Announcing the 2019-2020 Educator Grantees

Leigh Klonsky

East Side Community High School (Lower East Side)


Inspired by the UPI lesson plan Living City (NYC Municipal Archives), Leigh’s 11th grade Digital Photography class will create a new archive of the Lower East Side exploring topics such as storefronts/commerce, fashion, climate change, outsider/insider and more. They will examine historical photos and create new artwork and writing about their community, resulting in a series of accordion books and a public exhibition outside their school.

Mariam Aryai Rivera

Art Start/Nelson Avenue Residence (The Bronx)


Inspired by the UPI lesson plans Who We Are and Who They Say We Are (Griselda San Martin), Developing Self (Idris Solomon) and Hiding in Plain Sight (Brooke DiDonato), Mariam’s middle school program, co-located in a family shelter, will practice self + community love and identity, while learning the importance of consent and empowered creative decision making.

About the UPI x PhotoWings Educator Grant

The UPI x PhotoWings Educator Grant is an opportunity is for educators in the UPI community to receive resources and support to implement a photo-based lesson from the UPI Teacher Resource library in their classroom and produce a culminating exhibition of student work.


For the 2019–2020 school year, two educators will be selected to receive a $1000 cash grant and a $2000 production budget.


This grant is open to all New York City educators who have participated in at least one UPI Teacher Professional Development Day or Photoville Education Day in the past. 


Grants for 2020-2021 will open in September. 


JUNE 17 – OCT 25, 2019
Submission period

NOVEMBER 8, 2019
Grants awarded and announced

Lesson Planning: UPI will collaborate with educators on a timeline, and customizing the lesson plan for their students.

DECEMBER 2019 – APRIL 2020
Lesson Plan Implementation: Educators teach the lesson plan/unit in their classroom. This will include at least one class visit by UPI staff, in addition to a class visit (or video Skype session_ with the artist. 

MAY 2020
Exhibition production: UPI staff will support educators on the plan, design and outreach for their exhibition.

JUNE 2020
End-of-year exhibition & final report: A brief report will be required which should include a reflection by the educator, and documentation of student work and the exhibition.


Email [email protected]