CatchLight, the innovative San Francisco-based nonprofit, has named Elodie Mailliet Storm, a proven innovator and leader in the photography world, its new CEO. She will lead the organization into a new phase of development and growth.Read More
CatchLight exists because of the generosity of supporters and partners like you who believe in the values of social justice, truth and the abiding power of art to both reframe and make sense of a complex world.
Your donation supports CatchLight in tangible and important ways.Read More
Everyday Bay Area artist Rasta Dave’s work can be found in the Pop-Up Shop accompanying the exciting new exhibit re:home, which is “a For Freedoms exhibition exploring the plight of political and economic refugees in the San Francisco Bay Area—examining sanctuary city, homelessness, and the flight of the creative class.”
We did a short interview with Rasta Dave and asked him about his home, the Excelsior District of San Francisco.Read More
Thank you to everyone who came out to Widening the Lens: Revolutionizing Photography Voices at the Commonwealth Club. For those of you who were not able to attend in person you can watch the whole conversation here.
Photography has always had a special role in shaping the visual narratives that help us make sense of our world and now more than ever, photography has the power to transcend barriers, spark dialogue and promote understanding. But who is telling these stories today, and how can we take action to enable people to tell their own stories, widening the lens of storytellers everywhere?
2018 CatchLight Fellow Aida Muluneh and co-founder of Diversify Photo Brent Lewis joined New York Times Lens Blog editor James Estrin for an engaging discussion on their groundbreaking approaches to using the most powerful communications tools of our time, concurrently creating provocative work on their own and exposing diverse artists to opportunities to amplify their visual voices. This important, dynamic conversation dives into the exciting possibilities of a more nuanced and inclusive photographic lens to create a broader societal impact.
We are deeply saddened that Shahidul Alam was not able to join us and remain hopeful for his safe release from imprisonment in Bangladesh. His arrest stands as an assault on freedom of speech — a human right that is imperative for peace, safety, and the advance of communities worldwide. Find out how you can help here: amnesty.org.uk/actions/free-shahidul-alam
CatchLight is excited to announce the public release of Imagine Abundance: The Visual Symphony, as envisioned and produced by artist Angelica Ekeke. A few months ago, we asked and you answered. A request was put forth to our lively Bay Area community to submit photos and videos that capture anything, positive or negative, that feels abundant in life here.
In Imagine Abundance, Angelica’s lush and haunting vocals are paired with the images, videos, poetry, and art that were submitted during our open call. The addition of historical footage helps to provide context for the overall piece, allowing the Visual Symphony to take viewers on a journey from the past to the present. Join us on this journey by watching Imagine Abundance: The Visual Symphony in full above.
We at CatchLight would also sincerely like to thank you, our incredible community, for your support in not just submitting your powerful and inspiring imagery, but also for helping us reach our fundraising goal so that we could bring Imagine Abundance to life, and for your patience while we worked through some technical difficulties as we tried to get this piece completed and online. We also want to thank those of you who came to our September Abundance event in person to witness the live debut of the Imagine Abundance song performed by Angelica and look forward to seeing you at future events as they develop.
“For me, being a part of “ABUNDANCE”, was one of those once in a lifetime opportunities. Again, much thanks to Angelica, and her marvelous and talented team. It just goes to show you the persuasive power of creativity, when individual talents, come together, to share their blessings as a community, for the benefit of all. Truly art is the best way to raise our humanity or lack of, towards a higher consciousness."
“What an extraordinary weaving of image and song and words Thank you so much for including my poem, I absolutely love it!”
“So powerful! I am happy to be part of it. Thank you for sharing.”
“Thanks so much for sharing, I received chills in the first few minutes.”
“Finally got a chance to watch. Absolutely beautiful. Powerful and profound. Yes!”
“What a mosaic beautiful, poetic, and powerful art - masterly crafted.”
Congratulations to 2017 CatchLight Fellow Sarah Blesener on receiving the 2018 W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Fellowship to continue work on her project Beckon Us From Home.
Since presenting its first grant in 1980, the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund has awarded over one million dollars to photographers who have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to documenting the human condition in the spirit of Smith’s concern and compassion. The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Grants, selected from over 500 worldwide submissions, is presented annually to photographers whose work carries forward the tradition practiced by Eugene Smith during his 45-year photojournalism career. These grants enables recipients to undertake and complete worthy photojournalistic projects.
Sarah's ongoing project Beckon us From Home examines the interplay of religion, love of country, and military-style training in the teaching of ‘New Americanism’ amongst youth. See more of the project here.
