Howard Chapnick Grant

In 1996 the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced a new award, the Howard Chapnick Grant, to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing research, education and management. The Grant was established to honor the memory of Howard Chapnick, and acknowledge the value of his enormous contribution to photography.

The annual $5,000 grant may be used to finance any of a range of qualified undertakings, which might include a program of further education, research, a special long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual. According to the Fund’s Board of Trustees, special consideration will be given to initiatives, organizations or projects that promote social change and/or serve significant concerns of photojournalism. The grant is not intended to be used for the creation or production of photographs, which will continue to be funded by the main grant of the Smith Fund.

Recipients of the Howard Chapnick Grant will be selected by the Board of Trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund in Humanistic Photography.

To apply for the Grant, please fill out the application form by May 31.


Howard Chapnick Grant Recipients (1996 to 2015)

2016: Liza Faktor

Visual documentary producer and curator, co-founder of Screen
‘Practicing transmedia in photojournalism’ is an agile study of transmedia principles in storytelling and how they can be applied to photojournalism. Developing stories for multiple platforms such as print, film, books, art, interactive, broadcasting, performance, public spaces, and campaigns, gives photojournalists access to new markets and new audiences. With my project I intend to help photographers understand strategies and revenue models and to contribute to the healthy infrastructure and economics of visual journalism.

2015: Tom Garber

Everyday, 1.3 billion photographs are made. Almost everybody has a phone with a camera in it, capable at any moment of taking a picture. The far reaching impact of this level of imagery is the subject of this documentary film project. Pixel Nation, will explore the social and political implications of the massive volume of shared digital imagery. Pixel Nation shows how digital technology has taken us to a world of images with a far greater social and political impact than ever before. The broad implications of the silent and seamless digital imaging revolution remain oddly unexplored in popular media. Being unaware of how we arrived at this rapid modification of communicative behavior leaves us ill-equipped to evaluate future technological advancements and subsequent cultural changes. A greater understanding of the impact empowers the users.

2014: Muriel Hasbun

Project: laberinto project
Inspired by the late Janine Janowski’s galería el laberinto, laberinto projects is a collaborative, arts and lens-based media, education and cultural legacy preservation platform, consisting of a digital photographic archive of artwork and documentation, and of video oral histories of artists of Central America, working during the Salvadoran civil war and its aftermath.

2013: Marie Arago

FotoKonbit is a non-profit organization that provides photography workshops to Haitian youth and adults.

2012: David J. Spear, USA

Our Community Record Two Eagle River School.
David J. Spear and the Two River Eagle School, a tribal middle and high school on the Flathead Reservation in Montana, (USA) for “Our Community Record.” The project was created as a way for the students to connect with their community by documenting their culture and history through photography.

2011: Ryan Libre, USA

Documentary Arts Asia, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Ryan Libre in Chiang Mai, Thailand, who will use the funds to build a documentary arts library and gallery as part of Documentary Arts Asia’s mission to promote visual literacy.

No recipient in 2010.

2009: Richard Steven Street

Subversive Images: Leonard Nadel’s Massive and Unknown Photo Essay on Braceros in 1956
The work will be published as a book in 2011 by the University of Nebraska Press with the same title. Those powerful, subversive images of Mexican farm workers in Southern California in the 50s were suppressed from publication for political reason in those days. The book will expose the exploitations and human rights question and stimulate the discussion about the immigration policy.

2008: Ren Yue

Teacher on Photojournalism at Renmin University, China New Topographics: Beijing’s contemporary urban landscapes Documentary photography project for young Chinese photographers and students to record the changing landscape of a biggest community in Beijing.
(The Olympic Games have replaced traditional Chinese homes with modern compounds) The final goal is a multi-media program and eventually to be an exhibition. The grant will be used for travel expenses, tapes for video, digital recorder, films and the cost of exhibition

2007: Danny Peralta (Spokesman)

Bridge Project
Miguel Anaya, Lyric Cabral, Mark Nevers and Bashira Webb are the fellow recipients. They work together under the umbrella of the Jocelyn Benzakin Fellowship. They are trying to extend their program into the communities and to work with young photographers providing community workshop, developing photo essays, offering editing and critique sessions and so on.
The project “seeks to empower individuals in communities negated by mainstream media…through photography and to provide them with the necessary tools to successfully tell their own stories.”

2006: Michael Itkoff


Project: Daylight Magazine
A quarterly publication, founded in 2003, is a magazine of Daylight Community Arts Foundation (DCAF). DCAF supports professional photographers by encouraging ongoing engagement in diverse expression in the US and beyond.
Grant money will be used for printing of the next issue of the Daylight Magazine.

2005: Stephen Edward Ferry


Project: Sierra Nevada Indigenous Media Project
To continue working with Gonavindua Tayrona, the main organization representing native people of Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, Colombia, to create a self-sufficient documentary photography team formed of indigenous volunteers. The goal is to document the threats to the ecological well-being and cultural survival of Sierra Nevada.

2004: Manoocher Deghati (Iranian, living in Paris)

Photojournalist, Founder & Direrctor of Aina Photo- Journalism Institute in Afghanistan

Project: Established in 2002 the first and the only Photojournalism school in Afghanistan to empower Afghans and provide them with the means to foster free expression and free press.It provides men and women of Afghanistan the intensive training and the fieldwork in photojournalism.

2003: Tamas Revesz

Photographer, Curator

Project: Masterclass for Photojournalists from Central and Eastern Europe
Workshop, Competition, book and traveling exhibition.

2002: Elizaveta G. Faktor

Objective Reality Foundation, Director, Photo Editor

Project: Central Asia Photo Project
Visual narration of the economical, social and cultural realities in the countries of Central Asia- Kazakhstan, kyrgyztan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan-presented in the form of photo documentary and multimedia slide show.
The project results will be shown in five cities: Novosibirsk, almaty, bishkek, nizhny, Novgorod And Moscow.
Project timeline is from September 2002 to May 2003.

2001: Zana Briski

Photographer and Educator

The grant money is used to continue holding photographic workshops for the children of prostitutes who live in the brothels of Sonagachi,Calcutta, India, one of the most densely populated red light districts in the World.

2000: David Spear

Photographer and Educator

The grant money was used to help financing his year-long project in Flathead Indian reservation in Montana to teach photography to the Indian children and Caucasian immigrant children at high school level who live in the reservation. It resulted in photo exhibition in the community to bridge the cultural gap between two races.

1999: Peter Mecca

Former photojournalist and English teacher at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, NJ (predominantly under-privileged black and Hispanic students)

Grant money was used to purchase equipment for Student’s Media Center where student create journal and documentary video.

1998: Dr.Shahidul Alam

Photographer and the founder/director of Drik Picture library in Bangladesh

The grant money was used to advance his project of establishing south Asian institute of photography.

1997: Susan Grayson

Historian, Researcher and Photographer

The grant money was used on her research on “New York Press Photographers” which was eventually an exhibit and book.

1996: Colin Jacobson

Editor/Publisher of magazine Reportage

The grant was given to his on-line magazine of photojournalism.

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