Light Work, Urban Video Project, and Pal Project Awarded $300,000 in Grants from Joy of Giving Something (JGS)

(Syracuse, NY,)– Light Work, Urban Video Project (UVP) and Photography and Literacy Project (PAL Project) are pleased to announce the receipt of $300,000 in grants from the Joy of Giving Something, Inc. (JGS). Distributed over the next three years, the funds will support education initiatives, artist residencies, and exhibitions dedicated to the photographic arts. Light Work will receive $150,000 and PAL Project and UVP will receive $75,000 respectively.

The JGS grant will help Light Work continue to realize a core vision of supporting emerging and under-recognized photographers who are exploring different photographic narratives and technical approaches to the medium. Light Work Director, Shane Lavalette stated, “We’re absolutely honored that JGS has recognized Light Work to be among the nation’s most impactful artistic programs, and are thrilled to receive this significant award at a moment in which the support of creative work by artists is as crucial as ever.”

PAL Project Director, Stephen Mahan, spoke to the opportunity for growth the grant affords the organization.  “With this generous grant from JGS Inc., PAL Project’s Syracuse University mentors will continue and expand their ongoing mission to give voice and empower Syracuse city youth through the use of photography and creative writing. Application of this grant towards scholarships, exhibitions, publications and photographic equipment will foster the development of our student’s potential and self-esteem, giving our students greater opportunity to utilize their creativity, energy, and voice in self-satisfying and socially relevant directions. This funding allows us to grow the Project into a more robust curriculum with a wider reach. We are very thankful.”

In anticipation of the grant announcement, Urban Video Project Director, Anneka Herre stated, “UVP is truly excited to receive this recognition and support from JGS to put towards the strengthening of our uniquely public moving image exhibition and events programming. Given both current threats to funding in the arts and the importance of public art in creating dialogue, these funds come at an opportune time and mean a great deal to us.”

Established in 1999 by the late Howard Stein, The Joy of Giving Something, Inc. (JGS), is a foundation dedicated to the photographic arts.  The Joy of Giving Photographs from the JGS collection are made available as loans to major museums around the world. JGS is also committed to advancing the arts in education. Working in partnership with museums, schools, and community organizations across the country, JGS has established scholarships to support students pursuing post-secondary studies in photography or media art. Additionally, through its Resolution program, JGS provides opportunities for teens to publish and exhibit their work in the context of social awareness.

Reflecting on this legacy Light Work, Executive Director, Jeffrey Hoone stated, “Over 20 years ago I worked with Howard Stein to form The Joy of Giving Something, Inc. (JGS) as a charitable institution to support programs in photography and forward-looking projects in the arts. Before Mr. Stein passed away in 2011, JGS supported a wide range of exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. Mr. Stein generously donated his substantial photography collection to JGS and through a series of auctions, the Foundation has raised funds to continue the charitable work in the arts that Mr. Stein started so many years ago. As a board member of JGS, it is a great honor to continue the good work of Mr. Stein and to be able to support the next generation of image makers and forward-thinking artists.”

Light Work

Installation view: “John Edmonds, Anonymous”

Light Work is and continues to be, an alternative arts organization run by artists for the benefit and support of other artists. Working in collaboration with Community Darkrooms at Syracuse University, Light Work supports emerging and under-recognized artists, giving them the opportunity to create new work, and then making that work part of the on-going dialogue about contemporary art. Light Work has been fortunate to have worked with some of the most important artists of our time in the early stages of their career, they have been equally privileged to have illuminated the work of others deserving of wider recognition.

Urban Video Project

UVP Installation view of “Fireworks (Archives)” by Apichatpong Weera

Urban Video Project (UVP), a program of Light Work in partnership with the Everson Museum of Art and Onondaga County, is an outdoor architectural projection venue dedicated to the public presentation of film, video and moving image arts. It is one of few projects in the United States dedicated to ongoing public projections and adds a new chapter to Central New York’s legacy as one of the birthplaces of video art using cutting-edge technology to bring art of the highest caliber to Syracuse.

 PAL Project

Stephen Mahan (right), director of SU’s PAL Project, discusses a photo with a Fowler student. Photo Credit: John Dowling

Photography and Literacy Project (PAL Project) is an innovative program that brings Syracuse University students into Syracuse City Schools to develop projects involving photography, video, audio recording, and writing. The objective is to improve student’s writing and reading skills by linking these studies with photography, video, and poetry.