SURA Arts Academy
“Sura” is the 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 understand how to work a camera, learn camera tricks and techniques and then apply them to their community and life to create breathtaking professional-looking photos. SURA helps students learn about the power of photography as a tool to share their story with the world.
The program offers the use of a digital camera and classroom instruction by photographers over the course of a semester. Students will develop skills in composition, color, angles, lighting, image storytelling and social media sharing helping to foster the next generation of artists.
Students’ work is later exhibited at AANM’s annual SURA Student Photography Exhibition.
For more information about SURA, please contact Dave Serio, Educator & Public Programming Specialist, at dserio “at” accesscommunity.org.
SURA is more than a program to me. Most of the time, it feels like home. My instructor Ms. Ali taught me that through art, we can learn about the communities around us and give back. She introduced us to many projects that help our community in Detroit. One project that stuck out in my memory the most, was a project helping women that are new to the country find homes. We got to meet the team that was fixing the homes for these women. I remember looking around at all their hard work and at the freshly painted walls and—in that exact moment—thinking that the movies got it all wrong. Heroes are ordinary people right in front of us. Heroes are the members of our community, and through programs like SURA, we can capture and tell their stories. 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.”Jasmine Altamimi, 2014-15 SURA student, 2016 SURA intern and student at Dearborn’s Fordson High School