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Portraits and Dreams Discussion Guide

Film Summary

Portraits and Dreams revisits photographs created by Kentucky schoolchildren in the 1970s and the place where the photos were made. The film is about the students, their work as visionary photographers and the lives they have led since then, as well as the linkage of personal memory to the passage of time.

About the authors

Willa Johnson

Willa Johnson joined Appalshop in 2017 as the Lead Educator of Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute, which she now directs. Willa first began her journey with AMI in 2007 as a youth media intern, and has served as an Appalachian Transition Fellow with the Highlander Education and Research Center. She is a co-founder of the Stay Together Appalachian Youth Project (STAY) and worked for the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) Community Engagement team, where she created FIREshare, a program designed in collaboration with The Holler (a regionally create online learning platform) to train teachers and students to use multimedia tools to tell their own stories about their schools and communities. A daughter of a retired middle school teacher and coal truck driver, Willa Johnson was raised in Letcher County and is a foster care advocate and adoptive parent to a curious and kind toddler.

Wendy Ewald