SAN DIEGO and ATLANTA (Nov. 28, 2012) – Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) today announced a two-year partnership with Sony Electronics that will introduce youth at Clubs nationwide to the latest in photography arts. Through the national partnership, Sony will sponsor BGCA’s ImageMakers photography program and contest, as well as the photo tech category of BGCA’s national Digital Arts Festivals. Both Club activities seek to engage youth to explore and build their skills in photography, digital arts and self-expression.
“With school system budgets strained and half of all public schools not offering visual arts programs, the availability of out-of-school offerings has become critical to fill this void. Especially when you consider that children from low-income households are 50 percent less likely to participate in arts programs than youth from affluent families,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “With the support of partners like Sony Electronics, we are able to provide access to programs and tools in the area of photography to educate and engage all young people in the arts.”
The partnership includes Sony’s sponsorship of ImageMakers, which invites youth age 6-18 to capture photographs in four different categories: culture and tradition, surroundings, portraits and photo essay. The program and photography contest, which has a rich, 50-plus-year history in Clubs, seeks to teach youth the art and science of photography. Complementary to ImageMakers, Sony will also sponsor the photo tech category of BGCA’s Digital Arts Festivals, where youth manipulate photos using digital technology. For both programs, Club youth complete projects that compete in regional Boys & Girls Club art shows. Regional winners then go on to compete for national recognition and additional education opportunities.
Sony Electronics is also donating photography packages to 100 local Boys & Girls Clubs to support their ImageMakers programs. The packages will include several Sony point and shoot cameras, Sony interchangeable lens cameras and Sony VAIO computers. Clubs will also receive a stipend to help offset printing and other photography-related costs.
“We are proud to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to expose youth to the arts through technology by providing access and training so they can explore creative outlets for personal development,” said Ed Wallace, vice president of community affairs at Sony Electronics. “At Sony, we believe in fostering the idea that anything imaginable can be made real. Together with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, we’re inspiring and empowering passionate, innovative future leaders and artists.”