Image detail of Migrants, journalists and U.S. activists run from teargas on Jan 1, 2019 from the project "Caravana Migrante" © Kitra Cahana, 2019 Editor's Choice Award Recipient

CENTER – it is a noun and a verb. It is an action and a destination.

Founded in 1994, the not-for-profit organization CENTER supports socially and environmentally engaged lens-based projects through education, public platforms, funding, and partnerships.

Image-making holds a unique power to confront audiences with uncomfortable truths, advance cultural understandings, and promote social justice. Through our advancement of artists and their work, CENTER serves to deepen public understanding of lens-based media’s complex history and ongoing cultural significance. By establishing trans-disciplinary partnerships between artists and justice-driven communities, historians, cultural critics, students, and the art world, we honor our unique role in advancing projects that respect all people, open minds, and engage our shared humanity.

Characterized by a community of gifted and committed photographers, CENTER has proven for the last 28 years that it can help photographers and lens-based artists grow into their full potential. CENTER programs foster insights and actualizations that ripple and impact all involved by providing platforms where the creative impulse can be engaged and challenged.

CENTER’s annual programs, awards, and grants include the Project Launch Grant, Project Development Grant, the three CENTER Awards: Personal, Social and Environmental, the Excellence in Multimedia Storytelling Award, Santa Fe Prize, Callanan Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Review Santa Fe Photo Symposium and Portfolio Reviews. Public exhibitions, educational presentations and expositions of the work are held in conjunction with the awards, grants, and Review Santa Fe. CENTER awards, grants, Review Santa Fe, and all other programs are open for submission to international and national photographers and lens-based artists during our annual Calls for Entry.

Join CENTER and become a member today to stay up to date on our latest Award, funding, and program opportunities, as well as receive discounts on entry fees to our submissions.

View the 2021 and 2020 Annual Reports.


1. Produce high-quality Awards, Grants, programs, and exhibition opportunities
2. Increase connections through diverse audiences, members, and participants
3. Work in partnerships to better serve constituencies
4. Identify and implement CENTER’s models of best practice
5. Ensure the sustainability and longevity of the organization


CENTER acknowledges those who came before us, the ancestral stewards of the land and territories we now occupy in New Mexico. We are grateful to create programming and events in this sacred place that has been cared for by many generations of people who came before us. Acoma Pueblo (Sky City), Cochiti Pueblo, Isleta Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo, Jicarilla Apache Nation, Laguna Pueblo, Mescalero, Apache Tribe, Nambe Pueblo, Navajo Nation (Dineh), Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Picuris Pueblo, Pojoaque Pueblo, Sandia Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo, San Ildefonso Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo, Santa Clara Pueblo, Santo Domingo Pueblo, Taos Pueblo, Tesuque Pueblo, Zia Pueblo, and the Zuni Pueblo. Many people who occupied the New Mexico territory are not federally recognized or documented. With that in mind, we would like to also recognize all stewards of the land, including those unknown to us.


CENTER programs are generously supported by the Gumbo Foundation, the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, the City of Santa Fe Arts & Culture Department, New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New Mexico Humanities Council.

Sign up for our E-News!