En Foco is a non-profit organization that nurtures and supports contemporary fine art and documentary photographers of diverse cultures, primarily U.S. residents of Latino, African and Asian Heritage, and Native Peoples of the Americas and the Pacific.  Since it was founded in 1974, En Foco has been an outspoken leader and advocate for the equitable support and access to resources for photographers of color.  It has a distinguished itself through its sustained commitment to providing its primary constituency and the communities they represent financial support, public programming, information services and cultural advocacy initiatives. 

Nueva Luz Study Center Commissioning Fund 2024

Contact Email: fellowship@enfoco.org

Application Opens: Monday, May 31, 2023, | 12:00 AM

Deadline: Saturday, July 19, 2023, | 11:59 PM

The grantees will be announced in September 2023


En Foco is embarking on a new initiative to commission three artists to create new work using the Nueva Luz Study Center as a catalyst to explore historical context, artists, and themes from a contemporary point of view. We seek to fund proposals that inspire a unique re-contextualization of the artworks contained within the archives and propels the original compositions into exciting directions that informs audiences anew and adds to our long lasting legacy of excellence in the arts. 

First published in 1985, Nueva Luz is produced twice annually and highlights the work of contemporary photographers with essays by fellow cultural writers. Nueva Luz is a valuable cultural, social, and political document—an evolution of voices from diverse backgrounds that is used by artists, gallerists, curators, academics, activists, and social historians. The Nueva Luz Study Center has been formed to make the digital archives more accessible and actives the material through programming. 

Nueva Luz Study Center Digital Archive comprises:

  • 75 issues of Nueva Luz from 1985 - Present
  • Features the work of over 500 artists, writers and curators 
  • Contains “Critical Mass” sections from 1997 to 2009 that set the context with additional commentary
  • Highlights Photography Fellowship and Media Arts Fund artists 

We are open to projects that take varied forms and we encourage all artists including visual artists, choreographers, composers, poets, curators, activists, etc. who reside in New York State. The final project will be published in the fall issue of Neueva Luz and will become part of the Nueva Luz Study Center and the digital archives. The NLSC Commission is En Foco’s new funding source for artists that adds to existing Fellowship and Media Arts Fund programs and previous New Works artists from 1996 to 2007.


Who Can Apply

  • We encourage all artists of any discipline including visual artists, choreographers, composers, poets, and curators or activists who reside in New York State. The final project will be included in Nueva Luz in print and digital. 
  • We seek archivists, photographers, sculptors, writers, new media artists, dancers, actors, playwrights, musicians, filmmakers, fashion designers, craft artists, podcasters, poets, DJ’s, muralists, graphic artist, installation artists, sound artists, graphic designers, multimedia visual artists and more may apply.
  • Collaborating artists are eligible to apply, but only one artist can submit the application.
  • Must be a New York State resident and must show proof of residency.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.

Who Can Not Apply

  • Graduate or Undergraduate students matriculated in an arts or related degree program at the time of application submission.
  • En Foco’s Board members and staff are ineligible to apply.
  • 2023 Fellowship and Media Arts recipients may not apply this year.

Selection Criteria

  • Contributes to an existing idea, artist and/or theme based in the Nueva Luz archives. 
  • Presents a clear concept that can be realized by the applicant.
  • Demonstrated ability to complete the project within time and allotted financial resources.
  • Presents a clear project budget with appropriate costs related to the final outcome.
  • All application requirements are complete.

Selection Process

Proposals will be selected exclusively on the clarity and quality of the proposal submitted using the criteria above. All proposals will be reviewed by a panel that includes creators working in various disciplines, curators, writers and people who are experienced working with archives.

Submission Requirements

  1. Create or use existing a account with submittable.com
  2. A written description of your intended project (Minimum of 300 words) and how it involves or relates to the Nueva Luz Study Center. What about the Nueva Luz Archive interests you? Which era, theme, or issue speaks to you, and how does it tie back to the commissioned work? 
  3. Identify how the $1,000 production expenses are intended to be spent. 
  4. A one-page resume/CV
  5. 150-word biography.
  6. Headshot (300 dpi)
  7. Brief Artist statement (100-word or less)
  8. 3-5 work samples that support your proposed idea.

Accepted files: PDF documents (up to 10MB each), images (jpg or png; up to 5 MB each), video (mov or mp4; up to 250MB each, or link to embedded files on YouTube or Vimeo), sound files, and links to social media.

The application form does not have to be completed in a single session; the system will save your draft application. We suggest you save often as you fill out the form and save a copy of any narrative texts.

Award Notification

The three commission recipients, plus all other applicants will be notified by email in early fall.


En Foco reserves the rights to use final artworks for marketing/promotional and educational purposes. Participating artists will be asked to sign a contract that defines the mutual rights and usage of final artworks.

En Foco