VISIONS OF JUSTICE
Featuring photographs by Jeremy Castro • Jerry Leonor • Jesus Rios • Eugene Riley • Jenna Tomsky • Christoper Shurn
Ninety percent of formerly incarcerated people who seek education stay out of prison, according to data from the Journal of Correctional Education, while the rate for those who don’t seek education is thirty percent. For the past fifty years, Project Rebound, has helped formerly incarcerated individuals attend college across the state of California. In the last decade, 140 students have graduated from San Francisco State University through Project Rebound.
The pilot “Visions of Justice” photography workshop was held August 20-23, 2018 at San Francisco State University, immersing Project Rebound's students and staff in expressing their own stories and perspectives through photography. Their resulting work explores personal experiences and ideas of freedom and justice using visual storytelling.
The workshop's instructional team was led by 2017 CatchLight Fellow and SF State Alum, Brian L. Frank, SF State Alum/Photojournalist, Justin Maxon, and CatchLight Impact Manager, Jenny Jacklin Stratton.
Visions of Justice was generously supported by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting in partnership with CatchLight, Project Rebound, and students from the SFSU Department of Journalism.
"The experience of the workshop was so emotional because I got to go take pictures of the very place where I would risk my life on an everyday basis just to literally get a room and a fresh pair of socks — and to be able to tell my story, where for so long other people tell your story for you or show what you look like from their point of view, to be able to tell my own story with a camera and through my own eyes was so empowering.
I didn't know how serious that was until I started telling people. To come back to the streets with a camera, to have art pouring out of me and share my experience of being incarcerated and on probation — I'm turning my life around, not just making pictures. It's very powerful." — Workshop Student
Journal Entries from students on “What Justice Means to Me"?”:
Update October 25, 2018: We are saddened that Shahidul Alam will not be joining us as originally planned, and remain hopeful for his safe release from imprisonment in Bangladesh.
We’ve ensured he will still be represented onstage and we will discuss the role he, his work, and his current status play in the world of photography and beyond.
Like so many of you, we are devastated and outraged by the imprisonment of the activist and photojournalist Shahidul Alam by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. His arrest stands as an assault on freedom of speech, a right that is imperative for peace, safety and advance of worldwide communities. As his hearing begins, we call on you to please hold Alam in your hearts and minds—and most importantly take action to demand his safe release. Find out more how you can help here.
We are honored to consider Shahidul Alam a colleague and friend who has generously offered to speak at our upcoming event Widening the Lens on November 2nd. We are aware that his presence at the event is dependent on the outcome of his impending trial. It is our deepest hope for his safe release, and will keep our community as up-to-date as possible regarding his tentative appearance at the event. We hope that together, we will have the opportunity to celebrate Shahidul in person at Widening the Lens and hear him discuss his work that is more timely and crucial than ever before.
Thank you to everyone who came out to Imagine Abundance: Visual Stories of the Bay Area. CatchLight exists to accelerate the social impact of visual storytelling. We support photographers to do photo projects like this and we do things like this to get that artwork in front of the community.
That word “visual storytelling” is kind of tricky and is used a lot of ways. We think about it like this: most of the time, these photographers, don’t work tucked away in studio like a painter might. They are out there in the world, sometimes on the street, sitting with people, talking to people, hearing their stories, and then trying to share those perspectives, and feelings, and conditions, and stories through their images.
And, if we look and if we listen, we have the chance to understand a little bit more about people who may be our neighbors but whose lives are different than our own. Visual stories are windows of understanding into other people’s lives. They can help us be more compassionate neighbors, better allies, and kinder humans.
On Friday night we gathered to celebrate some pretty amazing visual stories, co-created by the storytellers in the community.
We are so grateful to all of you who made this project possible: To Pro Arts gallery who has supported Oakland artists for the past 44 years! To the East Bay Community Foundation whose Fund for Artists funded our artists, and to the 29 friends, family, Board members, and community supporters who reached into their own pockets to bring this project to fruition. And last but not least, a special thanks to our sponsors Photoworks San Francisco and Lagunitas. Thank you all for being a part of this!
We experienced some technical difficulties during the performance which prohibited us from showcasing the full visual symphony and we’re working on getting it posted online soon.
All Photos © Yutao Chenn
What an incredible opening weekend at Photoville in Brooklyn. Congrats to our 2017 Fellows Brian Frank, Sarah Blesner and Tomas van Houtryve. Thank you to our partners United Photo Industries, Digital Silver Imaging & Anastasia Photo for all your support.Read More
Education partnership to provide mentorship, educational programming, and more
CatchLight is thrilled to announce a new collaboration with The International Center of Photography, acting as an education partner for CatchLight Fellows.
