’s a beautiful thing. A nonprofit organization designed to help inner city youth flourish creatively, while providing them with tools to carve out brighter futures for themselves sounds pretty phenomenal.
NYC SALT is doing just that. SALT is a non-profit that has grown immensely since its 2005 beginnings when founder Alicia Hansen accidentally stumbled into working with New York City youth while following her love of photography.
Her life was changed forever after learning from and teaching disadvantaged inner city teens about how to harness their artistic potential and channel it into photography. In the beginning, her handful of students participated in an after-school style program in which they used point and shoot disposable cameras to grasp the basics of photography. Now, SALT exists as a photography and mentoring program that hosts many experienced photographers who teach NYC teens how to use professional cameras and equipment, as well as how to develop their own artistic voice through the lens of a camera.
Hansen believes that proof of the organization’s impact on inner-city youth is in the tools it gives them to succeed in their futures. Many graduates of the program go on to study photography in college, using portfolios cultivated at NYC SALT to attain scholarships to institutions of higher education.
On June 13th, the organization will be putting on “SEE SALT” at Bath House Studios, a gallery show of student and alumni photography celebrating the graduation of its NYC SALT seniors. All proceeds from the show, and from the purchase of students’ prints, goes towards cameras and equipment, field trips, as well as some college expenses.
Visit the NYC SALT Gallery to view student photography, and to learn more about the organization’s story.