Medomak Valley High School Begins #WhyYouMatter Public Art Campaign

Having attended Alabama’s Chelsea High School’s presentation on their community art project #whyyoumatter at the National Art Education Association Conference in Boston last spring, Medomak Valley High School’s advanced photography teacher, Brooke Holland, and her class have taken on the challenge here in Maine.

The mission of the campaign states, “ #whyyoumatter is a public art campaign that focuses on empowering students while fostering a positive school climate where all people feel supported and valued.”

Holland, with the help of volunteer photography specialist Kyle Santheson, has instructed her advanced photography students in taking black and white photographs of everyone in the school along with their personally written messages of why they matter.

To prepare, staff were given a script with resources to use with their home bases. After viewing inspirational videos about making a difference, students were given time to think about why they matter.

Holland reports, “Within the photo studio, you can hear students and staff helping each other write their statements; whether that is simply articulating their message or giving them the pep talk they need on why they matter.”

These 11X18 posters will affirm and empower our daily interactions and efforts and will, in total, be an impressive display for our district art show this spring. We matter!

This article was submitted by Linda Dolloff Pease, Principal at Medomak Valley High School as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. If you would like to submit a story or share an idea for the campaign email Rachel Paling at