CatchLight is a San Francisco Bay Area–based nonprofit dedicated to visual storytelling and the power of photography to drive social change. The CatchLight Fellowship serves as an incubator—a space to receive financial support, unlock individual potential, and leverage partnerships. Each year CatchLight recognizes three professional photographers who have demonstrated excellence in the novel use of photography to bring awareness to challenging social issues. Each CatchLight Fellow receives a $30,000 grant and then collaborates with a CatchLight partner to complete his or her proposed project. The 2018 Fellows are Aida Muluneh, Carlos Javier Ortiz, and Andrea Bruce.
“There is no one that understands the identification and development of individual photographic vision better than ICP,” says Nancy Farese, CatchLight founder and executive director. “At CatchLight, we identify the best of modern day visual storytellers, and surround them with resources, networks, and leadership support to amplify the reach of their stories. We are so honored to be partnering with ICP to nurture the potential reach and personal growth of these storytellers.”
As an education partner, ICP will provide targeted mentorship, specialized use of facilities, and educational programming as related to the content of the work created. ICP will also provide each CatchLight Fellow with two formal mentorship sessions. The first session will be with Lacy Austin, ICP director of community programs and CatchLight advisory council member, and Jenny Stratton, CatchLight impact and engagement manager, followed by a second with one of ICP’s academic chairs as determined by the genre of the work. CatchLight Fellows will also be given the opportunity to share their work with the ICP community.
“ICP is thrilled to partner with CatchLight and support such exceptional fellows,” says Austin. “As we all share in the mission of visual storytelling for social change, we are better positioned to achieve it when we work together.”
Aida Muluneh: Catchlight Fellowship Project
In creating an expansive workshop and mentorship program, Aida Muluneh seeks to support and promote emerging African photographers in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Italy. As she attempts to interrogate the foreign gaze and also to raise the awareness of the impact of photography in shaping cultural perceptions, participating students will develop their own stories based on what they are confronted with in their own countries, historically or through current depictions in the media. Through her program, Muluneh will also be producing her own collection that explores the relationship between history and images in Africa.
Carlos Javier Ortiz: Catchlight Fellowship Project
In light of recent high-profile shootings in Sacramento, the rest of the state, and the country, Carlos Javier Ortiz’s project Between the Lines presents an examination of the Ferguson Effect, while exploring aspects of trust surrounding police-citizen relations. The artist will create a visual ethnographic short-film that offers an unprecedented look into the lives of residents of Del Paso Heights and South Sacramento affected by the recent spike in violent crimes, and how they negotiate their lives with the police and community.
Andrea Bruce: Catchlight Fellowship Project
In partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Andrea Bruce’s project Our Democracy seeks to push people to look beyond politics and examine the social conditions that underpin our society, providing a visual record of the state of local democracy at this moment in US history. Throughout the fellowship, Bruce will move and immerse herself in a different community each month, and use visual and audio storytelling to explore experiences and thoughts on contemporary democracy in the United States using Alexis de Tocqueville’s route studying democracy in the mid-1800s. The project also unfolds online, where it will be combined with an interactive map of the journey with multimedia content and data about the community’s social and political involvement.
The International Center of Photography (ICP) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture.
Cornell Capa founded ICP in 1974 to preserve the legacy of “concerned photography”—the creation of socially and politically minded images that have the potential to educate and change the world—and the center’s mission endures today, even as the photographic medium and imagemaking practices have evolved. Through its exhibitions, school, public programs, and community outreach, ICP offers an open forum for dialogue about the role that photographs, videos, and new media play in our society. To date, it has presented more than 700 exhibitions and offered thousands of classes at every level.
ICP brings together photographers, artists, students, and scholars to create and interpret the realm of the image. Here, members of this unique community are encouraged to explore photography and visual culture as mediums of empowerment and as catalysts for wide-reaching social change.
This post originally appeared on ICP’s website and can be found here.
The pilot “Visions of Justice” photography workshop was held August 20-23, 2018 at San Francisco State University, immersing court-involved youth in visual storytelling practices as a means to nurture self-expression, self-respect, and to explore their personal experiences and ideas of freedom and justice using photography. Read on to see more photos from the workshop and hear from the students on what the workshop experience meant to them.Read More
What is abundant in your life? Now is the time to show us. Send us your photographs or videos that capture anything, positive or negative, that is abundant to you. Submit your images or video to be considered for the Imagine Abundance exhibition by following the instructions here. The deadline for submission is September 9th, 11:59pm PST.
