Broadway and Flushing Avenue under the elevated JMZ subway line

Photo © Krisanne Johnson for the Design Trust for Public Space 

We are now accepting submissions for the Future Culture Photo Urbanism Fellowship, in partnership with Staten Island Arts and the Alice Austen House, to focus on the cultural community of Staten Island’s North Shore in a time of transformation.

Fellowship 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 the natural and built environment of New York City, and surpasses strictly editorial and documentary imagery.

The Future Culture Photo Urbanism Fellowship will focus on the cultural community of Staten Island’s North Shore in a time of transformation. The fellowship award includes a $10,000 stipend and a solo exhibition at the Alice Austen House in 2017. The Fellow will have full artistic vision over how they interpret the topic. 

Partners Staten Island Arts and the Alice Austen House will provide insights on the topic and connections to the community. Staten Island Arts cultivates a sustainable and diverse cultural community for the people of Staten Island. The Alice Austen House fosters creative expression, explores personal identity, and educates and inspires the public through the interpretation of the photographs, life and historic home of pioneering American photographer, Alice Austen (1866-1952). One of America’s earliest and most prolific female photographers, Alice Austen is best known as a documentary photographer—a style of photography unusual until the 20th century—with a natural instinct for photojournalism.

The Photo Urbanism Fellow’s work will inform the new Design Trust project, Future Culture, in partnership with Staten Island Arts, which will experiment with ways for developers and artists to engage in planning their community. The resulting pilots will offer compelling visions for Staten Island’s waterfront to influence long-term strategies for neighborhood revitalization, sustainability, and equitable economic development on the North Shore. The Photo Urbanism Fellow will be expected to interface with the team on a regular basis throughout the project’s duration. The Fellow’s work will be featured prominently in the project newspaper and culminating exhibition at Staten Island Arts' Culture Lounge, in addition to the Fellow’s solo exhibition at the Alice Austen House.

The Fellow must be based in New York City and be available to participate in meetings with the Design Trust and the Future Culture partners and project team. The Design Trust will act as a resource and sounding board throughout the fellowship, providing access and assistance to sites when possible. The fellowship requires a minimum 1.5-2 year commitment, based on a mutually agreed upon work plan.

The selection jury will be chaired by Paul Moakley, Deputy Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise, TIME & Caretaker and Curator, Alice Austen House, and will include Chris Boot, executive director, Aperture Foundation; Krisanne Johnson, photographer and 2013 Photo Urbanism Fellow; Erica Stoller, director, Esto; Susan Chin, FAIA, Hon. ASLA, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space; Janice Monger, Executive Director, Alice Austen House; and Monica Valenzuela, Deputy Director, Staten Island Arts.

Application Guidelines

The application deadline is February 9, 2016 at 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time. The decision of the jury will be final, private and without appeal. All applicants will be notified by March 31, 2016.


Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and eligible to work legally in the United States. Full-time students are not eligible, but part-time students may submit. Applicants must be based in New York City in order to concentrate on the local content of the fellowship. Knowledge of or significant interest in the artistic community on Staten Island’s North Shore is preferred.


All application materials must submitted to by midnight on February 9, 2016. Materials that do not meet the following criteria will not be presented to the jury.

Work samples: A portfolio of seven (7) 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. Images will be projected for the jury using a high-definition digital projector. Guidelines: Set the image size to 20 inches on the longest side at 72 dpi; save the image with the .jpg extension; name the image files “lastname_firstname_1.jpg”, “lastname_firstname_2.jpg.”

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

  1. Project proposal and brief description explaining your approach to the topic of the cultural community of Staten Island’s North Shore in a time of transformation. Explain (a) why you are interested in this topic; (b) what you propose to do; and (c) how this topic relates to your work. Maximum 250 words.
  2. Artist statement describing your approach to photography and the type of camera(s) you use. Maximum 150 words.
  3. Artist resume including your education, exhibition history, mailing address and email contact. Maximum one page.
  4. 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 2016 Photo Urbanism fellowship is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.