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Pictured (L–R)
Thad DeVassie, Marshall Shorts, James Kutnow, Corey Favor, Moishe Appelbaum, and Jeremy Slagle

Special Initiative
The Big Table

The Big Table—A Day of Kindness, Community Spirit, and Progress

When Jeremy Slagle teamed up with Thad DeVassie and a group of others for The Big Table at Midwest Photo in August 2016, he was excited to participate and see what he could do to help strengthen our community.

“Our Big Table was all creatives—writers, designers, and photographers—many entrepreneurial and running their own studios,” Jeremy said. “We asked ourselves, ‘What can we do with our talents that can impact Columbus?’”

Not long after their conversation, Jeremy was in his studio cleaning out his photo closet and saw an old camera. An idea came to mind. He thought of The Big Table discussion where fellow artists Corey Favor and Marshall Shorts talked about their passion for helping kids in urban communities understand that a career in a creative field is viable.

“There are so many super talented kids, but when it comes time to consider creative arts as an actual, viable career path, it’s typically frowned upon and often doesn’t happen,” Jeremy explained.

 “If kids are truly gifted creatively, we want to help them recognize that their gift can lead to a very successful career.”

—jeremy slagle

This idea turned into Camp Click—a program developed to bridge the gap between professionals and kids that have artistic skills, offering them an opportunity to learn something new while cultivating relationships with fellow creatives.

Partnering with Midwest Photo and The Graham School, the six-week program will launch in fall 2017, putting cameras in the hands of 10–12 students with the goal of igniting their creativity through a new outlet. Participants will then keep the cameras, which are being donated by local photographers. Midwest Photo is working with Nikon and Canon, who have agreed to donate lenses for the project.

“We will work with the students once a week, providing instruction and teaching them how to use the cameras,” Jeremy said. “We’re hoping to create a gallery show at the end that will showcase each student’s work. It’s terrific to see an idea like this—that came out of The Big Table—come to life.”


About The Big Table

The Columbus Foundation’s Big Table debuted on August 30, 2016 and was created to bring residents together for community-building conversations on a wide variety of topics, from the economy and education to homelessness and poverty. On that day, more than 5,000 residents gathered around over 450 tables for conversations throughout the central Ohio region.

In gratitude and honor of each person who participated in the 2016 Big Table, The Columbus Foundation made a contribution to the Gifts of Kindness Fund—thanks to the William H. Davis, Dorothy M. Davis and William C. Davis Foundation and the Paul G. Duke Foundation. The Gifts of Kindness Fund provides one-time emergency grants through partner nonprofits to help lift up individuals and families who experience an unexpected setback.