Ariya Martin’s One Bird project

Nothing delights us more than when our alumni get back in touch to let us know what they are up to. It’s a pretty cool feeling knowing so many people are “out there” in the world pursuing projects and using their skills to get the most out of their own lives as well as working to improve the lives of others. The other day when I checked my email and saw that I had a message from 1999 Summer Intensive graduate and 2004 Career Training assistant Ariya Martin was one of those “cool feeling” moments. The last time Ariya was mentioned on our blog, it was in an interview about the NOLA Kid Camera Project, which put cameras into the hands of kids in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I knew instantly that she was up to something interesting.

I wasn’t disappointed. Building on the NOLA Kid Camera Project experience, Ariya cofounded an organization called One Bird, which is dedicated to community arts programs that work with children, in collaboration with their families and communities. From the One Bird website, “…One Bird is dedicated to community arts programs that work with children, in collaboration with their families and communities. Using photography, writing, mixed media and emerging technologies, we teach our participants tangible skills that will assist them in sharing their stories and conveying their perspective, identity and culture.”

Ariya-screengrabOne Bird’s first experience was in¬†Dharamsala, India where they¬†conducted a three week photography program for Tibetan refugees. Following that they went to Haiti where they provided workshops to 56 students, ages 10-16 at Picardo school and Splendeur, a Save the Children funded school, both in the Carrefour area of Port-Au-Prince called Riviere Froide. Now, they are trying to raise funds to return to Riviere Froide and have created an Indiegogo campaign to solicit help.

If you are interested in learning more about Ariy’a One Bird organization and seeing what they are up to in Haiti, check out their campaign here.