July Deadline For W. Eugene Smith Grant Applications

The W. Eugene Smith Grant is now open for entries and the deadline for submissions is July 15, 2006, Helen Marcus, president of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced. For 2006 grant will be $30,000 with an additional $5,000 in fellowship money to be awarded at the discretion of the jury, Marcus says. The grant program is independently administered by the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund and funded by Nikon Inc.

The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented yearly to a photojournalist “whose past work and proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of W. Eugene Smith's compassionate dedication exhibited during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist,” according to the Fund. Photojournalists interested in applying can download an application at www.smithfund.org.

Last year’s winner was photojournalist Pep Bonet for his project, “Faith in Chaos," an essay about hope in post-war Sierra Leone. Other previous winners include Stanley Green (2004) for “Chalk Lines: A Photographic Investigation of the Caucasus”; Trent Parke (2003) for “Minutes to Midnight,” an essay on the current and changing state of the Australian nation; and Kai Wiedenhofer (2002) for “The Young Generation In Iran.”

Marcus says that applicants “must include a written proposal, which should be cogent, concise, journalistically realizable, visually translatable and humanistically driven.” Applicants are also asked to provide a résumé of educational and professional qualifications along with “evidence of photographic ability in the form of photographic workprints (8"x10" prints preferred, and no more than 40), and/or photocopies, duplicate transparencies, contact sheets and clippings of published stories.” Deadline for receipt of applications is July 15, 2006.

The Smith Fund’s executive committee appoints a three-person jury each year to review the applications and proposals. The jury meets twice and selects finalists. The finalists are then asked to submit a comprehensive photographic portfolio and to write a more details and focused proposal and to answer their questions about the project.

Marcus says that at their second meeting, the jury reviews the new material and selects the grant recipient. The grant is announced at ceremonies usually held in October at the International Center of Photography in New York. The recipient must warrant that the project in progress is ongoing, and agree to provide the Fund with a set of photographs when the project is completed. The photographs will be housed as part of the permanent W. Eugene Smith Legacy collection at the ICP.

There is no entry fee. The application advises that preliminary material will be returned only when accompanied by appropriate packaging and sufficient U.S. postage or its equivalent in U.S. dollars or prepaid return by courier. The Smith Fund is not responsible for loss or damage.

The board of trustees for the Smith Fund includes, in addition to Marcus: Robert Pledge, Sue Brisk, Jeanette Chapnick, Jim Balog, Phillip S. Block, Rich Clarkson, Donna Ferrato, David Friend, W.M. Hunt, Yukiko Launois, John G. Morris, Marcel Saba, Arthur Soybel, Robert Stevens, and Anna Winand.

Those without Internet access or who want more information may write to the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, c/o the International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, 10036, USA.