This Agit-Prop project transformed the Cage Gallery at Miami University into an inviting kid-friendly space resembling a playground. The project was spearheaded by Marisa Rendina based upon her two-year commitment to Over-the-Rhine. A participant in the Fall 2007 Over-the-Rhine Residency Program, Marisa deepened her relationship with the community through the 2008-09 academic year by working with children, parents, and teachers of the neighborhood’s Children’s Creative Corner. She did this as part of her year-long Western College senior project.
Marisa’s specific project had youngsters take photographs of images that had meaning for them. The project was modeled on the work of the late Jimmy Heath and his Center for Community Photography at the Peaslee Neighborhood Center. Jimmy ran a photography/literacy project where he had his students take pictures and then write about them. Marisa resurrected Jimmy’s process in her engagement with the Children’s Creative Corner.
On April 23, 2009 kids from the Children’s Creative Corner were able to come from Cincinnati to Oxford to see their work displayed. For many of them, this was their first time out of the city, let alone on Miami’s campus. As Marisa says in her project, “this was the first time in many of their lives that the evening was solely about them and their talents. When you believe in children’s abilities at a young age and encourage their creativity, the possibilities are endless.”