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Outside the Lens


Outside the Lens

Since 2001, this wonderful organization has delivered its adaptable curriculum to over 13,000 children in weekly classes, after-school programs, summer sessions, workshops, and teacher trainings.  OTL targets under-served and at-risk youth grades K-12 throughout San Diego County and uses participatory photography and video to document the issues that concern them.  Students tell their unique personal stories through photography, video, and other digital media forms while under the guidance of writers, journalists, filmmakers, photographers, artists, and teachers.  The resulting images are used for discussion and to communicate a story to a wider audience.  All projects involve a literacy component and culminate with an exhibition where students present their findings, photographs, videos, and reflections to family, friends, and community.

For their inspiring approach to mentoring San Diego’s youth, their visionary educational model that cuts across international borders, and their innovative use of digital media to discuss important social and community issues, we are proud to have Outside The Lens as our Cause of the Quarter. 

Please take a moment to SUPPORT this worthy organization today!



  • Cameras in the Classroom: Our cumulative yearlong program includes teaching youth digital photography and video skills; increasing creative engagement in the classroom, encouraging youth to explore the topics of identity, family, community and the environment; and promoting media literacy to help youth critically evaluate messages conveyed by the media.
  • Picture it Healthy: A photovoice project that asks students to identify access and barriers to living a healthy lifestyle within their community.  Students are trained in photojournalism skills and create advocacy projects that are shared with those who can help create change.
  • Water in Focus: A digital media project that calls students to action as they examine environmental issues centered on the theme of water.  Students document the use, waste, conservation and pollution of our most precious resource through words and images.
  • Picture This: Short teaser workshops that focus on one topic as they expose students to the OTL programming and digital media.
  • Photo and Video Bootcamps: One day workshops for teens or adults that provide a crash course of advanced photo or video techniques. All proceeds benefit at-risk youth classes.
  • Cameras Crossing Cultures: Our international link combines OTL ambassadors throughout the world with OTL curriculum and materials to run our programs at their site.
Vanguard Culture

Vanguard Culture is an online media entity designed for culturally savvy, socially conscious individuals. We provide original interviews and reviews of the people, places, and events that make up San Diego’s thriving arts and culture community, as well as curated snapshots of the week’s best, most inspiring and unique cultural and culinary events. We believe in making a difference in the world, supporting San Diego’s vibrant visual and performing arts community and bringing awareness to important social and community causes.

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