The Audience Engagement Grant supports photographers to take an existing body of work on a social justice or human rights issue and devise an innovative and effective way of using that work as a tool for social change. We are looking for projects that serve as interventions on pressing problems and provide concrete ways for photographers, organizations, and their target audiences to create a positive impact.
We are interested in well-designed projects that:
- inspire audiences visually and create meaningful interactions with photographic content
- utilize photography as the basis for programming or tools that move people beyond the act of looking and directly involve them in activities or processes that lead to concrete forms of social change
- provide deeper, more nuanced understanding of human rights and social justice issues
- pairs photographers with organizations that are currently working on related issues and connected to the target audience
Proposed projects should include the following elements:
Partners: The Audience Engagement Grant supports photographers who are partnering with organizations on collaborative projects. Each project partner should have the skills and track record to realize the project and must commit time and resources to implement it. Partnership should include:
- Photographer or Curator/Project Organizer, whose expertise is in the production or presentation of documentary photography
- Audience Engagement Partner(s), with expertise in a specific issue and already connected to the target audience
- OPTIONAL: Distribution Partner with expertise in the dissemination or presentation method
Projects: We are seeking projects that include the following:
- An existing body of compelling photographs that documents a human rights or social justice issue. Preference will be given to projects that address issues and geographical areas of concern to the Open Society Foundations.
- Effective and innovative ideas for using photography to spark deeper engagement with a particular community on a social justice or human rights issue
- Well-designed dissemination strategies that are uniquely tailored to meet the needs and interests of a target audience
- A detailed plan for engaging targeted audiences in concrete ways
Clearly articulated theory of change that explains how the project will result in concrete solutions
The following projects are not eligible for funding:
- Requests to shoot new work
- Dated material, unless the purpose is to collect and preserve untold, alternative, or historically significant narratives about a particular community or historical event
- Projects whose only goal is to fundraise and/or raise awareness in a general way
- Projects geared toward “the general public,” and do not identify a primary target audience
- Exhibitions that serve only the interests of the photographer or the gallery
- Book production
- Documentary film or video
- Lobbying activities
We will provide between five to eight grants ranging from $10,000 to $30,000. Grant funds cannot be used to shoot new imagery. When selected projects closely align with the work of the Open Society Foundations, we will facilitate contact with relevant foundation staff and grantees.
Full application due June 18, 2013 (5:00 p.m. EST).