Athens Photo Project is a community of artists dedicated to using photography as a tool for self-expression, personal growth and social change. APP programs are provided in partnership with mental-health and social-service organizations to ensure all community members have the opportunity to experience the transformative power of the arts when they need it most.
Each year, more than 50 artists, photography instructors, and volunteers join together to participate in APP’s 30-week adult photography program, which is offered as a component of regional mental-health support and advocacy. Programs include Expressive Photography, photography classes, training workshops, and the Photo Co-Op, APP’s social enterprise.
More than 20 artists serve as members of APP’s Photo Co-Op. The Photo Co-Op members share their skills and creativity with the community as working photographers by providing photographic services and creating products and exhibits from the work made within the APP classroom. The social enterprise aims to give APP artists the tools necessary to work as professional artists and empower advanced APP artists to become agents of change in their community.
In 2019, the APP Photo Co-Op released “Athens Farmers Market: The Hands That Feed Us,” an exhibit that featured a body of work produced by 22 artists and created through a partnership between the Athens Photo Project and the Athens Farmers Market. This partnership provided the artists in the Photo Co-Op with valuable experience as they worked to build the social enterprise that now provides similar services to clients throughout Southeastern Ohio. Start-up funds for the social enterprise were provided by the Buckeye Hills Regional Development Council and the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation.
Recent APP Photo Co-Op projects have included “Helping Hands,” a collection of images visually documenting the work of nine regional nonprofits during the pandemic (including ACEnet!), as well as celebrating Nelsonville’s Uptown during this historic time. Sponsored by The Osteopathic Heritage Foundations, this exhibition is currently on display at The Majestic Galleries in Nelsonville, OH until August 22nd.
APP also recently created a permanent, interior installation of more than 20 photographs at the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations office in Dublin, Ohio.
The Photo Co-Op has emerged from the pandemic and a year-long training program to offer the Appalachian Ohio community a variety of photographic services and products. The group of 26 Advanced APP Artists who now work as photographers with support are ready to help you grow your visual narrative and increase your online impact with socially conscious storytelling for businesses and nonprofits, headshots and product photography. With the Outtakes Collection, the group repurposes 4×6 glossy prints, cardboard and non-recyclable items to create gift tags and stars. Event coverage and a pop-up photo booth round out the list of services offered, making any wedding or event more fun and meaningful.
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Community Update by ACEnet Programs & Communications Coordinator, Meggan Loveland