WRKXFMLY, The Showing Photography Assignment


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The Showing (work x family) story could not be complete without the perspectives of young people who live it. We developed WRKXFMLY, an original assignment for high school students formally studying photography, to bring their unique and important perspectives to Showing.

In the assignment, students create pictures and write statements addressing the overlap of work and family in their own lives. We encourage students to consider broad definitions of “family” and “work.” Their photographs are then considered for inclusion alongside professional work in our traveling exhibition. We also offer opportunities for regional student exhibitions.

The multi-week WRKXFMLY assignment is supported with a lesson plan and resource materials. In addition, a Photo Facilitator from our team visits each school to introduce the assignment and returns to provide feedback on student work.

We are currently selecting schools to participate for the 2017–2018 school year. We welcome high school photography classes and public and private schools, as well as independent photography programs.

Are you a high school photography educator interested in participating?  Contact us for more information, or click on the gray Teacher Portal button above to create an account access lesson plan and resource materials.

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Top: The WRKXFMLY Assignment student experience video screened at the Ford Foundation in 2015. It includes photos by participating students and their words, as voiced by Youth Radio participants.
Bottom: “My portrait shows the breadwinner of my family. My dad makes the money because my mother has to stay home with my sister just until she grows up. The connection between his work and our family is that he is usually busy trying to make money for a family of six. Giving us things that he was never able to have.” © 2014 Javier Martinez, WRKXFMLY Assignment, Tucson High Magnet School, AZ

What Students Say

“The assignment helped me explore how my life is connected with other people’s lives.”

“I feel as if I can see my family through a different lens.”

“My perspective on how my parents work completely changed after this project. I think this project changed the mindset of my fellow classmates.”

“This project made me realize that many people in the world have similar situations.”

“This project helped me tell a story to people who don’t know who I am.”

“It helped me to express my emotions through art and photos.”

“This project was a window onto my life.”

“I came to realize that these photos make a impact on people that I couldn’t have imagined.”

“Not only do my sister and I go to school, but so does my dad. He is currently taking classes at the local community college, so this means he gets homework just like we do. Since he has both work and classes, we don’t really get to see him as much. Every night, we clean up the table and set everything out we need for dinner, but as soon as the food goes away, the work comes out.” © 2014 Antonio Murrieta, WRKXFMLY Assignment, Tucson High Magnet School, AZ

What Educators Say

“I’ve been struck by how the project has prompted students to consider these family-work issues in fresh ways, sometimes as discovery (‘I never realized…’)”

“I have a much deeper understanding of the family life of my students.”

“I enjoyed the project because it allowed me to see my students in a different way. I was able to learn a lot more about their backgrounds and past experiences.”

“The amount of important and eloquent testimony contained in the kids’ photos and statements is stunning.”

“…I looked up from my phone and saw what an interesting photo this would be, as it shows the role each member of the family has.” © 2015 Nick Rodriguez, WRKXFMLY Assignment, Logan High School, Union City, CA

Participating Schools and Programs

Abraham Lincoln High School, San Francisco, CA
Alhambra High School, Martinez, CA
Amphitheater High School, Tucson, AZ
Berkeley High School, Berkeley, CA
Catoctin High School, Thurmont, MD
Centaurus High School, Lafayette, CO
Charles O. Dewey MS 136, Brooklyn, NY
The College Preparatory School, Oakland, CA
Concord Carlisle High School, Concord, MA
Dawson School, Lafayette, CO
DeKalb High School, Waterloo, IN
Denver Academy, Denver, CO
DuVal High School Academy of Graphic Arts,
     Media, and Communication, Lanham, MD
Elkton High School, Elkton, MD
Ensworth School, Nashville, TN
Fairview High School, Boulder, CO
First Exposures, San Francisco, CA
Flowing Wells High School, Tucson, AZ
Fort Worth Country Day, Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Southwest High School, Fort Worth, TX
Framingham High School, Framingham, MA
Frisco High School, Frisco, TX
Green B. Trimble Technical High School, Fort Worth, TX
Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles, CA
Humanitas Academy of Art and Technology, Los Angeles, CA
Hume-Fogg High Academic Magnet, Nashville, TN
James Logan High School, Union City, CA
Jefferson High School, Daly City, CA
The John Cooper School, The Woodlands, TX
La Cañada High School, La Cañada, CA
Las Fotos Project, Los Angeles, CA
McCallum High School, Austin, TX
Newark Memorial High School, Newark, CA
Poudre High School, Fort Collins, CO
R. L. Paschal High School, Fort Worth, TX
Richard R. Green High School of Teaching, New York, NY
Saint Paul Academy, Saint Paul, MN
Santa Rosa High School, Santa Rosa, CA
School Without Walls, Washington, D.C.
Shrewsbury High School, Shrewsbury, MA
Skyline High School, Oakland, CA
Southside High School, San Antonio, TX
Tucson High Magnet School, Tucson, AZ
University School of Nashville, Nashville, TN
The Urban School, San Francisco, CA
Venice Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Walden Grove High School, Sahuarita, AZ
West High School, Bakersfield, CA
West High School, Salt Lake City, UT
Westlake High School, Thornwood, NY
Westmoor High School, Daly City, CA

“…An irregular work schedule interferes with one’s personal life and family.” © 2015 Maimoonah Naji, WRKXFMLY Assignment, Tucson High Magnet School, AZ 

Photo Facilitators

Catalin Abagiu, Texas, 2016-2017

Tsar Fedorsky, Massachusetts, 2016–2017

Jason Houston, Colorado, 2016-2017

Karen Kasmauski, Washington, D.C., 2015-2016

Greg Miller, Tennessee, 2015-2016

Joanne Miller, Maryland, and Virginia, 2016-2017

Apollonia Morrill, California, 2013-2017

Alice Proujansky, New York, 2016-2017

Ari Sturr, California, 2016-2017

Brandon Thibodeaux, Texas, 2016-2017

Trudy Wilner Stack, Arizona, 2013-2015