Tyler Shore

Tyler Shore visits the local WATA radio station, where he got to meet local DJs and announce a song on live radio.

BOONE — A local photovoice project highlighting the importance of inclusion, specifically employing individuals in the community with diverse abilities, will be featured at Watauga Arts Council Blue Ridge ArtSpace on Saturday, May 11, and will be on display until June 1.

A reception for the opening night of the display will be held May 11 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

“High Country Capable” is the final project of the AppHealthCare Innovative Approaches subcommittee, in which individuals in our community with diverse abilities were able to tell their stories regarding employment in the High Country and showcase their equally diverse capabilities. The project consists of nine participants who had their portraits taken in a way that captures their hopes and dreams. The portraits are displayed on wrapped canvas (some are collages, some are single pictures).

Photovoice is a self-advocacy tool. Photovoice blends a grassroots approach to photography and social action. It is a process by which people can represent, identify or enhance their community through the art of photography. This allows people to tell their own stories and enables them to act as potential catalysts for social change.

The goal of this photovoice project is to highlight the capabilities of youth with special health care needs to employees in our community. Local photographer Dawn O’Neal-Shumate donated her time to be able to take professional photos around the passions of the youth that want to be involved in this project.

The project hopes to show employers the value of a diverse workforce and to raise awareness and increase the opportunity for inclusion around employment in the High Country.

Contact McKenzie Mayes for any Photovoice Project questions at mckenzie.mayes@apphealth.com or (828) 264-4995 extension 3131 for more information.

Contact O’Neal-Shumate to see where you can find the photovoice project after this display has ended by emailing lightbydawnstudios@gmail.com.

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