For the Girls

Pen, Lens & Soul: The Beautiful Project’s Exhibition at The Met

December 20, 2019

Our hearts are still full after reliving the opening of our first large-scale New York exhibition, Pen, Lens & Soul: The Story of The Beautiful Project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art!  To our Friends, Families and Supporters:

We want to express our deep and heartfelt appreciation for those of you who were able to join us for the phenomenal opening reception of Pens, Lens, & Soul: The Story of the Beautiful Project at The Metropolitan Art Museum. For those of you who were unable to be physically present, we felt your love from afar. It is truly a dream come true for us to display the work of our collective of Black girls and women in this historic art institution; a dream made even sweeter by your presence and support throughout the years.



Pen, Lens, & Soul will remain up at The Uris Center for Education until February 24th. Please continue to share the exhibit with your family and friends and when you go, tag our social media accounts when you post online (@thebeautifulprj on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook).


Special thanks again to The Met for generously partnering with us for this powerful exhibition. Thanks also to The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and to the members of the Collaborative for Creative Practice and Social Justice for all of your support.




AlineSitoe, age 11

For our opening reception, a few of the young artists from our cohort were able to share their experiences as artists in the show. We are excited to bring our entire cohort of artists to see their work in the exhibition in January! We’ll leave you here with words from our girls’ reactions to their work being shown at The Met:

“I loved my experience at The Beautiful Project and still do. I hope my images inspire other Black girls and woman to accomplish their dreams by staying true to their origins.” ~Lacquen, 11 years old
“While participating in The Beautiful Project, I learned to take short, simple sentences and turn them into deeply detailed and meaningful sentences. To have my words in this exhibit makes me feel famous. I hope my words encourage and challenge Black girls to tell stories and write no matter what others think.” ~Israel, 9 years old
“The experience with The Beautiful Project was a fun learning experience. I learned different types of ways to write and that I can make a book my own way. I feel surprised and amazed to see my work in this exhibit, and I am very thankful for everybody that helped me get up here. I hope my words impact other girls to keep going and never stop. I want them to know that their thoughts and ideas are valuable.” ~Jocelyn, 10 years old
“Being with the girls in The Beautiful Project helped me learn there are many young ladies still trying to find their way. I’m feeling proud that my pictures were important enough to make it this far. I hope other Black girls and women see that they can express themselves through photography to anyone.”  ~Ahmadie, 16 years old

If you would like to schedule a group tour between January 6th and February 24th, contact Suhaly Bautista Carolina, Senior Managing Educator, Audience Development and Engagement ( and Alexis Gonzalez, Program Associate, Audience Development and Engagement (

Pen Lens & Soul graphic design by Winnie Okwakol, image by Jamaica Gilmer. Sweet thanks to Dannese and Jayden Mapanda, Ahmadie Bowles, and Elle Thompson for bringing the visual heart of Pen, Lens and Soul to life.

One thought on “Pen, Lens & Soul: The Beautiful Project’s Exhibition at The Met

  1. So proud and excited by the work you all are doing. Our children continue to defy odds and turn ashes into beauty. Thank you! Keep up the good work! Our collective future is in good hands if we keep our hands busy about the work of preserving what we have and elevating what we know can be. Blessings and encouragement. Dr. Sandra Hardy

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