LICK & SPARK Photography Clubs – Creating Master Photographers

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The Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation operates a Photography Club in Central Kingston and Spanish Town. The clubs comprise young people who are beneficiaries of the Foundation’s initiatives and have been a source of expression and skills learning for the students.


LICK and SPARK were funded during their initial start-up by Catalyst, a church-based organization in Ohio USA. Since then the Foundation has been supporting the activities of the club. In 2014, the clubs benefitted from a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which allowed the group to participate in new and exciting activities.

The clubs help to foster the development of teens through social and academic interventions where these students are given unique opportunities to explore Jamaica’s rich flora and fauna and capture moments of its diverse history and culture, as well as provide training for them to earn a livelihood.

The calibre of photos produced by members of the LICK and SPARK clubs, have earned them multiple awards and commendations from: the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) since 2009, the annual Grace and Staff Photo Exposition since its inception in 2006, as well as through active partnership with various events which also focuses on developing student’s photographic skills. “We want these young people to know that photography is not just a hobby. It can be a profession if they master it,” says Mr Sweeney Psychologist at Grace & Staff.

Veteran photographer Howard Moo Young works closely with the students and serves as a selector annually in identifying winning shots for the JCDC Visual Arts Competition.

Courtney Brown, who is a SPARK club member, Winner of the Grace and Staff Annual Photo Exposition 2014 and a recipient of a JCDC 2015 Merit Award states, “My self-esteem has been boosted by being a member of the club and receiving an award from the JCDC.”
Aldeno Perkins, LICK club member, expressed how important he thinks the clubs are to the students. “If the clubs should discontinue giving students the opportunity to express themselves artistically, then it would be a great loss to us the students as well as to our communities,” he says.

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