Project teaches kids to look at the world differently |

Project teaches kids to look at the world differently

Summit Daily/Kristin Skvorc Kate Lapides helps Fernando Gomez, 13, figure out how to use the light meter on a 35mm camera during the first day of the "To Make Our Home A Better Place" project Aug. 28 in Swan Meadow Village.

When the shutters of 35mm and disposable cameras open, the life and culture of 12 local children become exposed.

Six-year-old Alfonzo Zuno took a picture of himself and explained why he likes it. “It’s cool because I can see the mountains and the park.” Nine-year-old Fatima Zuno took a picture of her home, then described it. “That’s where I live and my brother’s at the door and that’s my tree named Elvie Queen; I like to name everything.”

These creative children have been working on a project called “To Make Our Home A Better Place” which began Aug. 29 in Swan Meadow Village and Montezuma.The children, with guidance from local photographers Kate Lapides, Guy Natanel, London Schertzer, Bob Winsett and Donald Clemmey, documented their lives for a week through the medium of photography. Leticia and Abby Urias hosted the program in Swan Meadow Village. A grant from the Colorado Council for the Arts funded the program and Kodak and Qu’be Visual sponsored it.

The project is intended to enable children who may not have an opportunity to learn to take pictures because of economic, transportation or language barriers, to document their life experiences. Lapides has completed similar projects in Silverton, Mancos, Cortez, Ridgway, Durango and Telluride. “The project grew out of a desire to encourage children and young people to connect to their local ecological landscape as well as their social community,” Lapides said. She said this group of kids was younger than previous groups, so she is not sure how well they connected to their landscape or community. All she hopes is that “it might plant a little seed that might blossom later.”

“I’m thinking I could be a photographer when I grow up,” Fatima said. The “To Make Our Home A Better Place” project will be exhibited at the Speakeasy Theatre in Breckenridge starting today through the end of September. There will be a grand opening today from 5:30-8 p.m. The project is still taking place, and anyone interested can e-mail Lapides at

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