PhotoWings Brochure

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Visual Literacy • Empathy • Context Reflection • Legacy • Perspective Collaboration • Storytelling • Trust Self-Discovery • Critical Thinking Inspiration • Resilience • Change • History CO NNECT WIT H US Paperless:

Photography education crosses cultures, disciplines and generations.

Visual media speaks to us in many languages. With our partners we have created photography-based thinking to help enrich our understanding of the world and ourselves. Our lesson plans, curricula, and tool kits help guide and act as conversation starters for the classroom, families, and community engagement in a multitude of creative ways as they explore their histories through archives and develop photojournalism, media literacy and critical thinking skills. They also help educate the next generation of media makers. Technology helps all of us share these resources and the knowledge of professionals who mentor students in communities around the world.

A selection of lesson plans, webinars, curricula, and toolkits for professional development, use in the classroom, community, and public art engagement can be found on our website, created in partnership with:

AshokaU Global Nomads Group

CatchLight + Dysturb Our Democracy Project

The Everyday Projects Photoville Festival

VII Foundation / Lost Rolls America and many more

Photoville Festival Professional Development Day

Outreach Program

We are dedicated to utilizing the power of photography to further deep-thinking, communication, and action. Our online content has a variety of educational applications and our collaborative partnership projects can be used for replication, adaptation, and inspiration.

The VII Foundation

The VII Foundation challenges complex social, economic, environmental, and human rights issues through documentary non-fiction storytelling and education. Our partnership includes VII Insider with its freely available in-depth personal presentations, business and technical webinars, and writing on photography’s role in the world. The Foundry Photojournalism Workshop supports local photographers working to document their own communities (see detail below). Our VII Community project connects former students from the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop and the VII Academy worldwide for continuing education and conversation. Lost Rolls America compiles the public’s lost rolls of film for a digital repository of visual memories (see detail below). With VII Foundation and the YMCA of Greater Boston, Youth Voices teens worked long-term with professionals to develop their photographic and life skills.

Ashoka/Ashoka U

Ashoka addresses the world’s most urgent challenges with innovative solutions through its 4000+ social entrepreneurs in 90+ countries. Our partnership with Ashoka U, the university-based initiative of Ashoka with its network of Changemaker Campuses, created the online webinar Self-Discovery Through Photography to advance changemaking skills.

Our grant competition, InSights: Past, Present and Future Self Through Photography, awarded grants to projects on 9 Ashoka U changemaker campuses in 4 countries.

Blue Earth Alliance

Blue Earth Alliance’s fiscal sponsorship, administered by the Santa Fe-based non-profit CENTER, raises awareness about endangered cultures, threatened environments, and social concerns through photographers and their projects. PhotoWings funded mission-relevant equipment, project photographer business training, and documented presentations/conducted interviews at 3 of its Collaborations for Cause events. Our partnership funded its Photoville container and Blue Earth Alliance conducted portfolio reviews in our Photoville Festival tent.


CatchLight leverages the power of visuals to inform, connect and transform communities. Since 2017, our partnership has documented three Visual Storytelling Summits and interviewed presenters, created a Toolkit for Artists Against the Infodemic, and interviewed CatchLight fellows and Everyday Bay Area photographers. The CatchLight Local partnership links visual journalists with community-based newsrooms, produces in-depth visual projects, community activations, and workshops on visual memory and

The Eddie Adams Workshop

The Eddie Adams Workshop (EAW), is a 4-day educational gathering where leading photography professionals teach 100 carefully-selected emerging photographers. Our eight-year partnership has produced in-depth interviews with their remarkable faculty and From Experience, a series documenting important lessons from their legendary careers.

The Everyday Projects

The Everyday Projects and their ever-growing global community of photographers strives to make images that convey a more accurate view of daily life than what is commonly seen in the media by fostering new generations of storytellers and audiences that recognize the need for multiple perspectives in portraying the cultures that define us. Our seven-year partnership has helped develop visual literacy, empathy and communication skills through The Everyday Projects website, The Everyday Africa book and educational supplement, theater projects, educational videos, a middle/high school photojournalism curriculum, and Seasons 2 and 3 of The Essentials, online photo-based workshops created in partnership with Black Women Photographers.

Facing Change: Documenting DETROIT

Facing Change: Documenting DETROIT (FCDD) is a community photojournalism initiative that teaches emerging photographers journalistic practices as they create a documentary record of Detroit.

FCDD’s annual juried Fellowship for local Emerging and Early Career Photographers pairs fellows with acclaimed photojournalists, editors, curators, and documentarians to hone their photographic and life skills and exhibit their work. PhotoWings began partnering with FCDD in 2017 to bring its photographers and their work to the Photoville Festival, produce newspapers and create other


Photojournalism Workshops

Foundry Photojournalism Workshop brings some of the world's most respected visual journalists to a different country each year to inspire and educate local photographers who are working to document their own communities. Since 2011, we have created an extensive online library of Foundry interviews, presentations and Lessons in the Field videos. In 2019, we brought this esteemed event to Kigali, Rwanda in partnership with The VII Foundation. In 2021, a virtual Foundry brought the Workshop to 72 students from 31 countries in 9 languages with presentations now available in 7 languages in our online archive. In 2022, a second virtual Foundry focused for the first time on students in the USA.

Global Nomads Group

Global Nomads Group (GNG) fosters dialogue and understanding among the world’s youth by working at the intersection of cultural exchange, international education, and conflict resolution. Since 2015, our partnership has integrated photography and photographic thinking into the GNG Student to World curricula, GNG facilitator guides and cross-generational, cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary programs. Photography has been incorporated into Seat at the Table, a safe and inclusive place where global youth between the ages of 15 and 19 connect, make friends, and share their ideas and experiences.

