The Light Factory

The Light Factory

The Light Factory’s vision is to develop a vibrant, engaged photographic community in the Charlotte area by offering everyone the opportunity to create, understand, and appreciate photography.

The Light Factory began in Charlotte in 1972 with a group of photographers who wanted to gather and talk about their work. Since then, The Light Factory has evolved into a nationally recognized gallery space and a community center serving the Charlotte Mecklenberg region by offering high quality classes, summer camps, and workshops in photography– from the historical processes from the first discovery of photography to the most up to date contemporary practices. We are committed to photography as a means of enriching lives and transforming communities. We provide a thriving cultural center in Charlotte where photographers and enthusiasts gather to share their impressions, techniques and passion; where budding artists from all walks of life have the opportunity to express their creativity by looking at the world through a new lens, and where the most recognized, most acclaimed and occasionally notorious images hang on the wall to educate and inspire.

The Light Factory has provided life changing photography programs to students of all ages throughout the Charlotte Mecklenberg region for several, making a significant and positive impact on schools and educators by inspiring and empowering young minds with the power of image.


  1817 Central Avenue, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28205



Gallery & Darkroom Tours (Pre-K-12)

Program description

Bring your students to our gallery and community darkroom in the heart of Plaza Midwood for a tour they will not forget! We will guide you through our newest exhibition with informative discussion and an interactive scavenger hunt. If you choose, you may also add on a personalized Darkroom Experience where each student will learn how to make a photogram. The magic of watching a print emerge from the developer tray always seems to amaze, and the opportunity to create a print in this unique hands-on experience is truly inspiring!

Costs: The cost for a gallery tour is $5 per student. The cost of a customized Gallery Tour & Darkroom Experience is $10-15 per student. We require chaperones to be present, and they are always welcome free of charge.

The Light Factory can comfortably hold 35 students in our gallery and 12 students in our darkroom at one time. We can accommodate larger groups by rotating the students through the gallery and the darkroom experiences. We can also customize to allow for a photo-walk alternative to the darkroom experience.

Booking / scheduling contact

Laurie Schorr


Program detail
Artistic discipline: Literary Arts, Media, Multi-discipline, Multi-media, Storytelling, Visual Arts
Cultural Origin: Multicultural, Other
Program type: Day Trip, Out-of-School-Time, Professional Development, Workshop
Population served: Grade 1, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Kindergarten, Pre-K
Subject: English, History, Language Arts, Other, Science, Social Studies / History, Technology, Visual Arts
Bilingual: No
Available dates:

Please call The Light Factory at 704- 333-9755 to speak with Laurie Schorr to schedule a tour.

Available times:

Please call The Light Factory at 704-333-9755 to speak with Laurie Schorr to schedule a time for your tour.

Length of program: 60-75 minutes/session
Space / technical requirements:

Tours take place within our galleries and darkroom classroom inside the Midwood International Cultural Center. There is free parking onsite.


Tours take place within the Light Factory at 1817 Central Avenue in the heart of Plaza Midwood.

Fees / Ticketing:

Tours are $5/student or $10-$15/student for a customized tour. A 50% non refundable deposit must be made two weeks prior to the tour, upon confirmation of the tour.


NC Standard Course of Study:

W3- write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, well chosen details and well structured event sequences. Specifically, students will be invited to write about the unique personal experiences, characteristics, ideas and opinions to better inform their image making. SL2- Make strategic use of digital and visual media to express information and enhance understanding of self in society.  R4- Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific words choices shape meaning or tone. Students will be provided with assignments that challenge them to think dynamically and descriptively in visual and literary means to better express themselves through their photographic image making. Writing will expand to more desciptive, poetic and personal styles through the practice and review over the course of the program.   Students will develop their topic with concrete details and introduce and develop a clear concept. Students will use technology to support and produce their information and ideas. Students will be able to use image making technology to incorporate narrative elements effectively into text or visual narrative in order to express to an audience.    

NC Essential Standards:

From the NC Arts Education 9-12 Essential Standards: B.CX.1.2 Explain how art influences historical perspectives on society. B.CX.1.3 Understand how art is used to document human experience. B.CX.1.4 Interpret art in terms of cultural and ethnic context. B.CX.1 Understand the global, historical, societal, and cultural  contexts of the visual arts.  5.CX.2.3 Understand the balance of individual roles and collaborative skills to create art.  5.CX.2 Understand the interdisciplinary connections and life applications of the visual arts.  5.CX.2.4 Interpret visual images from media sources and the immediate environment. Specifically, Students will use photography and the practice of self portraiture to respond reflectively (individually and in groups) while considering a variety of expressive texts (e.g., memoirs, vignettes, narratives, diaries, monologues, personal responses) in a way that offers an audience.   Students will have the opportunity to think critically about how their culture and personal experience affects their creation of a self portrait and is received by an audience. Students will have the opportunity to work collaboratively. Students will make connections between ideas, concepts and themselves as character and vehicle for expressing those ideas and concepts.


Conducts educational programming for 2 or more years: Yes
Performs criminal background checks on staff with youth contact: Yes
Maintains general liability insurance (Individuals and organizations listed in this Directory can provide proof of insurance upon request. ASC does not hold copies of current documentation for providers): Yes
Three letters of recommendation / references available: Yes
Provides study guides for teachers and or students: Yes
Connects to State and or Common Core Curriculum Standards: Yes
Provides tools to assess student learning (workshops and residencies): Yes
Provides scholarship and reduced fees: Yes
Conducts ongoing assessments of program quality: Yes
Cancellation Policy

A 50% non refundable deposit must be made to reserve your date for the tour. This deposit can be made two weeks in advance of the tour date upon confirmation of the tour date. Tours can be rescheduled with two weeks notice.