This fall I am researching a new socially engaged photography project as the 2015 Diane Dammeyer Fellow in Photographic Arts and Social Issues. This is the first year it is offered as a post-graduate residency. Read more about it below:
The Diane Dammeyer Fellowship in Photographic Arts and Social Issues creates a space for a socially-engaged photographer to produce a compelling and dynamic body of work highlighting human rights and social issues.
The Diane Dammeyer Fellowship in Photographic Arts and Social Issues is a unique collaboration between the Photography Department at Columbia College Chicago and Heartland Alliance, a leading global anti-poverty organization.
The purpose of this postgraduate fellowship is to create an opportunity for a socially engaged photographer to immerse himself/herself in the community of participants served by Heartland Alliance programs and to produce a new, original and compelling body of photographic work that speaks to the human rights and social issues revealed through these experiences. By engaging with the Heartland Alliance community of participants and practitioners—and not merely observing or documenting the people or programs from afar—the fellowship allows the artist to create a true connection between subject, audience and community. This serves the larger goal of the fellowship, which is to use photographic practice to elevate our collective awareness of social, economic, and cultural issues and to inspire positive social change.
In addition to his/her work with the Heartland Alliance community in the greater Chicago area, the fellow will also spend significant time at Columbia College Chicago, where he/she will be mentored by a Department of Photography faculty member and will work with Columbia students. The fellow will also have a Heartland Alliance project sponsor dedicated to aid his/her immersion in the Heartland community and to provide valuable feedback during the nine-month project. The fellowship will culminate with a public presentation, exhibition and/or publication of the fellow’s newly created body of work at the completion of the fellowship period.
Because of the dynamic nature of the fellowship, a full-time commitment is required during the academic year (September to May). Fellowship hours will vary, as will the activities in which the fellow will be immersed. It is expected that the fellow will reside in Chicago during the term of the award.
A $25,000 stipend will be awarded for the 2016-2017 academic year to support the fellow’s work. Talented individuals who have completed an MFA in photography or in another related creative field and who are committed to active immersion and participation with Heartland Alliance and Columbia College Chicago are encouraged to apply.
The deadline to apply is midnight (U.S. Central Standard Time) April 1, 2016. For more information or questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Diane Dammeyer Fellowship is administered under the auspices of both Columbia College Chicago and Heartland Alliance, two internationally recognized institutions with deep roots in Chicago dating back more than 120 years. As a pioneer in arts and media education, Columbia combines its internationally recognized experience teaching creative students to develop authentic voices and meaningful skills in partnership with Heartland Alliance’s history of advocating for the rights of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
The fellowship is supported by Columbia alumna Diane Dammeyer, whose experience as a photographer for Heartland Alliance inspired her to create both an undergraduate scholarship and a postgraduate fellowship in the hope that emerging artists would conceive of creative ways to use their skills to help a nonprofit organization better realize its goals.
About Heartland Alliance
The leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest, Heartland Alliance believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to improve their lives. Each year, it helps ensure this opportunity for nearly one million people around the world who are homeless, living in poverty or seeking safety. Because the causes of poverty, injustice and lack of opportunity are interrelated and interlocking, Heartland Alliance’s programs are similarly comprehensive and integrated, allowing unusual synergy in meeting its participants’ needs. In addition to direct service, Heartland Alliance partners with lawmakers and organizations to shape public policies that fit the needs of everyone, ensuring that even the most vulnerable can realize a brighter future.
About Diane Dammeyer
Upon finishing a career in real estate on Chicago’s North Shore, Diane Dammeyer enrolled at Columbia College Chicago to develop her skills in photography. Through her work at Columbia, she established herself as a philanthropic photographer, capturing images of children and young adults and their economic circumstances around the world.
After moving on from Columbia in the mid-1990s, Dammeyer worked as a volunteer photographer with the Chicago-based Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights. She traveled all over the world, recording images of children in impoverished, war-torn settings like Rwanda. Her experience as a photographer for the Heartland Alliance inspired her to create both an undergraduate scholarship and a postgraduate fellowship at Columbia College Chicago.