We are shocked and saddened to announce that last week our classroom and program offices were burglarized. The thieves broke in and stole students’ cameras and photography equipment that we had purchased– a loss of about $10,000. They even came back a second night but we were able to secure the rest of our equipment and avoid a more devastating result.
FreshLens Chicago is a 501c3 Non-profit dedicated to providing photographic arts education to children from our under resourced communities. Our program gives culturally diverse classes in high-quality visual arts education, expert mentoring, and career development in photography. Through the program, students develop transferable life skills in communicating/story-telling, good work habits, team work & individual responsibility. Upon completion of the coursework, students get to keep their photography equipment and any net proceeds that come from their art sales. Obviously access to equipment is CRITICAL.
Where we hold classes is extremely safe. It has never experienced a break-in. As we are constantly taking in and giving out equipment to our kids, we unfortunately were not able to set up insurance for the gear that was stolen. If we can't replace the equipment, we will be unable to have classes for the kids, who come from areas of the city where owning a camera is not economically feasible.
We have since strengthened security at our location to stop any future thefts.