Project Lives originated when, on behalf of his 501(c) (3) non-profit Seeing for Ourselves, George Carrano pitched the idea of a participatory photography program to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in early fall 2010. NYCHA recognized that the poor public perception of the projects and their residents did not serve either the residents or the cause of public housing well. The program was an immediate success and expanded rapidly, its minimal costs largely covered by Kodak, Dell Computers, and Duggal Visual Solutions. By the time the program came to an end in May 2013, it had ballooned to serve hundreds of residents of 15 housing projects.
While tens of thousands of New Yorkers had enjoyed the photographs online at studionycha.org, this audience was insufficient for Project Lives to fulfill its aim of pressing the reset button in terms of support of public housing by all levels of government. So George conceived of a book that would allow the photographs, combined with a meaningful backstory, to extend their reach. Already thrilled by the publicity accorded their photographs online, the photographers were overjoyed at the prospect of a book showcasing their work.
SEPT 2010 GEORGE SUCCESSFULLY PITCHES PARTICIPATORY PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRAM TO NYCHA ON BEHALF OF SEEING FOR OURSELVES.
OCT 2010 SEEING FOR OURSELVES CREATES PARTNERSHIPS WITH KODAK, DELL COMPUTERS, AND DUGGAL VISUAL SOLUTIONS;
DEVELOPING LIVES BEGINS AT MANHATTANVILLE AS A JOINT IT/COMMUNITY PROGRAMS INITIATIVE UNDER THE CHIEF
INFORMATION OFFICER AND UNDER THE DIRECTION OF JONATHAN FISHER, CHIEF, ANALYSIS & TECHNO-COMMUNICATIONS.
CHELSEA DAVIS RETAINED TO RUN THE PROGRAM. SEEING FOR OURSELVES OBTAINS LICENSES FROM PHOTOGRAPHERS AND
JUL 2012 CHELSEA HIRED TO MANAGE DEVELOPING LIVES AS A NYCHA STAFF MEMBER.
MAY 2013 DEVELOPING LIVES ENDS WITH DEPARTURE OF NYCHA CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER; BY NOW, THE PROGRAM IS BEING
OFFERED TO HUNDREDS OF NEW YORKERS RESIDING IN 15 PROJECTS.
AUG 2014 NYCHA'S GENERAL MANAGER AND DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS BOTH ENDORSE PROJECT LIVES, AGREEING TO
CHELSEA'S AND JONATHAN'S PARTICIPATION, AND WELCOMING GEORGE'S OFFER TO TURN OVER ALL ROYALTIES TO NYCHA.
DEC 2014 BOOK GOES TO PRINTER.
APR 2015 PUBLICATION OF PROJECT LIVES AND BOOK LAUNCH AT POWERHOUSE ARENA.