As part of the Imagine Abundance: Visual Stories of the Bay Area exhibition, EDBA artist Angelica Ekeke will create a short performative “visual symphony” inspired by the submissions of the community around the theme of “abundance.” The images and video submitted by the public will be the source material and inspiration for Angelica’s performance, a new creative medium she identifies as a “visual symphony,” which fuses live journalistic reporting, documentary film, and a live score.
The Abundance exhibition will premiere in Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland on September 28th and will feature Ekeke’s visual symphony and visual stories by the following EDBA artists: Mark Murrmann, Rasta Dave, Jen Baxter, Alpana Aras-King, Pendarvis Harshaw, Courtney Stack, Emma Marie Chiang, Felix Uribe, Brenton Gieser, Collen Cummins, Pat Hogan, Taliesin Gilkes-Bower, and Rachel Bujalski.
About Angelica Ekeke:
This will be the third visual symphony that Angelica has created. An earlier work titled, The Removal, featured at the Reimagine Festival earlier this year centered around the death and life of Sahleem Tindle, a 28-year old African- American male killed by a West Oakland Bart police officer January 3rd of this year. The story gives voice to Sahleem’s grieving family, providing them a space to mourn their loss within the public sphere, a counternarrative to the far too common, dehumanized, “another statistic” public response which prevents any real space to process the loss as a family or a community. Angelica’s creative vision is guided by the desire to bring to the foreground people who are living on the outskirts of their society including immigrants, minorities, refugees, the poor, and victims of violence. See more of Angelica's work here.
The tools of our time make it possible for each one of us to be a social documentarian. Please share your images to be included in this powerful project.
Premiering in San Francisco this past May to notable critical success, Focal Points travels to Photoville for its East Coast debut and will be on view from September 13–23, 2018. The exhibition is produced and curated by CatchLight in partnership with United Photo Industries with printing support and services provided by Digital Silver Imaging.
CatchLight is a San Francisco Bay Area-based non-profit that annually recognizes three exceptional national photographers who bring awareness to challenging social issues. Focal Points features work from the 2017 CatchLight fellows, Tomas Van Houtryve, Sarah Blesener, and Brian L. Frank who were each paired with a media partner—the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, The Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Marshall Project, respectively. The exhibition showcases the projects that were made possible through their fellowships where each photographer was awarded a $30,000 grant. The themes include photography’s influence on the perception and teaching of the American West’s history, the trend of military-style training amongst youth, and life inside a youth conservation prison in California. An accompanying exhibition book featuring work and perspectives regarding each fellow’s project will be available for purchase.
On Saturday, September 15th from 3-4pm hear from CatchLight’s founder, Nancy Richards Farese, and fellows about the organization’s unique focus on solving the giant mismatch between artists and their potential for social impact by surrounding longform storytelling with resources, networks and leadership to bring to life and amplify the reach of their stories. This public presentation will focus on the experiences of CatchLight’s inaugural fellows, and an open discussion of our approach to promoting social change through the arts.
On Thursday, September 20th, CatchLight will participate in Photoville’s Education Day, produced by United Photo Industries, which is a program designed to give local middle school and high school students an inside look into Photoville and the power of Visual Storytelling. dates for this event and additional programming will be announced in the weeks to come.
2017 CATCHLIGHT FELLOWS
Tomas Van Houtryve
Tomas Van Houtryve is a conceptual artist, writer, and photographer based in Paris. His project Lines and Lineage imagines what the history of the Mexican-American border might have looked like at the time of the area's Mexican Administration. It questions the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West.
Sarah Blesener is a documentary photographer based in New York City. Her ongoing work examines the interplay of religion, love of country, and military-style training in the teaching of “New Americanism” amongst youth. Photographed across twelve states, Beckon Us From Home, peers into patriot camps and clubs around the United States where roughly 400,000 children are taught annually, often with military subtext, what it means to be an American. The series captures the emotion and vulnerability of youth in today’s political climate.
Brian L. Frank
Brian L. Frank, a San Francisco native, has worked on social documentary projects across the Americas that focus on cultural identity, social inequality, violence, workers’ rights, and the environment. Using the Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp as a departure point, Frank’s new project Out of Bounds: Coming of Age in "Gang Territory" explores the bonds of brotherhood that the young men share, but also the loneliness they feel, knowing that the odds are stacked against them, waiting just on the other side of the trees which form their prison walls.
If you're in Hanover, Germany this weekend make sure to check out the LUMIX Festival for Young Photojournalism. Among the many talented artists, our 2017 Fellow Sarah Blesener's work will be displayed. Sarah's ongoing project "Beckon us From Home" examines the interplay of religion, love of country, and military-style training in the teaching of ‘New Americanism’ amongst youth. Read More
Development & Operations Coordinator
CatchLight accelerates the social impact of visual storytelling. We believe that art is vital, transformative, and the highest form of hope. We support artists and create programs that accelerate the social impact of visual storytelling to improve the world by informing how we see and understand each other. We are a San Francisco Bay Area-based non-profit.
