© Tomas van Houtrvye

© Tomas van Houtrvye

CatchLight exists because we believe in the power of visual storytelling to drive social change. In an increasingly divided landscape, there has never been a better time to bind our world together with empathy and compassion. A CatchLight Fellowship serves as an incubator — a space to receive financial support, unlock individual potential, and leverage partnerships. We are seeking storytellers who use art as a catalyst to spark new conversations, and whose work is poised to be significantly amplified by collaboration, mentorship, and networking.

A CatchLight Fellowship is awarded for life. Beyond initial support with their project, Fellows will join a “brain trust” of advisors and creative thought leaders all dedicated to igniting social growth. The Fellowship is designed to do more than just give; we have a long-term vision that builds knowledge and community as a development tool for a better society.

In 2017 CatchLight launched its inaugural fellowship program, honoring three storytellers who demonstrated excellence in the use of photography. Each fellow received an award of $30,000 and entered a partnership with an established media partner to collaborate on a year-long project focused on driving social change.

Continuing our commitment to impactful storytelling, the 2018 CatchLight Fellowship will once again offer three awards of $30,000. But this year, we are encouraging participants to push the boundaries in new and exciting ways. Proposals must represent the highest quality of art, be socially focused, and present innovative distribution ideas. We welcome a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, health, democracy, climate, and immigration. As always, we invite and encourage a broad diversity in applicants, ideas, and creative mediums.

Fellows are required to adhere to the highest ethical standards in the preparation and presentation of any work produced under CatchLight auspices. Additionally, The CatchLight Fellowship operates in partnership with various media organizations in which the Fellow will agree to abide by the ethics and standards of their designated media partners at all times. CatchLight reserves the right to revoke the Fellowship and reclaim all funds if a project is found to deliberately present misleading information or if anyone associated with the work has been coerced into participation or if financial inducements have been offered above reasonable expenses.

The Fellowship is open to working professionals of any age and from any country who have demonstrated excellence in working with lens-based 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.

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.

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