Art Works Projects


625 N. Kingsbury
Chicago, IL 60654

Emerging Lens

Emerging Lens is ART WORKS Projects’ signature program that awards project support, unrestricted grants, and mentorship to emerging photographers working to document social justice and human rights issues in their own backyards and around the world.

The application for the 2022 Emerging Lens Fellowship Program is open until September 30, 2022.

The mission of Emerging Lens is to create a network of support for emerging photographers in hopes of creating greater accessibility to the field while making their work and the issues they highlight visible through public exhibitions in spaces nontraditional for documentary photography.

Each year, AWP selects a class of fellows who will work toward completing a project to be exhibited in partnership with community organizations, arts institutions, and/or academic centers

Projects completed for this fellowship will center on fresh narratives and first-person storytelling regarding underrepresented communities with whom the fellows and AWP will collaborate.

Fellows will be supported by AWP staff, AWP creative collaborators including established photojournalists, photo editors, curators, etc., and the cohort of former Emerging Lens fellows.

  • $5,000 unrestricted fellowship compensation for a 2 month project commitment to complete an ongoing or new body of work
  • Opportunity to apply for partial to full financial support for realization of project, including travel expenses, equipment rental, etc.
  • An exhibition of their work with programming opportunities and the possibility of exhibition travel
  • Mentorship from AWP staff, AWP partners, and the Emerging Lens community

To note: all copyrights remain with the fellow and AWP receives first right to publish the work. Afterwards, the fellow is encouraged to place the piece with a media outlet of their choosing.

Competitive applicants are new to the field of photography and would benefit personally and professionally from a mentorship with ART WORKS Projects. Their work addresses social justice and/or human rights in a manner that is thoughtful, ethical, and community-centered. The submitted project proposal is a well-developed idea or currently in-progress, and the addressed issue is relevant, timely, and applicable to AWP’s mission.

The Emerging Lens Fellowship Program application is open until September 30, 2022. Click here to apply today!

Collaborators and Mentors

Juan Arredondo
Leah Missbach Day
Adhemar Dellagiustina
Jessie DeWitt
Catherine Edelman
Natasha Egan
James Estrin
Ron Haviv
Emily Jan
Elizabeth Cheng Krist
Olivier Laurent
Joshua Lott
Dalina Perdomo-Alvarez
Eli Reed
Amanda Rivkin
Molly Roberts
Corinne Rose
Steven Rubin
Jennifer Samuel
Erika Schultz
Richard Sennott
Rachel Shrock
Kristin Taylor
Michael Zajakowski

Program Sponsors

Henry Nias Foundation
Howard R. Conant, Jr

Become a Sponsor

Emerging Lens Recipients