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George Eastman House receives grant from the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation

Grant funds will support educational programming focused on the exhibition Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project

Rochester, N.Y., November 5, 2014—George Eastman House has received a $32,000 grant for its History Through the Lens of Photography educational program from the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation—“Engaging the Next Generation” initiative.

The grant award will support the educational program tied to the exhibition Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project, which opened at George Eastman House on November 1 and runs through January 25, 2015. Chicago-based photographer Dawoud Bey’s The Birmingham Project is a reflection on the September 15, 1963, bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. This event resulted in the deaths of six African American adolescents, some of the youngest victims of violence during the Civil Rights Movement: Addie Mae Collins (14), Denise McNair (11), Carole Robertson (14), and Cynthia Wesley (14), who were in the church at the time of the bombing, and Virgil Ware (13) and Johnny Robinson (16), who lost their lives as a result of the ensuing violence.

This educational project—History Through the Lens of Photography—celebrates the 1964 Civil Rights legislation, commemorates the actions that led to this historic event, including the race riots in Rochester, and complements students’ learning of American history and the Civil Rights Movement. The project will engage up to 1,500 Rochester City School District (RCSD) students in middle and high school—the same age group of the six victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Participating students and their family members are also being offered a special incentive for free admission to the museum (up to 500 guests).

At a professional development workshop for teachers on November 6, Bey will discuss his work and lead 25 to 30 RCSD teachers through the exhibition. Over the course of the following months, he will respond to students’ posts on the ROCBirmingham Tumblr site, a space for students to reflect on the images in and ideas raised by The Birmingham Project with their own photographs and words. In January 2015, Bey will return to Rochester to meet with two of the participating classes for extended discussions. The program is designed to benefit current classroom teaching and will extend the project’s impact beyond the museum’s walls.

The public is invited to a conversation with Dawoud Bey and curator-in-charge of the Department of Photography, Lisa Hostetler, on Thursday, November 6 at 6 p.m. The conversation will be held in the museum’s Dryden Theatre, and will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. The galleries will be open until 8 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for students with ID. For more information about the Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project, visit eastmanhouse.org.

About The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation

The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation is dedicated to the civic and religious communities of its founders, who believed in the importance of education in all of its aspects and knew the power of entrepreneurial creativity. The Foundation places its highest priority on endeavors designed to transform the lives of individuals and the work of organizations. In addition to its support of local nonprofits in education, Jewish life, entrepreneurship, and arts and culture, the Foundation undertakes key initiatives to reshape our community. For more information, visit www.farashfoundation.org.

About George Eastman House

George Eastman House holds unparalleled collections, totaling more than four million objects, of photographs, motion pictures, photographic and cinematic technology, and photographically illustrated books. Established as an independent non-profit institution in 1947, it is the world’s oldest photography museum and third largest film archive in the United States. The museum is in Rochester, NY, and includes the National Historic Landmark house and gardens of George Eastman, the philanthropist and father of popular photography and motion picture film. Learn more at eastmanhouse.org.