About the Program
A 501 (c) 3 charitable organization
Arts in the City: 2018
Our Mission: POSITIVE EXPOSURE, founded in 1998, utilizes the visual arts to present the humanity and dignity of individuals living with genetic, physical, behavioral and intellectual differences. POSITIVE EXPOSURE celebrates the beauty of human diversity, inclusive of ethnicity, religion, age, ability, learning style, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. Our global footprint promotes a more compassionate world where all differences are embraced and celebrated.
POSITIVE EXPOSURE is a 501(c)3 Charity organization. Tax ID: 02 053 6768
For the past 20 years, POSITIVE EXPOSURE has collaborated with nonprofit organizations, hospitals, medical schools, educational institutions, advocacy groups and communities to promote a more inclusive and compassionate world where ALL differences are understood and celebrated. POSITIVE EXPOSURE has significantly impacted the field of human rights, mental health, medicine, and education by providing new opportunities to see each individual as a human being and valued member of our society.
In collaboration with the Genetic Alliance and the National Human Genome Research Institute, POSITIVE EXPOSURE premiered a photographic exhibition for the People’s Genome Celebration at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in 2001. Since then, POSITIVE EXPOSURE has continued to develop exhibitions, lectures, workshops, educational programs and initiatives.
FRAME (Faces Redefining the Art of Medical Education) is a web-based film library that changes how medical information is presented to healthcare providers in training, clinicians, families and communities.
PEARLS Project highlights our shared humanity by providing a blog platform where individuals from around the world can tell their stories, and allow audiences to experience life from their unique perspective.
POSITIVE EXPOSURE’s work has been featured in media outlets such as People, The American Journal of Medical Genetics, The Lancet, The New York Times, Huff Post, Herald Tribune, Le Figaro, LIFE, CNN, BBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, among others. POSITIVE EXPOSURE was the focus of the 2014 award-winning documentary, On Beauty, by Kartemquin Films. In 2017, POSITIVE EXPOSURE BELGIUM was established as the European headquarters. Future plans include the creation of a GLOBAL DIVERSITY CENTER with both a virtual and physical presence.
POSITIVE EXPOSURE remains committed to promoting this call to action in communities worldwide:
How you can help:
- Make an online donation.
- Invite a Positive Exposure presentation, exhibition to your community.
- Register to view our PEARLS Ambassadors blogs.
- Be a PEARLS Project Host School.
- Collaborate with Positive Exposure and your community.
- Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
About the Founder: Rick Guidotti
Rick worked in NYC, Milan and Paris for a variety of high profile clients including Yves St Laurent, Revlon, L’Oreal, Elle, Harpers Bazaar and GQ. He took photographs of what were considered the world’s most beautiful people. But one day in NYC, on a break from a photo shoot, Rick saw a stunning girl at a bus stop – a girl with pale skin and white hair, a girl with albinism. Upon returning home Rick began a process of discovery – about albinism, about people with genetic differences and about himself. What he found was startling and upsetting. The images that he saw were sad and dehumanizing. In medical textbooks children with a difference were seen as a disease, a diagnosis first, not as people.
So Rick turned his world upside down – he stopped working in the fashion industry and created a not-for-profit organization that he named Positive Exposure.
In an interview, Rick stated “I was always told who was beautiful.”
It became clear to him that it was essential for people to understand and see the beauty in our shared humanity. But how? How do you lead people down a different path? How do you get peopleto see those with differences not as victims, but kids and people first and foremost? These kids need to be seen as their parents see them, as their friends see them, as valuable and positive parts of society, as beautiful.
The photographs give people the permission to see beauty and interpret beauty in their own right. Not to see beauty that is dictated by industry’s ideas of what is acceptable. What started with photographs, has grown into a wide variety of programs created to empower people living with difference – and to educate the world around them.