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Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography

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Civics +4 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults

Photographs are the entry point to help students think critically about the nature of community in America's urban environments of the 1960s and 1970s.  The exhibition introduced here, after which this collection is titled, features Latino artists who "turn a critical eye toward neighborhoods that exist on the margins of major cities like New York and Los Angeles." Smithsonian American Art Museum Curator E. Carmen Ramos has said that the exhibition was meant to explore the artists' complex vision of life in the urban environment, juxtaposing both a sense of unwelcoming urban neglect with a strong sense of community.  

Included here are photographs from the exhibition, a bilingual video with the curator, the "Step In - Step Out - Step Back" Thinking Routine from Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking Strategies, some links to Smithsonian American Art Museum supporting exhibition materials, including the exhibition webpage, a blog post, a link to Piri Thomas's book after which the exhibition was titled, and footage from a poetry reading at the museum. 

Teachers and students can use these photographs in a variety of ways - to explore the work of individual artists, to compare the works of different artists, and to look as a whole at the exhibition and extract deeper meaning about "the urban crisis" of America's urban environments in the 1960s and 1970s.

Keywords: El Barrio, New York City, Urban Crisis

#LatinoHAC

Altered Sites #7

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Step In–Step Out–Step Back: Project Zero Global Thinking Routine

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Frank Espada

Philippa Rappoport

Tito (Blake Avenue, East New York)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Russell (East New York)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Cindy (Blake Avenue, East New York)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Untitled (Young girl, East Harlem)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Untitled (Two boys in a wagon, Long Island City)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Untitled (Two boys, East New York)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Winston Vargas

Philippa Rappoport

Barbershop, Washington Heights, New York

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Take my picture, Washington Heights, New York

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Child in Washington Heights, New York

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Wedding Day, Washington Heights, New York

Smithsonian American Art Museum

New Addition, Washington Heights, New York

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Domino Players, Washington Heights, New York

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Child Playing, Washington Heights, New York

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Hiram Maristany

Philippa Rappoport

Hydrant: In the Air

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Lechón / Roasting Pig in Alley

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Group of Young Men on 111th Street

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Young Man with Roses

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Gathering

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Hydrant: Hand

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Kite Flying on Rooftop

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Children at Play

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Night View

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Perla de Leon

Philippa Rappoport

Caribe Village, South Bronx

Smithsonian American Art Museum

A Hill in the South Bronx

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Oncoming Storm

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Hopscotch

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Going to Work

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Touch Football

Smithsonian American Art Museum

My Playground

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Camilo José Vergara

Philippa Rappoport

65 East 125th Street, Harlem

Smithsonian American Art Museum

65 East 125th Street, Harlem

Smithsonian American Art Museum

65 East 125th Street, Harlem

Smithsonian American Art Museum

65 East 125th Street, Harlem

Smithsonian American Art Museum

65 East 125th Street, Harlem

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Down these Mean Streets Poetry Reading

Smithsonian American Art Museum

PDF: Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking Routines

Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education