W. Eugene Smith Fund announces 2020 Call for Entries

The W. Eugene Smith Fund is now accepting applications for its 41st annual Grant in Humanistic Photography. Since the Fund’s inception in 1979, it has awarded more than $1 million dollars to photographers whose past work and proposed projects follow the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s career as a photographic essayist. The Smith Fund will present more than $65,000 in grants, fellowships, and special awards this year with one recipient receiving a $40,000 grant to complete their project. All entries are judged by a panel of internationally recognized industry experts.

In addition, The Smith Fund is accepting applications for several other grants, fellowships, and special awards this year including the 24th annual Howard Chapnick Grant, which honors an individual for his or her leadership in any field ancillary to photojournalism; the 3rd annual Eugene Smith Student Grant open to all collegiate-level students; and several fellowships and special awards presented to other applicants at the judge’s discretion.

Photographers and other industry professionals interested in submitting applications for these grants (or interested in learning more about the grants and fellowship), should visit SmithFund.org. The deadline for submitting applications to all grants, fellowships, and special awards is April 30, 2020.

Recipients will be announced during a special ceremony in New York City on Oct. 14th. Additional information about the awards ceremony will be announced shortly. Attendance will be free and open to the public.

“For more than 40 years, the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund has championed the causes of documentary photographers around the world by providing more than $1 million in financial support,” said Phil Block, president of the W. Eugene Smith Fund. “Thanks to our corporate supporters, we can award more than $60,000 in various grants and fellowships this year and provide a platform where their important work, in the name of humanistic photography, can be witnessed by millions of people around the world.”

Copyright Yael Martinez

Last year’s recipient, Yael Martinez, is a perfect case-on-point. Martinez not only received top honors for his project, The House That Bleeds, which focuses on the epidemic of thousands of missing citizens throughout Mexico due to the rise in organized crime and drug trafficking, but his application was underwritten by an international partner based on economic need. Without these alliances, Martinez’ story may never have been told.

Now in its third year, the Smith Fund Student Grant was created to encourage students to utilize the photographic medium as a form of humanistic observation and social activism. The $5,000 grant provides a special category for all collegiate-level students (photo and non-photo majors) to submit their documentary photography and tell their stories.

The 24th Annual Howard Chapnick Grant

The Smith Fund board of trustees has unanimously agreed to double the Howard Chapnick Grant, from $5,000 to $10,000, beginning this year. The grant is presented to an individual for his or her leadership in any field ancillary to photojournalism, such as picture editing, research, education and management.