Daniel Stewart Memorial Award

of Underground Railroad Education Center


If you are in the early stages of actively building a career as a professional photographer and not enrolled in an academic program leading to a degree in photography, consider applying for a one-time grant of $500, to be awarded after a juried application review.

Who is eligible to apply?
Any adult who is working towards a career in still photography and resides in the New York State Capital Region or in the Portland, Oregon area and not engaged in an academic program leading to a degree in photography.

Why are the geographic and career limitations so specific?
This award is sponsored by the Daniel Stewart Memorial Fund, created by friends to honor the memory of Daniel Stewart, a promising photographic artist whose life ended far too early in a motorcycle accident. He was a native of Albany, NY, and had moved to Portland, Oregon just weeks before his death. The Fund is operated under the auspices of Underground Railroad Education Center in Albany, NY, a 501(c)(3) organization to whom Daniel donated his photographic skills and talent.

Underground Railroad Education Center researches and preserves the local and national history of the Underground Railroad movement, its international connections, and its legacy for today’s social justice issues, thereby empowering people of all ages to become agents of change toward an equitable and just society. More information about Underground Railroad Education Center is available at UndergroundRailroadHistory.org.

What can the grant be used for?
The award is intended to provide encouragement and support towards reaching or enhancing your goals in professional photography. It may be used for equipment, supplies, travel, etc. as needed.

What do I need to submit?

  • A completed Cover Sheet which follows these Guidelines
  • A one (1) page narrative explaining:
    1. how you developed an interest in photography and what keeps that interest going,
    2. any training or life experiences that have inspired you
    3. what you hope to accomplish in this field over the next five (5) years
    4. how you anticipate your photography making your community a better place
  • Five photographic entries, in any genre, that you feel show your growth over time
  • You will be asked to expound on your narrative and your art during a virtual interview

What will be considered in the review?
A team of artists and community members will review all applications to select one that seems most promising from the New York Capital Region and one from the Portland, Oregon area. Considerations during review include:

  • Depth of artistic and technical capability
  • Demonstration of a commitment to lifelong learning as shown by the narrative and interview
  • Commitment to using photography to benefit your community

Deadline for submissions is 11:59pm, October 31, 2021.
Interviews will be scheduled in consultation with applicant and interview committee.
Announcement of awards will be in January of 2022.
All applicants will be notified of the review committee’s decisions.
The decision of the team will be final.

How do I apply?
To be considered for the award you need to follow the directions outlined above under What do I need to submit? Please submit your digital files as a zipped file that includes:

  • Cover sheet completed
  • One-page Narrative
  • Five (5) photographs

Submit to: DanielStewartMemorialFund@gmail.com following the directions listed below. Use this worksheet to organize your submission.

  • Label each individual photo in your zipped file with your LAST Name, FIRST Name, and file name
  • Label the zipped file with your LAST Name, FIRST Name, and Memorial Fund Submission
  • Label the subject line of your email to which the zipped files are attached – DStewart Memorial Fund Submission From (followed by your Last Name and First Name)

Example for individual files in your zipped file:

Stewart, Mary-Cover Sheet
Stewart, Mary-Narrative
Stewart, Mary- Photo (1) On the Road
Stewart, Mary- Photo (2) Arrived!
Etc. through photo #5

Example for entire zipped file: Stewart, Mary-Memorial Fund Submission

Example for email subject line: DStewart Memorial Fund Submission from Stewart, Mary

Who can I contact with questions?
Questions can be directed to Paul and Mary Liz Stewart at DanielStewartMemorialFund@gmail.com or by calling 518-621-7793 (this phone number will take you to The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence, an initiative of Underground Railroad Education Center.)


DONATIONS TO THE MEMORIAL AWARD FUND CAN BE MADE ONLINE AT undergroundrailroadhistory.org/donate/ OR THEY CAN BE MADE OUT AND POSTED TO UREC, 194 LIVINGSTON AVENUE, ALBANY, NY 12210. Please note the purpose of the donation with your online or postal mailed donation. Thank you for your generosity.