Learn photography, make new friends! 

Sura is an Arabic word for photograph. AANM’s SURA Arts Academy – a 2008 winner of the prestigious Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on Arts and the Humanities – helps students learn to interact with an increasingly diverse world through photography. 

The program offers the use of a digital camera and classroom instruction by photographers and teaching artists over the course of a semester. Students will develop skills in composition, color, lighting, image storytelling, and social media sharing. 

The curriculum includes: visual presentations, photographic and writing assignments, discussions, critiques and guest artist visits. Using photography and AANM’s digital community history lab, students will tell stories about their lives, community, and culture.

Students' work is later exhibited at AANM's Student Photography Exhibition.

SURA Arts Academy 2018 Spring Semester (Ages 10-16)
Tuesdays, Feb. 6 - April 24, 2018
4:30-6:30 p.m. @ AANM

A professional instructor will lead middle and high school students in a 10-week photography course designed to help students tell stories about their lives, community and culture, centered on this year's themes of synergy, unity and community, with a focus on social justice and empowerment. Cameras are provided by AANM. Students' work will be celebrated in AANM's annual Student Photography Exhibition. Register now; space is limited to 20 students! All levels of experience welcome. 

Fee: $50 AANM Members; $75 general public

Scholarships awarded based on financial need + availability
SURA scholarship application

Registration deadline: 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, 2018


Above: Jasmine Altamimi.
Below: Altamimi's exhibited photos; the first one was sold at the Art of Resilience Festival.

“SURA is more than a program to me. Most of the time it feels like home. I have had the pleasure of being a part of this program since summer 2014. In most of these classes, I had the same teacher: Ms. Ali (pronounced ally). I learned so much that I didn't know about the community around me. She taught me that through art, we can give back. I admired how passionate and driven she was. When she spoke of her art, you could see that little light in her eyes. Ms. Ali was also working with many projects that help people/improve Detroit, and she took us to some of these sights. When we drove by the houses, I realized how blessed I am. There's one project that stuck out in my memory the most. It was to help women that are new to the country. The project was to help these women find homes (also their families), and then fix them up. The part where we actually saw one of the houses is one I will never forget. The walls in the living room were freshly painted. We sat on the worn down leather couches and spoke with these wonderful people who worked on the house. They told us that they already had a family listed for that house. In that moment, sitting inside a house with no air conditioning on a hot summer day, I realized that all the movies and media were wrong. Heroes are ordinary people right in front of us. This may sound cheesy, but since that moment I wanted to give back to my community just like those people have. SURA has given me the opportunity to do that, and let me say there's no better feeling than giving back; whether it's a form of art or rebuilding houses.” 

Former student from 2014-2015 and SURA Intern for July 2016, Jasmine Altamimi, Fordson High School Student.


This program is made possible in part by


13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI 48126 - Phone (313) 582-AANM (2266) A Project of ACCESS