A look back at Las Fotos Project in 2017

2017 was an incredible year for Las Fotos Project. We opened our new gallery space here in Lincoln Heights, complete with a darkroom, 100 ft. of gallery wall space, office desks for staff and volunteers to work, and a classroom area for the students and their mentors. Our organization also collaborated with esteemed art museums like the Museum of Latin American Art and The Autry Museum as well as partnered with out-of-state organizations to expose our students to new experiences such as a weeklong photo retreat in South Dakota. Lastly, we launched Hire Her, a social enterprise program that will instill our students with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to work in digital media careers and/or become innovative and creative entrepreneurs.

This year alone Las Fotos Project dedicated 4836 hours of instruction provided by 49 mentors and teaching artists to 126 girls and young women. Take a look at just some of our accomplishments from 2017.


When Life Happens – A screening of multimedia projects created by teen girls that documented social justice and mental health issues in their respective communities.

Women’s March – A group of our girls documented this historic event and photographed the crowd of supporters as they marched in unison through the streets of Los Angeles.


Grand Opening – We officially opened the doors to our new 1,400 square foot home in Lincoln Heights, which contains a gallery, darkroom, small library of photography and art books, and space for workshops and administrative offices.

(Re)present – Photographers Oriana Koren, Kayla Reefer, Dana Washington and Sophia Nahli Allison discussed the role racial identity plays in their photography and professional careers.


Viva La Muxer – Our annual Viva La Muxer festival brought in over
2,500 attendees, who celebrated International Women’s Day with art, music, food, and a sense of community.

Bloom!: Portraits of the Garden – Students displayed their photographs at the Descanso Gardens as part of a three-month exhibition.


Feminist Uprising – A retrospective of three years of Las Fotos Project student photography documenting the International Women’s Day March and Rally in Los Angeles, organized by the grassroots women’s collective known as AF3IRM.


Alumna Meeting – Former Las Fotos Project participants met to develop a mission statement, community agreements, and outreach strategies for our organization.

Camera Basics with Mom – A workshop that empowered Las Fotos Project participants to give their mothers and/or guardians an introductory lesson about photography.


En Vision: Picturing the Self – An interactive exhibition featuring selected works from the Museum of Latin American Art’s (MOLAA) permanent collection in dialogue with photographs created by Las Fotos Project participants. It invited the viewer to question the difference between being subjects and observers as well as to reflect upon their own choices of self-expression.

Visibility and Identity: LGBTQ+ Artists in Conversation – Hosted in partnership with the MOLAA, panelists discussed the need to define their own identity, how identity affects the way they tell their stories, and how they connect with others in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.


Summer Camp – An intensive four week photography course that contains elements of food, street, and graffiti related photography. Participants also hosted a public art exhibit at the LA River and created a mural featuring their photographs and art.

Women of Fox Sports – Hosted in partnership with Fox Sports, featured panelists Jen Pransky, Annelle Despaignes, and Gina Porretti discussed their experiences as working women in a male-dominated field and how their work influence their lives.


City Rising – A youth-led photography exhibition and collaborative project with KCET, which featured more than 60 thought-provoking images from communities facing the promise of growth and prosperity at the cost of families and cultural identity. Captured by 14 young women, ages 12 to 18, these photos tell the story of Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles in the midst of a rising tide of gentrification.


La Raza – In partnership with the Autry Museum’s Citizen Journalism Project, Las Fotos Project participants learned about the definitive moments, key players, and signs and symbols of the Chicano Rights Movement.

Youth Voice: Gentrification – A panel discussion that featured youth journalists and photographers reporting on gentrification in Boyle Heights and South LA.


Radical Girls – A panel discussion, workshop, and exhibition in collaboration with the Hammer Museum, which celebrated creative risk-taking, self-expression, and radical girl power.

Hire Her – We launched our social enterprise program which provided on-the-job training in commercial photography to seven girls.


Día de los Muertos – Las Fotos Project students worked alongside mentors to create a community altar and explore the cultural significance of this proud Mexican tradition through poetry, technology, and the visual arts.

Pride – A solo exhibition presented by student photographer Nathalie Diaz (age 16), which told the stories of youth who identify as LGBTQ+ in inner city neighborhoods like Boyle Heights and South LA.

We Rise – A solo exhibition presented by student photographer Regina Zamarripa (age 16), which told the narratives of 12 indigenous people in Los Angeles. Through community engagement and unapologetic presence they show the world that the Native population continues to rise powerfully.


Diversities: The Art of Living – A solo exhibition presented by student photographer Natalia Angeles (age 15), which showcased visual elements of art and photography that were inspired by the intimate connections she made with community influencers and artists.

LA Virgen Exhibit – A semester-long study and exhibition about personal and social identity understood through the narrative of La Virgen de Guadalupe, an iconic Mesoamerican figure of femininity, transformation, and healing.

Donate today!

Support Las Fotos Project with a one-time or reoccurring monthly contribution. You can visit lasfotosproject.org/donate to make a donation online, or send a check made payable to:

Community Partners FBO Las Fotos Project
1000 N Alameda Street, Suite 240, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Every donation makes an enormous difference, so please give what you can. Together we can empower girls and young women to be the change we wish to see in our communities. Thank you for supporting Las Fotos Project in 2017. We look forward to seeing you more often in 2018!


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