Digital Photography Exhibition from English Language Learners


Cambridge Arts Council Grants Program logo.

Cambridge-based teacher and artist Emily Belz and the Cambridge Community Learning Center (CLC) are pleased to announce an exhibit of photographs at the Cambridge Public Library (CPL) made by students in Ms. Belz’s Digital Photography Conversation Class. The photographs were taken by adult ESOL students at CLC, and the exhibit is the culmination of a recent 12-week class.  The photographs will be on display at CPL June 17 – July 7, 2014, to coincide with CLC graduation
that will take place at the Library on Thursday, June 19.

CLC Student Photo Exhibit

Ms. Belz developed the Digital Photography Conversation Class to offer a unique learning opportunity to immigrants and refugees with limited but improving English language skills and varying degrees of prior schooling, a student population that is often under-served and under-identified in traditional arts programming.

Students used their photographs to access their full range of expressive English language skills to describe their images. For several students, the class was their first exposure to using a camera and taking pictures of their lives and surroundings. In their photographs, students were able to capture, record, and share with their communities the people and things that are most important to them, motivating their English language conversation skills.

Ms. Belz has many years of experience teaching photography. She has taught digital photography with the Record of Truth Program in refugee camps on the Thailand-Myanmar border; at the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island; at Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts; and with Arlington Community Education.

The Digital Photography Conversation Class was funded by a generous grant from the Cambridge Arts Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council in collaboration with the Community Learning Center. The CLC is part of the city's Department of Human Services Programs and is funded in part by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

For more information, contact Mina Reddy, Ed.D. at 617-349-6358 or


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