The Alliance for Community Transformations (ACT) at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center was awarded a grant through the Vermont Department of Health to help explore what elements of our communities positively or negatively affect our ability to live healthy, vibrant lives.
To achieve this, ACT set out to learn more about our food systems, how we access opportunities to be physically active, the bike-ability or walk-ability of our neighborhoods and much more.
Photovoice Bennington County gives us an opportunity to hear from youth, in their own words what they see, feel and believe about our communities and how elements of their daily lives impact their health. More than 50 youth from throughout the county created 60+ original pieces which are on display in this exhibit.
The Photovoice method is a style of research that gives the participants a creative means of expressing their opinions that is used around the globe to enact social change.
This exhibit is free and open to the public.
This picture is powerful to be because this is a great place that anyone can go to and they are very welcoming there
The local bus in Bennington is an eco-friendly travel choice for both short-range and long-range commuters. By using public transportation instead of a car, you reduce your carbon footprint on the earth considerably.
Just imagine walking down a small walkway, surrounded by trees. Can you hear the soothing sounds of the river? The sounds of the birds singing? When I imagine this, I feel calm and relaxed. All my stress has just flowed out of me and down the river. The monkey on my back has just jumped off and gone to climb in the trees. I feel relaxed.
As I walk down this alley I feel nervous because sometimes it’s dark and there are no lights. I know lots of people use it too.
This building near KFC has been abandoned for a long time. The abandoned lot, I believe, is going to waste when it could be used for a lot more. For example, the building could be used as a public place for people to do graffiti by making it okay in that one spot and stopping graffiti everywhere else. Then every year or so, it could be repainted white so people can do something else.
I took this photo because it helps people who have cancer. It’s also good that we have a cancer center here in Bennington because some people have to travel far to get help
The river near KFC was a lager river until the storm of 2012. It was flooded and now is barely there. It is a shame to see it in this condition with less water, and now it seems as small as a puddle.
This stream is covered with scum, as a result of pollution. Most of the worlds water sources are trashed, especially the ocean. Water becomes a risk to people’s health when polluted.
This is a negative spot because it is hard for people to walk on the side of the road there are no sidewalks and people could be hurt and nervous
Camping can be very good for your health and well being. While camping you can do a bunch of different activities like hiking, mountain biking, swimming, playing team sports/games with your family or friends, or you can even do something simple like taking a walk. Although the food you eat while camping (like smores) is not very healthy, camping definitely is.
I love playing drums and learning new songs with my friends. I like to express myself through music and have a good time playing. I think it’s healthier to express yourself through music than through violence or other bad ways.
The police department is a positive thing they do so much for this town by cracking down on criminals, work with other police forces and help people .
This place is negative because it is right on main street –it’s isolated dirty and some people keep using it as a trash can.
This place has 16 apartments in it. Which I feel lacks care and love in it. I don’t think a kid should have to grow up in a negative place like this.
I think this is a positive place because it is for kids of all ages to have fun at.
This is a positive place on a sometimes negative street. Thatcher House gives people a place to live when they need it.T4C painted a room there once and I was moved by all the people there thanking us for such a small thing.
This foundation to a building has been there for years. I never remember ever seeing a building there or what it once was. The entire area is overgrown with dead-looking grass and trees. It is sad to see something like this in a large town and since no one ever wants the property, they should just take it down and build a park or something.
We look down of these plants and barely see the beauty they hold. From a worm’s point
of view this flower is beautiful. These flowers brighten up the steps to the Bennington
One positive thing is this is a place for people to live in. But the negatives are too many cars in front of the stairs and being on a street that has a lot of speeding cars.
It isn’t every day you find writing somewhere on a playground but I think it’s a negative because little kids can see it and may not understand what it means AND it’s a public place not a notebook.
A lot of people think the word “swag” is cool but writing it on a wall isn’t. It’s vandalizing public property and there’s nothing cool about that.
This a negative place because it always smells, unsafe to use and broken. I don’t get the purpose of keeping a smelly and unsafe slide.
This place is both a negative and a positive because the tattoos are not a really bad thing but some tattoo places are not clean.
I captured this photo because TEENS FOR CHANGE has had a positive impact on the community and it gives youth a chance to have their voices heard
This is a positive place for teens and kids to hang out and have fun when they need to get away from their parents and siblings sometimes.
This is another positive place for kids to go have fun, meet friends and play games.
One of my group members was talking so great about this place. They help youth to get an education so they can move forward in school and life.
Smoking is a nasty habit, not just because of the fumes and risk of lung cancer. The amount of cigarettes irresponsibly thrown on the ground is extremely high, this adds to the already obscene pollution rate in the US, which is slowly eating away at the ozone layer.
This place is negative because has NO sidewalks and is right next to a major road and is unsafe and dangerous to walk on to get to the stores.
Remember that you are not alone on this earth. Smashed glass is a danger in all communities. Whether a bottle was smashed against a tree, or accidentally dropped on the pavement. It must always be cleaned up. A dog, or child might unknowingly step on a piece and cut themselves. It is a habit that
should be broken.
The Rec Center is a positive place because it is a fun place to go to and also hang out with your friends and not get into trouble.
View photos from the opening event here.
Space adjacent to Crazy Russian Girls Bakery
443 Main Street
Additional Viewing Dates
Thursday, June 20th, 3:00-6:00 pm
Saturday, June 22, 11 -1:00 pm
Wednesday, June 26th, 3:00-6:00 pm
Saturday, June 29, 11 -1:00 pm
Tuesday, July 2nd, 3:00-6:00 pm
Special First Friday Showings
Friday, July 5th, 4:00-8:00 pm
Friday, August 2nd, 4:00-8:00 pm