with West Hollywood on Russian teens

Venice Arts plans to collaborate with the City of West Hollywood this summer in a new photo documentary project in which Russian teen immigrants and refugees will learn how to tell their stories “through the lens of a camera.”

The project will culminate in an exhibition in April at West Hollywood’s Plummer Park, as one of that city’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

Through the mediums of photography and writing, the Russian teens will explore their own cross-cultural identity and their experience as refugees.

The youths will also investigate the similarities and differences between their own immigration and immigration faced by earlier immigrants and refugees.

Venice Arts officials say that images collected in the project will be both personal and public in nature.

Family, home life, celebrations, environmental portraits of people and places found along Santa Monica Boulevard — the main West Hollywood commercial area in the Russian-speaking community — and portraits of activities at Plummer Park will be included.

Venice Arts will collaborate with the City of West Hollywood through the city’s Russian Advisory Board and its Arts and Culture Affairs Commission.

The project is supported by a $15,000 grant from the California Council for the Humanities awarded through its New Californians Story Project.

The City of West Hollywood has also committed additional funds as well.