This guest post is from Kelly Parks Snider, one of the co-founders of Project Girl, and author of Zilly: A Modern Day Fable (www.zillybooks.com). 

Art gives us a moment, an opportunity to focus, bringing its viewers face to face with the culture that surrounds them.  In many ways, we have all become passive bystanders, viewers of a commercially generated culture. Through television and the Internet we take in vast amounts of information, but we don’t always do the best job filtering it.

The art experience allows young girls to attend to the thoughts that they feel in the chaos of their lives, unlocking perspectives, opening young eyes and minds to new ways of interpreting this world.

Project Girl is a program that combines art, media literacy and girl -led activism into a national program aimed at encouraging young women to be better interpreters of this media saturated world. The art is the vehicle that attracts girls to the project, and becomes the vital mechanism for reflection, education and transformation.  Our formula works, connecting young women to issues and ideas that they truly care about. Project Girl provides girls with a necessary critical lens, giving them an opportunity to focus, with a greater sense of openness and an increased awareness, so they can become thoughtful interpreters of the commercially based culture that surrounds them.

Field of Tension (cropped) by Kelly Parks Snider

Field of Tension (Cropped), Kelly Parks Snider, 2006, Mixed Media

We use art to examine our contemporary culture. The art becomes a forceful reaction to what the world has wrongfully normalized. It is the girls’ protest. With art, the girls seek out ways to shake up the status quo and celebrate what they really care about. As Project Girl travels throughout communities across America, activism gives girls a sense of purpose and meaning giving girls the structure to produce their own culture, rather than simply receiving a culture that’s designed to sell them products.

We bring girls together to work for change. Through Project Girl we learn to support each other. We seek to widen our definition of who we are, and what we really care about.

Want to learn more about Project Girl? Visit www.projectgirl.org, or join us in our upcoming webinar series!

Webinar Series: Project Girl: Teaching Media Literacy through Art
Kelly Parks Snider and Jane Bartell, Co-Founders of Project Girl
Webinar 1: Thursday, November 1, 2012 – 4-5 pm Eastern Time
Webinar 2: Thursday, November 8, 2012 – 4-5 pm Eastern Time
Webinar 3: Thursday, November 15, 2012 – 4-5 pm Eastern Time

Kelly Parks Snider is one of the cofounders of Project Girl, and author of Zilly: A Modern Day Fable (www.zillybooks.com).

Corporate Curriculum,triptych, panel 3

Corporate Curriculum triptych, panel 3, Kelly Parks Snider, 2006, Mixed Media