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Outside the Lens

Afterschool/Out-of-School Time

The way we communicate globally is changing rapidly; more than 70% of internet traffic (and rising) is video. Outside the Lens prepares youth for this digital future by teaching them 21st century communication skills that build their digital and media literacies. We empower youth to use photography, filmmaking, and digital media to create change within themselves, their community, and their world. Since 2001, over 15,000 OTL students (in the US, China, Colombia, Thailand, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and more!) have learned photography, film, and digital media arts through hands-on projects exploring identity, family, community, the environment, and the world.

Outside the Lens has four core program areas:

  • Cameras in the Classroom: School-based arts integration programs that teach digital media arts and communication skills alongside classroom subject standards in English Language Arts, math, and science.
  • Cameras in Communities: Programs activating discrete communities through digital media arts. Projects have included regular photography classes for adults with disabilities and an intergenerational filmmaking intensive for East African refugees living in San Diego.
  • Cameras and Careers: Our mentoring, college readiness, and career development program for teenagers. Youth learn from professionals in digital media, grow their skills, prepare portfolios for college, and participate in internships and career development opportunities.
  • Cameras Across Cultures: Our international exchange program connects youth around the world through virtual and in-person exchanges in which youth use photography and video to express themselves and learn from one another as they gain the skills to navigate our global community.

Outside the Lens is based in sunny San Diego where we operate out of our media lab and gallery in the Liberty Station Arts District.

Location Address
2750 Historic Decatur Rd Studio 103, San Diego, California, 92106
Contact phone

32.7394525, -117.2122866