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Santa Fe Photo Festival and the Grants Program

There is time until 20 April to apply for this year's rich program of grants and the premier juried portfolio review that launched the careers of many relevant artists including Alec Soth and Julie Blackmon.


© Leonard Suryajaya

Founded in 1994, the not-for-profit organization CENTER supports socially and environmentally engaged lens-based projects through education, public platforms, funding, and partnerships. Over the years it has been known to launch many now-famous photographers’ careers including Alec Soth (2003), Julie Blackmon (2006), Tamas Dezso (2011), and Rania Matar (2019) among others. . This year's program is definitely worth a look and comprises a solid program of events and call for entries. 

© Will Willson

CENTER’s premier juried Portfolio Review event, the Review Santa Fe Photo Festival, is a week-long conference for photographers who are seeking audience expansion, critical discussion, and community connection. One of the oldest portfolio review events in the U.S., the Review Santa Fe Photo Festival, enters its 20th year, in 2021. The 2021 program will include a variety of virtual programs including the portfolio reviews, the annual Photographer Presentations, Panel Discussions, and more. The event is now open for submissions with the goal of helping photo-based storytellers in bringing their work to completion and have it seen by industry leaders, editors, curators, and publishers who are portals to broad international audiences. Full and half scholarships are available so learn more and present your work here for a chance of being part of the reviews on 12-17 October.

CENTER further announced its 2021 lineup of grants and awards opportunities for lens-based artists, aiding in career development while supporting and promoting issue-based, socially conscious projects. This year, CENTER’s Project Launch Grant is tailored to support New Mexico-based individuals in an effort to help foster regional and local impact through the power of image-making. Executive Director, Laura Wzorek Pressley, states “As a local organization that draws a global audience, it is important to recognize and acknowledge the community that has helped facilitate our vision and mission. There is exciting, powerful work being created in New Mexico and we want to help propel it forward with our network of resources.” The Project Launch Grant provides financial support to help complete or disseminate the granted work for the receiving artist, who must be a New Mexico-based individual who has resided in the state for two years or more. The recipient will be selected by juror Marisa Sage – Director & Head Curator, New Mexico State University Art Museum and will be given $2,500, complimentary participation in CENTER’s Review Santa Fe Photo Festival, and more.

© Justin Maxon

Furthermore, other $10,000 in cash will be available thanks to other two open call. The me&EVE Grant providing $5,000 in financial support to a female-identified, non-binary, transgender, and/or gender non-conforming photographer, 40 years of age and over. The open call is juried by Annick Shen, Adobe Stock’s Head of Editorial, includes participation in Review Santa Fe, and feature on Lenscratch and it is made possible by Review Santa Fe alumna, Dorie Hagler, whose project me&EVE amplifies the voices of women. The Project Development Grant will support instead a fine art or documentary project that is a work-in-progress with $5,000, Professional Development Workshop Admission, participation in Review Santa Fe, and feature on Lenscratch. The juror is Arpad Kovacs (Assistant Curator, Department of Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum).

© Andres De Varona

CENTER's open call program also support multimedia artist thanks to the Excellence in Multimedia Storytelling Award that recognizes a project utilizing photography, video, installation, or other elements that expand on traditional methods of displaying and experiencing photography. The award is judge by Cosima Amelang (Producer/Editor, Mobile Storytelling at National Geographic Partners) and includes participation in Review Santa Fe, and feature in the popular online magazine, Lenscratch. Moreover, the CENTER Awards will recognize outstanding photographers working in all processes and subject matter in this three categories: Personal, Social and Environmental. The award includes participation in Review Santa Fe, and feature on Lenscratch. The judges include Merry Scully (Head of Curatorial Affairs, Curator of Contemporary Art, New Mexico Museum of Art)and Melissa Dale (Interim Director of Photography, The Nature Conservancy).

If it's true that there are many opportunities out there, it's also true that there are few institutions supporting photography with the consistency and results of CENTER. Both the Review Santa Fe and the Grants program are efficient ways to support and enhance your photographic practice. To get involved, go to visitcenter.org/call-for-entries submit to the annual calls for entry, join the membership program, or attend their public events. Applications are accepted from all over the world and there is time until 20 April.



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