Above: Giving Voice mentor and photographer David Vernon on stage at the Scottish Rite Theatre. Photograph by Adeline Ferolo
The Greek philosopher and historian Plutarch once wrote, “For the mind does not require filling like a bottle, but rather, like wood, it only requires kindling to create in it an impulse to think independently and an ardent desire for the truth.”
That is the essence of mentoring: to help others understand their strengths and to help them grow. This is the driving force behind Big Picture Initiative’s online zine, Giving Voice. Students gain real-life experience working on a publication, all while being mentored and improving their skills. Student writers, photographers and illustrators are paid for what they produce—acknowledging that their creative work is valuable and indispensable. If we want a thriving community, it will require investing in the talent already present.
In this issue, we are excited to introduce a new partnership with Giving Voice, in which students will work with professionals who are creating content for Peoria Magazine. Read more about this partnership in this issue, and look for the Big Picture logo next to articles in this and future issues to identify this content.
This month, Richwoods High School senior Adeline Ferolo worked alongside two professional mentors. She transcribed Chip Joyce’s interview with Jenny Parkhurst, KDB Group’s executive director of performing arts, for an article on the Scottish Rite Theatre. She highlighted important quotes and watched the process as I edited. She also joined David Vernon as he expertly photographed the building, and was mentored as she took her own photographs. The result? A fantastic article with stunning photos—check it out here!
This month, I will be stepping up as Big Picture Initiative’s first executive director while maintaining my position at Peoria Magazines. I am excited to grow this and other collaborations locally. After a year of isolation, we are ready to come back together and see our community grow and thrive. Get in touch if you have any “Big” ideas!
—Mae Gilliland Wright, Director of Business Development