Still Changing Lives
A letter from our BDC Founder and Executive Director, Michael Kamber
During this holiday season, we’re hugely grateful to all of you who have supported our work. This past year has been yet another challenging one for the BDC, but we’ve been lifted up by the hard work of our staff, the enthusiastic response of all the Bronx community members who have flocked to our programs, and the generous donations that helped us weather the pandemic. Despite all the challenges, we’re proud to say that the BDC model of community-based documentary journalism and deep engagement with our neighborhood is still changing lives.
Throughout 2021, we’ve continued to provide exhibitions, festivals, training, and education programs to thousands of Bronx residents. The middle and high school students in our Bronx Junior Photo League classes are producing powerful work and winning dozens of Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
All of our high school seniors, supported by the BDC’s college prep help, were accepted into colleges including Stanford University, Middlebury College, Syracuse University, Hunter College, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, SUNY Old Westbury, and Barnard College.
We’ve delivered a whole range of public health information, food, funds and other direct services to our South Bronx community--one of the hardest hit in the country--helping residents stay safe, connected and fed. We also helped to document the widespread absence of COVID-19 information available to residents of South Bronx NYCHA housing and produced a documentary film for Vice Media that focused on the unequal resources in the Bronx experienced as COVID-19 hit New York City.
As the new year approaches, our Bronx Junior Photo League classes are packed to capacity. We’ve started Spanish language photography classes for South Bronx adults, also immediately filled each time they’re offered. The BDC Films program continues to train emerging documentary filmmakers who will help to energize and diversify the profession. BDC alumni are on the front line, working for National Geographic, The New York Times, Getty Images, and numerous other publications.
And our exhibitions remain on the cutting edge of documentary practice—the new year will begin with our timely exhibition on the events of January 6, 2021—Storming of the Capital—a show that features the work of more than 20 photographers and videographers and contributes to creating a historical record of the event.
With your help, the BDC will continue its crucial work; together, we will succeed in transforming lives and strengthening community. It would mean a great deal to me, and to the community, if you will keep the BDC in mind as you plan any year-end gifts–or if you can recommend us to others who may want to contribute or volunteer.
Founder and Executive Director