Congratulations to this year's fellows!

We are thrilled to announce the first CatchLight Fellows: Sarah Blesener, Brian Frank and Tomas Van Houtryve.

Each Fellow will receive a $30,000 grant and be paired with a CatchLight media partner—The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting or The Marshall Project—to complete a proposed project that builds upon past work, demonstrates measurable social awareness and expands understanding of how visual art can be used to communicate vital social issues.

Sarah, Brian and Tomas were selected from more than 300 photographers from around the world.

Sarah Blesener, a New York-based documentary photographer, will be working with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting to address growing nationalism among youth in the U.S.

Brian Frank, of San Francisco, is a social documentary photographer. He will be working with The Marshall Project to document the activities of organizations working to provide viable alternatives to prison for people caught in the cycles of poverty and crime.

Tomas van Houtryve is an artist, photographer and author based in Paris, France. He will be working with The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to document developments along the U.S.-Mexico border using surveillance imaging technologies and further exploring the “weaponization” of photography.

Stay tuned for more in-depth profiles and interviews with our Fellows in the coming months.

© Tomas van Houtryve

© Tomas van Houtryve


ANNOUNCING THE CATCHLIGHT FELLOWSHIP

Application Open: January 1, 2017 – January 31, 2017, midnight Pacific Time

Jury: We are extremely pleased to announce our judges for the 2017 CatchLight Fellowship.

  • Lacy Austin, Director of Community Programs, International Center of Photography
  • Ed Kashi, Photographer, VII Photo Agency
  • Shahidul Alam, Photojournalist and Writer, Bangladesh
  • Paul Lowe, Director at the London College of Communication, England
  • Lekgetho Makola, The Market Photo Workshops, South Africa
  • Jamie Wellford, National Geographic
  • Amy Yenkin, Independent Photo Editor

This jury will be joined in the final round by the following media partners: 

  • Carroll Bogert, The Marshall Project
  • Robert Rosenthal, Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Jon Sawyer, The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

At CatchLight, we believe it’s never been more important to use the power of photography to drive measurable social change.

The inaugural CatchLight Fellowship is $30,000 each to be awarded annually to three (3) creative leaders in the field of visual storytelling, who have demonstrated excellence in the novel use of photography to depict and bring awareness to challenging social issues. The grants will build on work by each of the Fellows with potential to achieve a next level of excellence in visual storytelling, innovation in distribution and measurable social impact.

We are seeking creative genius: a photographer who works at the highest caliber of artistry, approaches visual and social storytelling with clarity, integrity and purpose, and understands the inherent value of employing other creative disciplines - marketing, technology, communications, etc. - to enhance the impact of their stories. 

Each of the three (3) CatchLight Fellowships will be awarded to one person who is recognized for remarkable creative leadership, as demonstrated by both current work and the potential for leveraging social awareness and engagement. We understand that every project will have multiple collaborators, and CatchLight will make every effort to include core collaborators into our celebratory event in the Fall of 2017. 

Community
As a core program of CatchLight, the intention of the CatchLight Fellowship is to activate a vibrant community of creative thought leaders and storytellers, whose work will be progressively informed and enhanced by interaction with one another.  Each year, a new cohort of Fellows will be chosen, and encouraged to attend our November celebration weekend as presenter, mentor and inspiration to each other and the community as a whole. A CatchLight Fellowship is awarded for life.

Partners
In addition, each Catchlight Fellowship is co-sponsored by one of our partners, who will participate on the final jury, and will offer their expertise and distribution structures to the service of their selected fellow. The 2017 partners are The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, The Center for Investigative Reporting, and The Marshall Project

Criteria
The Fellowship is open to working professionals of any age and from any country who have demonstrated excellence in working with visual storytelling and a commitment to effecting social change. Applicants may work in a broad range of visual formats including photography, video, audio, motion or VR. There are no issues or methodology that CatchLight prioritizes over another; we are looking for new ideas for audience engagement on a social issue – be it local or global – that is important today. The Fellows will have chosen their own themes and issues, and proposed unique and compelling ways of creation and distribution.

Application
We seek a breadth of creativity and representation: geography, gender, issue, medium, and tool. The CatchLight Fellowship pool will be formed by both nomination and open call. Application includes work samples, professional references, a written proposal with the scope of project, and potential ideas for partnerships and distribution avenues that best fit the proposal. Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted by a geographically and professionally diverse jury. There is no fee to apply.

Leadership Team
Nancy Farese, CatchLight Executive Director and Founder
Stephen Mayes, Executive Director, Tim Hetherington Trust
Ed Kashi, Photographer, VII Photo Agency
Robert Rosenthal, Executive Director, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting

Nominating Team
The CatchLight Fellowship pool will be formed by both nomination and open call. We are honored to have the following group of nominators:

Ed Kashi, Photographer, VII Photo Agency
Carroll Bogert, The Marshall Project
Teru Kuwayama, Instagram
Amy Yenkin, Independent Photo Editor
Jon Sawyer, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Dan Milnor, Blurb
Mark Murmann, Mother Jones
Shahidul Alam, Photojournalist and Writer, Bangladesh
Yukiko Yamagata, Open Society Foundations
Cora Fisher, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts
Gina Martin, National Geographic
Aidan Sullivan, Getty Images
Amy Pereira, MSNBC.com
James Estrin, The New York Times LENSBLOG
Paul Lowe, Director at the London College of Communication, England
Jamie Wellford, National Geographic
Lacy Austin, Director of Community Programs, International Center of Photography
Lekgetho Makola, The Market Photo Workshops, South Africa
Marc Prüst, Noorderlicht Photo Festival, The Netherlands
Robert Rosenthal, Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting

Jury: We are extremely pleased to announce our judges for the 2017 CatchLight Fellowship.

  • Lacy Austin, Director of Community Programs, International Center of Photography
  • Ed Kashi, Photographer, VII Photo Agency
  • Shahidul Alam, Photojournalist and Writer, Bangladesh
  • Paul Lowe, Director at the London College of Communication, England
  • Lekgetho Makola, The Market Photo Workshops, South Africa
  • Jamie Wellford, National Geographic
  • Amy Yenkin, Independent Photo Editor

This jury will be joined in the final round by the following media partners: 

  • Carroll Bogert, The Marshall Project
  • Robert Rosenthal, Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Jon Sawyer, The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Where can I learn more? Write us at hi@catchlight.io