Our ideal applicant has excellent skills in fundraising and operations support, is highly organized and resourceful, and brings creativity, character and culture to further energize a small and very effective team. We seek a strong combination of professionalism, efficiency and a clear passion to achieve social impact in their work; this is an essential role in developing and supporting the reach and impact of our organization and our mission.
The Development & Operations Coordinator will report to both the Executive Director and Director of Philanthropy, spending 75% of their time on fundraising support activities and 25% of their time on general operational support. We are seeking to fill the position immediately.
Support the Director of Philanthropy with essential development tasks, including daily fundraising activities:
- General Stewardship-Manage all gift processing, donor database functions, acknowledgment letters, and communications with accounting. Conduct prospect research of major donors and prepare profile reports. Make recommendations. Populate annual grant calendar. Enter all notes about donor conversations, information, and activities in donor database. Prepare development tracking reports on a monthly basis.
- Coordinate fundraising appeals with support from Director of Philanthropy and Communications Manager. Draft letters and electronic appeal content, segmenting and clean up mailing lists, prepare in-house mailings, and follow up with donors via email and phone.
- Provide flexible, responsive support to all aspects of fundraising events in collaboration with larger event teams.
Support the Executive Director in all tasks required to run an efficient and effective flow of activities in the office, including:
- Workspace and IT needs, organizational calendaring, administrative record keeping, and maintaining standardized systems for organizational efficiency and accountability
- Track and provide monthly reports of key organizational metrics; be comfortable with dashboards and presentation tools.
- Support calendaring, appointments, and general administrative needs related to executive and board leadership. Prepare board reports.
- Propose tools and changes to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
The position requires a special blend of warmth and efficiency; creativity and accuracy; excellent interpersonal skills; and diligence. We are looking for someone who is:
- Idealistic: We are a highly-focused, mission-driven team; interest in the arts and making the world a better place is vital to your engagement with our small but mighty team.
- Team-oriented: Integrity, flexibility and a sense of humor is key. You must be both collaborative and a self-starter with the ability to interact and work effectively with staff, Board members, donors, the community, and funders.
- Responsible: You should be resourceful, reliable, adept at organizing around goals and managing priorities, eager for professional growth with the ability to work with minimal supervision, handle multiple tasks, and manage demanding situations effectively while showing initiative and being anticipatory rather than reactive.
The position requires specific technical expertise:
- Administrative Systems: Strong attention to detail and follow through; adept at multitasking and prioritizing projects.
- Data Management: Skillful and accurate handling of data entry to support donor stewardship, digital communications, and prospect research.
- Communications: Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication; highly collaborative and engaging; effective and clear. Experience writing fundraising copy and working in digital communications a plus.
- Software: Proficiency working on a Mac, using Keynote, using Google drive and docs, and using Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint). Basic graphic design software (Photoshop and InDesign); familiarity with Lightroom, Squarespace, and MailChimp highly desirable!
CatchLight is an equal opportunity employer that embraces an equitable, diverse, and inclusive work environment.
Compensation: This is a full-time, non-exempt salaried position salary plus generous benefits Location: Based at our office in Berkeley, CA with opportunities to work remotely on occasion. Salary: $42,000.00 to $50,000.00 /year
How to Apply: Please send cover letter and resume with the subject line “Development & Operations Coordinator" to firstname.lastname@example.org. Priority consideration is given to applications received by July 1, 2018. OR apply through Indeed.
From photojournalists in crisis zones abroad to citizens capturing incidents in their neighborhoods, visual storytelling often plays an important role in documenting pain and scarcity, so that it can’t slip away unnoticed. But, what happens if we shift the focus from what is lacking or missing in our community and instead focus on what is abundant? Imagine Abundance is a public art exhibition and community conversation reflecting Bay Area life from a perspective of cultural, spiritual, or literal abundance.
Over the next three months, 19 EDBA artists will set out to find out what happens when we focus on abundance around us. Their works will be screened at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland this fall. Help us make this work possible!
Watch Tomas van Houtryve give a 30-minute artist talk about Lines and Lineage at The New School in New York as part of the Magnum Foundation‘s Photography Expanded Symposium.Read More
Divided video installation wins First Place, Producer’s Choice Award from CENTER.Read More
Hear what the audience had to say after viewing the Tender Souls Film Screening at Twitter in downtown San Francisco.Read More