The Crusade Engagement Grant awards $10,000 annually to the applicant with the best idea for building an audience for fine art photography.  

The 2015 Crusade Engagement Grant winning project is called “.LDOC,” the centerpiece of which is a free weekly newsprint publication developed by Danielle and Joseph Wilcox. .LDOC will put 2-part photo essays and creative writing directly into the hands of Chicago Red Line commuters, creating an accessible, installment-based art experience for the Chicago commuter. “Our target audience, the 9-5 Chicago employee, would have .LDOC with them on their way to and/or from work, creating for them a moment of respite, artistic awareness, and as Picasso says, a moment to wash away the dust from everyday life.”

Out of hundreds of initial applications for the grant, a group of ten finalists were selected.  These finalists all proposed promising and innovative projects.  The entire list of finalists can be seen here. These finalists’ proposals were reviewed by an esteemed jury of photographic professionals, including Alison Zavos (Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Feature Shoot), Brian Sholis (Associate Curator of Photography at Cincinnati Museum of Art), and Ann Jastrab (Gallery Director at RAYKO Photo Center of San Francisco). .LDOC was selected was selected for its wide scope of engagement, giving a large number and variety of people exposure to art on an on-going basis.

Juror Brian Sholis says, “LDOC was the proposal that best balanced effective cost management and distribution with artistic quality. It imagined a captive, repeat audience for the publication and has the potential for long-term sustainability. It is an ambitious but exciting project.”

The Crusade Engagement Grant was created to foster the exploration of innovative programs to connect new audiences to photography. The grant will underwrite the full execution of the Wilcoxs’ idea. Danielle and Joseph say, “We are humbled to be given the opportunity to showcase Chicago photographers and writers to such a wide audience, and we look forward to helping the 9-5 commuter find time in their daily life for art.”


2015 Finalists 

Alternative Photo Share – Linda Lyons (South Bend, IN)

In this project, a small group of emerging artists will create unique, alternative process photographs which will be distributed/shared (via the U.S. postal service) with prominent members of the photographers' respective communities. Our interview with Linda about her project can be read here.

Art Heist Detroit - Andria Watha (West Bloomfield, MI)

Andria Watha will stage an interactive art heist, where passersby are encouraged to "snatch" a framed photographic print for free. Read Andria's interview to learn more about the project here.

The Collectors Circle – Elisabeth Sunday (San Francisco, CA)

The Collector's Circle is an innovative funding method designed to offer broad, ongoing support to a fine art photographer through a system of studio member and sponsorships. Members are able to meaningfully engage with the artist and establish a collection of photographs while the artist is given the gift of creative freedom.

Hand in Hand – Mark W. Wlaz (Philadelphia, PA)

This project aims to create one-to-one connections between Philadelphia emerging fine art photographers and donors who support local public radio, using the radio station's marketing muscle over the air, via email, and at face-to-face events to gain exposure for the artists' work. Read our interview with Mark here.

#HiddenPhotoSLO – Catherine Trujillo, Charmaine Martinez, Jeff VanKleeck (San Luis Obispo, CA) 

This project aims to connect local and national photographers with budding collectors by hiding fine print photographs in our community. By encouraging young community members to search and explore things for fun, they hope to leverage their own use of social media to expand the idea of collecting photography. Learn more about this project by reading this group's interview.

.LDOC – Danielle & Joseph Wilcox (Chicago, IL)

.LDOC will put photo essays and creative writing directly into the hands of Chicago Red Line commuters through a free weekly newsprint publication. .LDOC will feature a new local artist and writer each month, creating an accessible installment-based art experience for the Chicago commuter. Learn more about this project through our interview here.

Photography Accademy - ACCADEMIA DC (Washington, DC) 

The Photography Accademy will support photographers and develop emerging collectors by orchestrating intimate artist talks co-hosted by popular local mixologists and chefs. The events will fund the purchases of the photographers’ works for fair market value and offer collectors an opportunity to obtain the works through subsidized raffles. Read more about this program in this interview.

Student Loan Photo Program – Julie Delliquanti (Atlanta, GA)

Julie Delliquanti is proposing to develop a Student Loan Photo Program for colleges and universities that provides graduate and undergraduate students with the opportunity to borrow a framed photograph by a local/regional photographer for their living or communal workspaces. Students who participate in the program select, care for, and live with a photograph for an entire year—learning first hand the rewards of living with original art.  Julie is interviewed about the Student Loan Photo Program here.


Sleep on it – Sarah Keeling and Anna Nelson (Pittsburgh, PA) 

SLEEP ON IT will replace traditional hotel art with works by contemporary photographers that are available for purchase by the guests. The project will create a unique visual experience for the guests and expose artists' works to new and diverse audiences. Check out this group's interview here.

Welcome to the Neighborhood! – Sharon Lee Hart (Boynton Beach, FL)

Hart's project will begin or enhance new homeowners’ art collections in diverse communities in Palm Beach County Florida by gifting them with a visually exciting “Welcome to the Neighborhood!” photograph made by an up-and-coming South Florida fine art photographer. Read Sharon's interview here.