PhotoWings Flash Grants

Introducing a new grant opportunity

For Ashoka, SPE, and other educators:

[Applications closed, grantees to be announced soon. Stay tuned!]








Propose a photography-based project for an opportunity to receive a grant from PhotoWings. Flash Grants will be in two funding streams with more than one award in each category possible depending on the quality/quantity of submissions:



Up to $1000 for an idea or curriculum that utilizes content from the PhotoWings website



Up to $5000 to fund a photography project that is cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural and/or intergenerational.


Selected projects will be showcased on the PhotoWings website and used in our educational Outreach Program.

Download PhotoWings Flash Grant Announcement PDF




Submissions Deadline is closed.

Grantees will be announced soon




Our photographic world is so dynamic and is changing almost by the minute. In a world where everyone’s a photographer and photography is so ubiquitous, the potential for utilizing photography in innovative ways is daunting, exciting and unlimited.

At PhotoWings, we work hard to explore creative and thoughtful ways to utilize photography across disciplines, cultures and generations to further deep thinking and communication.  Photographs can help build 21st century skills and encourage social emotional learning (SEL).

We’ve had extraordinary success finding like-minded partners to help further our mission and would now like to engage the AshokaSPE, and other educator communities for your ideas. We are purposely making our Flash Grants “up to” $1000 and “up to” $5000 each based on the (depth-reach-complexity-budget) of the applications we receive. We’d like to receive your input on any scale—from a one-off idea to a full-blown project. PhotoWings has supported the creation of toolkits or curricula related to important photography projects that have demonstrated the potential to impact many people and create ripples. The idea is to not only make an impact, but to create something that can be replicated, adapted or serve as inspiration for a new project.

Our first set of Flash Grants will be given to projects that creatively utilize the content on our website. The submission can be as small as a single idea about how to use a portion of one of our interviews for a cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural or intergenerational assignment or it could be a bigger project idea you plan to implement. There may be multiple levels of winners, depending on what we receive. We would love to amass a wide array of ideas that we can feature on our website so others may benefit. Winners will receive funding on a sliding scale depending on whether it’s a simple idea or a larger project idea for in or outside of the classroom and whether the applicant will implement and document the project. Grant funding is designed to support the creation of toolkits and/or curriculum so that these ideas can be shared for educational purposes.

The second set of Flash Grants will be given for projects that replicate, adapt or draw inspiration from our current PhotoWings Outreach projects, with extra attention being given to new project concepts and projects addressing visual literacy.  Applications for these grants will require a detailed description and budget.  Grants will be awarded on a sliding scale appropriate to the project. Please refer to our AshokaU InSights grant winners on our website for guidance.


Project Proposal Criteria


Diverse Engagement:
Plan to engage stakeholders from a broad range of disciplines (e.g. photography, psychology, sociology, art, design, English, theater, music, communication, journalism, as engineering, international relations or community engagement). We value out-of-the-box thinking.

Photography-based Media including Still Photographs:
Use photography-based media that incorporates still photographs (existing photographs or ones to be made) in the project or event to communicate an important message, story, or idea (not just fine art). This includes, but is not limited to, a photography display, a website, an exhibit, multi-media, videos, performance (musical or dance), projections, print displays, and/or a photo collage presentation.

Incorporates Photographic Thinking Values:
Going beyond the use of photography as fine art, the project should embody and explore some of the aptitudes utilized by photographers to tell powerful stories and share big ideas: visual literacy, empathy, communication, earning trust, ethics, resilience, critical thinking, perspective, context, photographic preservation and legacy.

You give PhotoWings permission to use your project and materials for educational purposes, including sharing projects through social media. To do so you must own your project photos or obtain the written permission of the owner to use photographs that do not belong to you. We encourage you to be original in creating your project.




How much funding can I apply for, and how does the funding need to be used?

PhotoWings will offer applicants the opportunity to receive grants (up to $5,000 for exceptional projects). If multiple strong applications are received then more than one grant may be offered. Grants will not be given to support personal projects.

Funding can be used to purchase materials necessary for the success of the PhotoWings Flash Grant project, such as supplies, room rentals, technology needs, live-streaming equipment, printing, photo booth construction and display costs. Note: Funding cannot be used for travel expenses, equipment purchases, (small exceptions may be may be considered on a case-by case basis for the purchase of throw away cameras, etc), exhibit frames/shipping or alcohol.

The selection committee values evidence of creative efforts to leverage existing or in-kind resources as appropriate.

See our AshokaU Insights Grant winners for reference and your plans to do so should be outlined in the online application.

As part of your application, you will also be asked to submit a budget on intended use of the grant funds.

In determining grant amounts, extra weight will be given to applications that include at least one of the following:

• depth

• reach

• complexity

• budget

A mid-term and final report will be due at the end of the grant period for projects in the second grant category, as well as receipts confirming how the funds have been spent.

The amount of funding allocated will be based on the proposed budget and alignment with the grant criteria. A selection committee will review completed applications and may ask for clarifications from the applicant before finalizing the agreement and dispersing the funds.

How should I envision the scope of my project? For how many people? For how long?

The size of the event or project, how long it lasts, and how many people participate is up to the applicant.


For any additional information please contact us

Previous PhotoWings Grant:

PhotoWings + Ashoka U
InSights: Past Present and Future Self Through Photography

Following our Self-Discovery Through Photography webinar, the partnership of PhotoWings and Ashoka U announced InSights: Past, Present, and Future Self through Photography grants in September 2013. Working with nine prominent, grant-winning university communities from the 24 world-wide Ashoka U Campuses — including Brown, Cornell, New School, Ryerson, and Tulane — we helped foster and mentor campus projects that utilize the power of photography. The goal of InSights is to demonstrate ways that photography and the ideas around it could act as conversation starters in cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and cross-generational contexts, engaging communities and catalyzing social change.

Ashoka is the original network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, with nearly 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries putting their system changing ideas into practice on a global scale. As founder Bill Drayton says, "Our job is not to give people fish, it's not to teach them how to fish, it's to build new and better fishing industries."


Grantee Highlights:

Mark Strandquist – Windows from Prison / Performing Statistics

Dublin City University: Intergenerational Learning Programme


Examples of PhotoWings Content:

Mike Davis: The Music of Photographs

Photo editor, Alexia Foundation Mike Davis:  How a photo editor can help - both in narrative and finding one’s voice. The importance of visual thinking in education.

James Whitlow Delano: Lesson in the Field

Photographer James Whitlow Delano in Guatemala – Lessons In The Field: Choosing a story, observation, ethics, communication, earning trust

Andrea Bruce: Lessons in the Field

NOOR photojournalist and National Geographic photographer Andrea Bruce, in Bali: Lessons In The Field - Storytelling, narrative, communication empathy & working with fixers

Victor J. Blue: Observing, Noticing, Remembering

The importance of writing, observation, using all your senses, his approach to photographing, memory