Photographing the artists of Boundless Arts Performance Collective
When I initially met Javonna, it was to photograph her in my Working Artists of Theatre project before the opening of the exhibit. The shoot – and our first meeting – was filmed on camera for the Art Zone with Nancy Guppy. Photographically speaking, was a fun experience to be able to create a new bond and capture a beautiful artist in a film feature to help bring awareness to theatre in the Seattle community. But there was more to the experience that brings me back to another photo session with Javonna, it’s the fact that she founded a collective at a very early age to help foster children discover the artists within themselves while promoting their education, and this philanthropic core value aligns straight with mine.
Javonna is the founder and former Executive Director of Boundless Arts Performance Collective [source: Boundlessarts.org]. She was a foster child herself, and her involvement in theatre at a young age directly contributed to her finishing high school and giving her the opportunity to go to college (she holds a BA in Drama Performance from the University of Washington). She is not a woman to ever hold her talents or education to herself though; she turned those gifts over to shine a light in helping the foster youth of Seattle.
She knows first-hand that each foster child has an independent process of discovering art within themselves. This process is encouraged and nurtured in the BAPC safe environment, where kids are given the time, training and tools needed to confidently prepare themselves in becoming strong individuals on stage and in their every day lives.
“Theater allows [one] to imagine a better place,” Arriaga said. “I want them to know that their imagination is the most powerful survival tool they have, so when things get rough, [they can] go into the imagination and find a way to cope rather than other ways” [source: interview with Alisa Reznick for The Daily of the University of Washington].
Although she has passed the title of Executive Director to International Human Rights and Creative Writing student and playwright Zoe Barker-Aderem, Javonna continues guiding young artists through her new position as the Youth Development Specialist at The Mockingbird Society. You find out more about Javonna by reading her compelling “Digital Story: Untold Stories” HERE.
When we photographed this series of Javonna, she had just gotten back from studying puppertry in Pontlevoy, France and I was completely taken aback by her confidence and beauty that radiated from within her.
More about Boundless Arts Performance Collective:
Mission: “Boundless Arts Performance Collective (BAPC) is committed to providing an environment in which foster youth can realize their creative potential, build self-confidence, and discover their personal strengths. BAPC cultivates a community in which our youth and volunteers can learn and grow together through the performing arts.” This series of the collective on Photo Sister is to help bring community awareness and support for this amazing team of women and their mission helping foster youth.
I encourage all of you with a philanthropic core value to visit the Boundless Arts Performance Collective on Facebook, give them a “Like”, and continue following the work they are doing and contribute your own gifts of talent and services when you can. Thank you.
Lens used on set noted with *:
Nikon AF 50mm 1.4
* Nikon 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras – – Aperture: f/3.5 – Shutter: 1/500 – ISO: 400
Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Nikon 18-70 3.5/4.5g Ed-if Af-s Dx
Nikon 12-24mm f/4G ED IF AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens
Nikon 70-210mm 4.0/5.6