Sabine Schmidt

Sabine Schmidt

Northwest Region
Fayetteville, Arkansas
479-643-4074 347-658-8814
[email protected]

Workshops in photography, creative writing, and/or map-making can be designed for groups of up to 25 students. They are most suitable for grades 5-12. Combining visual and creative-writing literacy, the workshops place an emphasis on poetry, fiction, and memoir. A wide range of activities can be geared towards the school’s requirements. A workshop exploring the idea of personal roots, for instance, may start with students bringing in photos of places that are important to them and their families. The group first looks at American photography of the 19th to 21st century and discusses how the images evoke a sense of place. Then students apply those interpretive techniques to the photos they brought in. Developing a deeper understanding of how images tell stories, students are encouraged to define terms such as “roots,” “home,” and “place” in light of social issues such as immigration, the environment, gender, race, and class. With the help of word banks, visualizations, and other creative-writing techniques, students write about their own connection (or lack of) with what they consider home. Extensions of this writing-based workshop include having students take photos before or after the discussions, create photo albums, organize photo exhibitions, and make memory-related maps.


Sabine Schmidt is an award-winning photographer, writer, translator, and teacher. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in literary translation and has a background as a magazine editor and cultural journalist. She translates regularly for the German edition of National Geographic magazine. She was co-founder and fiction editor of Passport: The Arkansas Review of Literary Translation and served as Director of Literature at the arts non-profit Art Amiss. Her photography has been shown in exhibitions and competitions nationwide. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette named her as one of Ten Artistic People to Watch in 2016.

As a fine-art photographer, she is most interested in showing how place and memory influence one another. She explores rural and urban places that may have outlived their original purpose and lie forgotten. In one of her projects, she documents the changes that shape the histories of towns, families, and individuals. In another, she sets handmade miniature paper houses as symbols of "home" in different locations. She uses writing and photography to tell stories of real and imagined places, of the passing of time, and of the ways in which people identify with the places they come from or settle in.

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: Middle/Jr. High; Senior High
Geographic Availability: statewide
Time Availability: open
Special Needs: Digital projector, screen, and Internet access preferred