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CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: HISTORYMIAMI WILL AWARD $25,000 TO DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER

Written By Michelle F. Solomon
June 15, 2023 at 4:41 PM

HistoryMiami Museum’s Center for Photography is accepting submissions for its 2023 fellowship. (Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami Museum)


Woosler Delisfort
of Little Haiti was the first recipient of HistoryMiami Museum’s Center for Photography fellowship in 2022. Now he’s encouraging other emerging local documentary photographers to go for the $25,000 award.

“Winning the HistoryMiami Museum Center for Photography Fellowship has forced me to come out of my comfort zone and improve my craft further,” says Delisfort.

Now, the museum’s photography center is putting out the call to photographers for the 2023 fellowship, particularly those who capture and amplify the stories and voices of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and Latinx community.

The fellowship brings with it:

  • A $25,000 award to support the creation of new work related to Miami.
  • Select photography to be added to HistoryMiami’s permanent photography collection.
  • An exhibition of the fellow’s work at the museum and/or offsite.
  • An opportunity to collaborate with HistoryMiami’s Education Department to work with local youth.
  • One or more public programs highlighting fellowship-related work.

Deadline for submission is Friday, June 30.

“Last year was a great success,” says Christopher Barfield, director of exhibitions at HistoryMiami Museum. “The depth of talent in Miami is undeniable, and we are eager to collaborate with a new photographer to document and illuminate the Miami experience.”

Delisfort says the fellowship brought creativity back to his craft.

Woosler Delisfort’s “Bonding Vodou: A bond between a person and his or her Ancestors, Lwas and Bondye (God).” (Photo courtesy of Woosler Delisfort)

“(It) allowed me to expand my work from Eastern and African spirituality to more broad issues of Brown and Black religion in this community. I have the freedom now to document how we have a safe space to go to practice our religion here, whether its Vodou, Islam, or mainstream Black churches,” he says.

Over the past year, Delisfort has worked to capture the places of worship throughout Miami that Black and Brown people go to for connectivity, peaceful tranquility, introspection, and spirituality.

“I want to surprise people with this body of work,” says Delisfort.

What he produced throughout the fellowship will be shared in a photography exhibition titled “Sanctuary” scheduled to open at HistoryMiami in the Summer of 2024. The photographer also mentored a youth cohort whose work will be presented in an online exhibition later this summer.

(The photographer’s) extensive  . . . project provides an intimate view of Miami’s vibrant spiritual traditions,” says Barfield. “We are excited to showcase his work, and the youth that have been training with him, and we are looking forward to welcoming our next fellow.”

Barfield says the project was made possible through a CreARTE grant. CreARTE was established in 2019 through The Jorge M. Perez Family Foundation at The Miami Foundation and that it aligns with the museum’s center of photography’s “desire to address representational gaps in past collaborations, our collection, and the stories featured in our exhibitions and programs.”

For Delisfort, he says being awarded the fellowship was an accomplishment on many levels.

“I couldn’t have done this without the fellowship.  I’m an introvert; I prefer to stay in my studio,” he admits.  “I applied for this last minute — right after I arrived back in Miami from my trip to Haiti.  I never thought I would actually win. So, I would tell people to apply because you never know.”

Submissions for the 2022-2023 fellowship are due by June 30, 2023. Application details can be found at www.historymiami.org/photofellow.

Applications will be reviewed by a diverse committee of local documentary photographers, curators, other photography professionals, and/or museum staff.

The selected fellow will be announced by July 31, 2023.

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