Arts & Theater

Crocker exhibit features teens’ take on public housing

Title: “Life is Short” 
Photographer: Sammarria Hightower, ninth grade, C.K. McClatchy High School
Artist’s caption: “My photo is about a couple that puts a smile on their faces to set an example for children in my community. Their smile teaches us to enjoy life because life is too short.”
Title: “Life is Short” Photographer: Sammarria Hightower, ninth grade, C.K. McClatchy High School Artist’s caption: “My photo is about a couple that puts a smile on their faces to set an example for children in my community. Their smile teaches us to enjoy life because life is too short.” Sammarria Hightower

Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum will showcase photographs by teens this weekend as part of a project called “Voices Behind the Bricks,” in which 15 students from the Marina Vista and Alder Grove public housing communities spent four months in an after-school program photographing their neighborhoods.

Marina Vista and Alder Grove – aging housing projects near Fifth Street and Broadway in central Sacramento – make up about half of the public housing inventory in the city. The city has been pursuing plans that call for replacing the 751 units with a larger mixed-income housing development. About 2,500 people live in Marina Vista and Alder Grove.

The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, which manages the communities and has taken flak from residents for excluding them from the planning process, sponsored the photography project along with affordable housing developer Mercy Housing California. The project is a way for the teens to portray their communities’ “assets and challenges and their hopes for how the neighborhood can be transformed,” a news release from the housing authority said.

The exhibit will be open to the public for two days: Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s part of the Crocker’s Black History Month family festival from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, when admission is free. The festival will also feature live music, dance performances and art activities.

Call The Bee’s Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191. Follow him on Twitter @Hudson_Sangree.

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