On Saturday June 29, two Siena College research associates hosted a Photovoice Exhibition at Electric City Barn. The exhibition showcased the pictures members of the Hamilton Hill community have been capturing over the past few weeks. The event included food, pictures, smiles, and twinkling lights.
Photovoice is a participatory research method that goes hand-in-hand with arts-based Placemaking. It is an integrative approach where community members of Hamilton Hill were given disposable cameras and asked to take photos of and within the neighborhood. Each photo’s aim was to showcase how they themselves see their community.
The goal of the Photovoice project in Hamilton Hill was to provide a reflection of community values and issues residents see within their neighborhood, as well as provide an outlet for their voices. Additionally, it was a way to engage the community with Electric City Barn.
Participants were from Hamilton Hill and varied from children and families involved in the Hamilton Hill Arts Center, to local business owners such as Newest Lunch on Albany Street and Peace Market on Emmett Street, to officers within the Schenectady Police Department. In the end there were over four hundred compiled photographs processed by McGreevy ProLab and ProPress in Albany.
The photographs revealed that many individuals value the general improvements that have taken place within the neighborhood. There is a strong sense of resiliency, unity and pride among the photos taken. Additionally, throughout the photographs, it is evident that participants greatly value their personal relationships and homes. We are grateful for the relationships we have been able to form, whether through the ECB space itself or out in the community.