Upstate Girls
a layered documentary project started by Brenda Ann Kenneally
and The Team of Volunteer Producers

In January 2009 The Upstate Girls Project teamed up with The Sanctuary For Independent Media after I discovered that it is located in a restored church directly across the street from most of the girls homes that I have been photographing in over the past 5 years.The Sanctary is committed to its North Troy Neighborhood and Community Arts programs. We had a print show there that hung for 6 months and did a series of scrapbook workshops culminating in a day of information for Upstate Girls on April 2, 2009. You can see videos for this event here [here].

For a full list of participants, as well as a PDF of instructions on how to make a scrapbook, written by Upstate Girls own, Dana Shubert Aftab, click here.

For an article about Dana in the Daily Gazette Schenectady, click here.

Our final event of the 2009 season was for the women to display their scrapbooks at Troy Nite Out, a monthly arts event held in downtown Troy.

In September 2009, the Upstate Girls project was awarded a distribution grant from the Open Society Institute's (OSI) documentary photography fund to help make the graphic novel project a reality. We will work with the sanctuary for independent media and Rensselaer County Historic Society to produce and distribute the books through a series of workshops. Click here for detailed workshop overview...

There have been 11 scrapbooks completed so far with several more in process, look for periodic updates here on the scrapbook project.

Donations of scrapbook materials are always needed, or if you attended any of these events and have photos you would like to post in the gallery, e-mail Brenda.


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Upstate Girls is supported through the award of competitive grants and the journalist's personal funds. You can help by purchasing fine prints (e-mail Brenda), or through tax deductible donations through our 501(c)(3) partner, the Sanctuary for Independent Media.

Past supporters have included Christina Cahill, Alberto Guzman, Gillian Laub, Diane and David Kent, Daniel Portnoy, Amanda Silverman and Leanne Ridel.
Upstate Girls; what Became of Collar City by Brenda Ann Kenneally, Laura LoForti, Murray Cox and Steven Zeswitz is copryright Brenda Ann Kenneally.
No unauthorized copies or use is allowed. Please contact for licensing.