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ART | 'The Vision in Me'

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The Photography & Digital Arts program at Flower City Arts Center this month celebrates 20 years of its Studio 678 youth photography program with an exhibition at City Hall. Open to Wilson Foundation Academy middle school students, the 24-session after-school photography program is free to the kids and receives no funding from the Rochester City School District; it's supported by individuals, businesses, foundations, and professional associations.

Studio 678 puts 35mm cameras into students' hands and involves them in every step of creating photography — taking the pictures, making their own black & white prints in the darkroom, and matting and framing their work for exhibition. The program's goals include the empowering of youth to express their vision and voice; to build self-confidence, perseverance, and problem-solving skills; and to connect with the community.

More than 90 photographic works by 30 program participants are included in the show, including that Jhade Benitez, who was a member of the middle school program as well as its high school extension, and is graduating from RIT's Advertising Photography program this year. A 160-page book of the students' writing and photography accompanies the show.

"The Vision in Me" remains on view through May 7 at City Hall's Link Gallery, 30 Church Street. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. 244-1730; rochesterarts.org/youth.

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