Our Democracy Project

Our Democracy Project (ODP) is a collaborative multi-media project about how Americans see democracy and the responsibility of citizenship. Emphasizing news literacy, community engagement and visual exploration, it examines the social conditions underpinning our society and provides a visual record of the current state of local democracy. Our education partnership with ODP and the National Writing Project includes a curriculum toolkit that interweaves educational videos, social media and other resources for teachers that engage their classrooms in cross-cultural conversations and reportage about everyday democracy in their communities.


PhotoWings Outreach Grants

In our grant competitions, we explore innovative, creative, and thoughtful ways to better utilize photography across disciplines, cultures, and generations to further bolster education, deep thinking, communication, 21st century skills, and social emotional learning (SEL). We work with grantees to create toolkits and curricula to maximize impact and create generative ripples so that these diverse projects will not only make their mark, but be replicated, adapted, or serve as inspiration for new ideas. All projects are available on our website.

InSights: Past, Present and Future Self Through Photography awarded grants to 9 initiatives at Ashoka U Changemaker campuses across 4 countries, several of which evolved into new PhotoWings-funded projects. Our FLASH grants support projects using PhotoWings website content or original ideas that complement our mission.

Learn more:

Utilizing photography to address the causes, effects, and alternatives to the school-to-prison pipeline, mass incarceration, and reentry, Mark Strandquist’s Windows From Prison project (George Mason University) connected incarcerated individuals with high-school students to photograph from the prompt “If you could have a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?” His Performing Statistics project asks “How would juvenile justice reform change if it was led by incarcerated youth?” Photowings was among the first to support this work with youth in detention who have created exhibits and campaigns that helped advocates close a prison, pass legislation, connect the voices of youth with tens of thousands, and trained Richmond VA’s entire active duty Police force on youth perspectives, trauma-informed policy strategies, and alternatives to arrest/ incarceration.

Storytellers For Good

Storytellers for Good (Brown University) selected students with skills in digital storytelling (written, photo, video, audio, or animation) to produce multimedia stories of social impact and innovation through interviews with students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Stories were shared with the Brown community (and beyond!) through the website, a hub for stories of social change.

Building Empathy with Photography

Carolyn Meyer’s project, “Bursting the Bubble: Fostering Connections Between Community and Campus” (Middlebury Institute of International Studies), was inspired by The Sanford Project at Rollins College, a PhotoWings/AshokaU InSights Grant winner. MIIS students and members of the surrounding Monterey community used photography as a communication tool to learn more about people they casually interacted with, such as their local barista, and to go deeper to get beyond stereotypes. PhotoWings worked with the grantee to create a project toolkit.

Redefining Community

The Sanford Project (Rollins College) used photography to redefine their community and to counter the news media’s portrayal of their city following the murder of Trayvon Martin. They explored unfamiliar neighborhoods and communicated with new people to capture the culture and landscape of the place they loved. Their exhibition brought the local community together in a new way and drew interest from the news media.

Interested in joining our PhotoWings Outreach Program? Inquires can be directed to us via email:

Hands-on Experiences with History and Legacy

RightSights, an interactive photographic experience and documentation project utilizing principles of design thinking, connected Tulane students at the 50th anniversary of the Free Southern Theater with artists, producers, and activists attending campus events, including the Tulane TEDxTU. Students made photographic portraits and interviewed attendees to caption and share the legacy and landscapes of civil rights activism with the goal of inspiring other change-makers—past, present and future—through their stories. They then shared their own dreams.

Diversity and Multiculturalism

Foreign Encounters (Ryerson University) redefined the concepts of diversity and multiculturalism in Toronto, with the prompt “Ever had a FUNNY, AWKWARD or TOUCHING encounter related to DIVERSITY in a way that’s NEW, HONEST and EDGY?” Through photo booth images and short, 150-word stories, students described where their differences with others became apparent, creating a cross-disciplinary dialogue that was intimate and often funny. Project stories and photographs were shared across campus as well as exhibited online at to encourage reflection on the city's diversity.

Visual Literacy Matt Black, documentary photographer Earning Trust Andrea Bruce, photojournalist Educating in the Classroom Maggie Steber, documentary photographer

In-Depth Interviews

Explore hundreds of hours of video content, all free to the public without ads or subscriptions.

We feature intriguing Lessons in the Field, artist presentations, and informative panel discussions from festivals and educational gatherings of our partners. We also feature original video interviews to illuminate often untold stories from the work and life of these individuals.

Our extensive media archive preserves past presentations and talks, bringing formative experiences in photography to future generations of storytellers.

Explore presentations and talks from:

Photoville Talks

Blue Earth Alliance “Collborations for Cause”

International League of Conservation Photographers: WiLDSPEAK

Foundry Photojournalism Workshops

CatchLight Visual Storytelling Summit

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

The Alexia Foundation: Latin American Stories that Drive Change Seminar

"I chose to become a photographer because I recognized that if I was to fight for social justice I should choose the best weapons available."
-Shahidul Alam documentary photographer, curator, activist

the power of photography around the world

Photography education crosses cultures, disciplines, and generations. Our free educational resources include toolkits, lesson plans, and curricula that can be adapted into many different learning platforms.

We love to see where and how our content is received. Connect with us on social media and let us know how you have learned from our content.

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Explore our Media Archive

Our content is made free to the public, no ads or subscriptions required. From in-depth interviews to artist talks, panels to field lessons, we highlight some of the most important stories in and around the world of photography.

Mary Ellen Mark Legendary Photographer John Moore Maggie Steber Documentary Photographer Stanley Greene Photojournalist Adriana Zehbrauskas Photojournalist Photoville NYC PDN’s 30: Advice for Emerging Photographers from Emerging Photographers LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph Graciela Iturbide - Artist Talk John Stanmeyer Photojournalist - National Geographic
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