2023-2024 Photo Urbanism fellowship

The Design Trust for Public Space, in partnership with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the Public Housing Community Fund, and NeON Photography, is now accepting fellowship submissions from photographers to join our latest public space initiative: Green Space Connections. The project aims to create and activate community-designed green space at four NYCHA public housing developments for 14,000 residents in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Program Overview:

We believe that photography is vital to understanding our shared environment and is a powerful tool for illuminating the city’s complex public realm. The Photo Urbanism Program was founded in 2001 to support the creation of new work that explores New York City’s public space. The 2023-2024 Photo Urbanism Fellow will create a self-driven photography project with NYCHA’s open spaces and the variety of ways residents use them. The role of the Photo Urbanism Fellow is to use artistic and journalistic photography/videography to capture the human, personal narratives that exist in these spaces.

Job Description:

The Photo Urbanism Fellow will dedicate 5% of their fellowship to administrative tasks such as attending meetings, invoicing, and tracking expenses; 20% of the fellowship to provide mentorship to young photographers; the remaining 75% will be to developing project work, including, but not limited to, photographing, editing images, developing programming, and exhibition planning.

The fellowship award includes a $15,000 stipend and a solo exhibition. Deliverables:

One intensive photography/videography workshop for 3-4 Youth Photographers

One full-day workshop for high-school aged youth (around 20 participants).

One project proposal

One final solo exhibition - including a written description of work/project, minimum of 5 final images (digital and print; size to be determined)

At least one program related to project work. For example, a talk.


The Photo Urbanism Fellow must be based in New York City and be available to participate in meetings with the Design Trust, NYCHA, the Fund for Public Housing, and NeON Photography. The Design Trust will act as a resource and thought partner and will arrange two critiques with local photographers. The fellowship requires an 11-month commitment, based on a mutually agreed-upon work plan.

About Green Space Connections:

1 out of every 16 New York City residents live in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments. Public housing is an integral part of the city’s landscape. Better public space in these communities contributes to a more connected, sustainable, and green future for all New Yorkers.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has announced a grant of $3.2 million for Green Space Connections. Led by the Public Housing Community Fund in collaboration with NYCHA’s Asset & Capital Management Division, and managed by The Design Trust for Public Space, the program will use the Connected Communities' participatory design process to create and activate green space at four NYCHA public housing developments over the next three years.

Green Space Connections features three main program elements – Participatory Design Process, Physical Transformation, and Programming for Sustainability – to ensure that the spaces have a direct, positive impact on the health, well‐being, resiliency, safety, and overall quality of life of 14,000 NYCHA residents in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Project development and programming is supported by the Center for Justice Innovation.

Photography Fellow Selection Process:

The Photo Urbanism Fellow will be selected by a diverse jury composed of creatives, photographers, and Design Trust Community members, including 2022-23 Photo Urbanism Fellow, Elliott Golden. All applicants will be notified by the first week of October 2023. *Jury still in formation.

Submission Guidelines:

DEADLINE: Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Daylight Time

ELIGIBILITY: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and eligible to work legally in the United States. Full-time students are not eligible due to possible time restraints, but part-time students may submit. Applicants must be based in New York City to concentrate on the local content of the fellowship. Applicants with 5-7 years of photography experience preferred. Experience teaching and youth engagement are preferred. The selected fellow must be able to commit to a 11-month long fellowship, with an average time commitment of 8 - 12 hours a week starting in October.


Sep 12: Deadline to apply (before midnight)

Oct 1: Winner announcement

Oct 16: Photo Urbanism Fellowship begins

June 2024: Final Exhibition

July: Program related to project work

Aug 31: Photo Urbanism Fellowship ends

MATERIALS: All application materials must be submitted to fellowship@designtrust.org by 11:59 pm (midnight) on September 12, 2023. Materials that do not meet the following criteria will not be presented to the jury.

Work samples: A portfolio of three (3) jpg images showing representative work made within the last three years. Applicants are encouraged to include some images that demonstrate their approach to the urban environment.

Written materials: Save the following as one PDF named "lastname_firstname.pdf."

Project proposal and a brief description explaining your approach to the topic of capturing the essence and stories of public health and public space in response to Green Space Connections. Explain (a) why you are interested in this topic; (b) what you propose to do; (c) how this topic relates to your work; (c)what experience you have had working with youth or teaching photography. Maximum 300 words.

Artist statement describing your approach to photography and the type of camera(s) you use. Maximum 150 words.

Artist resume including your education, exhibition history, mailing address, and email contact. Maximum one page.

Image list with corresponding image #, title, date, and location

Letter of recommendation: One letter of recommendation must be submitted directly from the recommender’s email account. The recommender should know the applicant personally and be familiar with their work. The letter should specifically address the applicant's professional capacity to carry out a self-directed project.

The 2023 Photo Urbanism Fellowship is supported in part by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.

Application Deadline:2023-09-13
View More on www.designtrust.org

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