May 15th: Deadline for W. Eugene Smith Grant and Howard Chapnick Grant

W. Eugene Grant in Humanistic Photography

Deadline May 15th

From the website:

“The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented annually to a photographer whose past work and proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s concerned photography and dedicated compassion exhibited during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist.

W. Eugene Smith learned the hard way that photography could be too easy, a matter of making expert images of interesting subjects. He set himself to learn the truth – about himself as well as his subjects. In the process, he produced a series of photographic essays, for LIFE and other publications, whose passionate involvement set a standard for what photography can be. Gene Smith was a loner, a driving and driven man, who bucked the system of which he was a part. Some say he sacrificed his career, and himself, on an altar of self-destructive idealism. When he died at the age of 59 in 1978, he had $18 in the bank. But his name had become synonymous with integrity. His work was his memorial.

Why, then, a memorial fund in his name? Those who knew Smith knew also that he needed friends at critical times. Many photographers today are working against the fashions and economics of modern publishing. The Fund was established in 1979 to seek out and encourage these independent voices. In the first twenty nine years of competition, from many thousands of proposals, the Fund selected 298 finalists who were seeking help in finishing major projects. Each was worthy of a grant.

In one way or another, a finalist must approach Gene Smith’s own high standards. “I am a compassionate cynic,” he wrote, “yet I believe I am one of the most affirmative photographers around. I have tried to let the truth be my prejudice. It has taken much sweat. It has been worth it.”

Applications consist of both written and visual components.  For complete application details click here.

To learn more about the fund click here.

In addition to the Smith award, photographer may apply for the Howard Chapnick Grant:

In 1996 the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced a new award, the Howard Chapnick Grant, to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing research, education and management. The Grant was established to honor the memory of Howard Chapnick, and acknowledge the value of his enormous contribution to photography.

The annual $5,000 grant may be used to finance any of a range of qualified undertakings, which might include a program of further education, research, a special long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual. According to the Fund’s Board of Trustees, special consideration will be given to projects that promote social change and/or serve significant concerns of photojournalism. The grant ($5000) is not intended to be used for the production of photographs, which will continue to be funded by the main grant of the Smith Fund.

Recipients of the Howard Chapnick Grant will be selected by the Board of Trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund in Humanistic Photography.”

Click here to download an application for the Chapnick Grant.

DEADLINE FOR BOTH SMITH FUND and CHAPNICK GRANT:  MAY 15

Past Recipients

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