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The Memory Project

Ithaca High School Art Students Practice Kindness and Global Awareness

For the tenth year in a row, Ithaca High School students in Carol Spence’s Drawing & Painting class had the opportunity to creatively practice kindness and global awareness through the Memory Project.
The Memory Project is a non-profit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create portraits of youth from around the world who are facing or overcoming substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, and extreme poverty. The portraits are intended to help the children feel valued and important, to know that many people care about their well-being, and to act as meaningful pieces of personal history in the future.
This year, Spence’s class received photographs of children from the Philippines and the students transformed them into portraits to serve as tangible symbols of love, support, and respect for the children. In return, the Memory Project sent the class a beautiful video of the children opening their portraits.

“It is transformative and humbling, seeing the students’ faces watching the video of the child receiving the portraits they created,” said Spence. “It opens their eyes and gives them an opportunity to view the world outside of Ithaca and shows what impact something like this can have on someone.”
The Memory Project was founded in 2004 and has since delivered more than 130,000 portraits to children in 47 countries. Ithaca High School participates in the project with support from the Fine Arts Booster Group, an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI).

Click thumbnails to englarge.
Memory Project Portrait
Memory Project Portrait
Memory Project Portrait
Memory Project Portrait

Belle Sherman
Beverly J Martin
Cayuga Heights
Fall Creek
South Hill
Boynton Middle
DeWitt Middle
Ithaca HS
Lehman Alternative


Ithaca City School District
Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent
400 Lake Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 274-2101