Diane Dammeyer Fellowship in Photographic Arts and Social Issues

The Diane Dammeyer Fellowship in Photographic Arts and Social Issues creates a space for a socially engaged photographer to produce a compelling and dynamic body of work highlighting human rights and social issues.

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Columbia College Chicago an institution with Chicago roots dating back more than 120 years facilitates the Diane Dammeyer Fellowship in Photographic Arts and Social Issues. The fellowship is a unique public commitment to socially engaged art, combining Columbia's dedication to academic excellence, and developing authentic, creative voices with socially involved artists and the communities they engage.


  • About Diane Dammeyer

    Diane Dammeyer discovered her passion for socially engaged photography when she was a student at Columbia College Chicago, not long after retiring from a successful career in real estate. At the same time that she was taking classes, she was also serving on the board of Heartland Alliance. "I needed to learn a lot about the programs at Heartland, so I decided to go around and photograph them and include them in my assignments," said Dammeyer. Shortly thereafter, Dammeyer took her camera on the road, traveling internationally with Heartland Alliance to document the work they did in communities all over the globe.

    It was this transformative life experience that made Dammeyer want to give back and fund a photography fellowship centered on social issues. "I just think it was a wonderful gift to me, to go to Columbia and to have my eyes opened," she said. Her hope is that the fellowship provides an opportunity for a photographer to elevate our collective awareness of social, economic, and cultural issues and to inspire positive social changes.