“Kids with Cameras,” a program involving mid-city youths that was launched by the Santa Monica Bay Human Relations Council in May, will culminate in a photography exhibition and community discussion from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 3rd at McKinley Elementary School, 2401 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica.

The goal of the project was to revive the Mid-City Neighborhood group, the only one of six original neighborhood groups in Santa Monica that has been dormant since 2004. The project was

designed to create an awareness of civic responsibility among mid-city youths by encouraging them to explore their community and document their views through the lens of a camera, according to the human relations council.

The participating youngsters who were recruited from local nonprofit agencies, such as the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL), met once a week for eight weeks to take pictures and share their perspectives on their neighborhood.

They were supervised by city staff members Eula Fritz, PAL officers and Fabian Lewkowicz, a professional photo journalist who also played the role of a mentor, a human relations council spokesperson said. Lewkowicz led 15 youths in a photo essay project focusing on the Mid-City Neighborhood, using photojournalistic style.

At the finale on October 3rd, the young photographers will exhibit their work and share their narratives with the community at large. The community photo exhibit is being curated by Lewkowicz.

The Santa Monica Bay Human Relations Council, a partnership of local community organizations, individuals, institutions and businesses, works to improve human

relations and advocates a socially just community through its various projects.

Santa Monica Fire Department Chief Jim Hone is the current chairperson of the council, while Police Chief Tim Jackman and Michele Wittig, a psychology professor at California State Universty, Northridge, are the co-chairs of the Dialogue Committee.

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