CatchLight Visual Leadership Fellowship Program 2020 for Innovative Visual Storytellers (grant of $30,000)

CatchLight Visual Leadership Fellowship Program 2020 for Innovative Visual Storytellers (grant of $30,000)

Deadline: February 4, 2020

Applications are open for the CatchLight Visual Leadership Fellowship Program 2020. Now in its fourth year, CatchLight continues to search for innovative visual storytellers and leaders committed to advancing and growing the field of visual storytelling.

The CatchLight Visual Leadership Fellowship serves as an incubator — a place for innovative leaders in the visual storytelling field to receive financial support, unlock individual potential, grow and leverage partnerships. The Fellowship cultivates a vibrant community of creative thought leaders whose work will be enhanced by collaboration, mentorship, and networking. 

CatchLight believes in the importance of images to foster a more empathetic understanding of the world. Their goal is to grow a thriving visual storytelling ecosystem. The aim is to bring resources and support to all types of leaders in visual storytelling who are looking to have significant impact and care about the sustainability of the field.


  • The fellowship provides a grant of $30,000 in funding during the 12-month period. CatchLight will also work to include other resources including media exposure and partnerships to assist in the production and impact of a well-rounded body of work over the course of the fellowship year.
  • In addition to the $30,000 grant, the fellowship offers mentorship, personalized project development and networking opportunities from CatchLight staff and their extended network of partners. You will develop a personalized Fellowship roadmap to help you get the most out of the program and have exposure to opportunities within the CatchLight network such as mentorship roles, education activities, and speaking engagements.


  • The Fellowship is open to all people of all ages and all countries who work with visual communication, including videographers and photographers working with lens-led technology for the purposes of visual storytelling, and a specific commitment to effecting change.
  • Applicants may work in a broad range of visual formats including photography, video, audio, motion, data visualization or VR.
  • Applicants must apply as individuals. Business entities and institutions will not be eligible.
  • CatchLight will look favorably on applicants who demonstrate willingness to work collaboratively with distribution and impact partners, including media organizations and advocacy experts, to develop their projects and maximize the reach of the work.


  • All applications must be completed in English.
  • Applicants will submit 20-25 still images or visuals, or 15 minutes or less of audio/motion or VR from a previous or a related piece of work. Images will be 72DPI, 1200 longest edge.
  • One (1) project statement of 100 words or less summarizing the project.
  • One (1) proposal of no more than 500 words outlining:
    • The work to be pursued in the course of a 12-month Fellowship, how it builds on past work, and the relevance of this Fellowship in furthering the production and reach of the work. CatchLight may grant exceptions to the timeline where warranted.
    • Why this work exemplifies innovative distribution to engage audiences in new and different ways or why this work exemplifies impact on the visual storytelling field. 
    • How this work demonstrates measurable social awareness and engagement.
  • One (1) proposal of 300 words or less outlining distribution, engagement and/or education plan.
  • Additional questions relevant to entrepreneurship or visual project applicants.
  • Please answer the following questions:
    • What would you hope to learn from the CatchLight Fellowship and/or network? (100 words)
    • What would you contribute to the CatchLight network and visual storytelling field overall? (100 words)
  • Three (3) professional references with contact information (letters of recommendations not required).
  • Personal contact information, portfolio links, CV.
  • Optional: Submit a 60-90 second video describing your fellowship proposal and why it is important to you. We are not expecting great production values; webcam or mobile phone videos are encouraged.
  • Adherence to the ethical standards as described below.
  • If the applicant finds these conditions inappropriate for the nature of the work please contact CatchLight directly for advice on making a successful application.


Click here to apply

For more information, visit CatchLight Visual Leadership Fellowship.