Archival image of En Foco’s early traveling exhibitions at the Puerto Rican Festival of 1974. Courtesy of the En Foco Archives.

En Foco, Inc. is a non-profit that supports U.S.-based photographers of African, Asian, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander heritage.

Founded in 1974, En Foco, En Foco makes their work visible to the art world, yet remains accessible to under-served communities. Through exhibitions, workshops, events, and publications, it provides professional recognition, honoraria, and assistance to photographers as they grow into different stages of their careers.

En Foco has been empowering photographers of color across generations for over fifty years by supporting the growth and preservation of the culture and legacy of diasporic lens-based artists. As an intentionally accessible organization, we believe in the strength of the collective as a source of creativity.

We support artists of all ages and at various stages of their careers, value intergenerational relationships between artists, and prioritize building cohorts that span generations and experiences as image-makers. We support established and emerging photographers and other lens-based artists of color as they navigate our network and further develop their crafts and careers.

En Foco has built a continually growing archive that is unique, viable, and a major resource for artists. The En Foco archives and Nueva Luz Study Center have broadened our understanding of American art by demanding the inclusion of our vast communities of diverse artists who have helped shape the landscape of arts and culture. Our legacy as a cultural platform and safe space has fostered our community of artists, providing professional and educational opportunities and bringing them to the public through our artist grants, exhibitions, archives, and Nueva Luz publication.

En Foco, Inc. was founded in 1974 as a non-profit organization that supports contemporary fine art and documentary photographers of underrepresented cultures and backgrounds. En Foco makes their work visible to the art world, using photography as a vehicle to raise awareness and address social and economic issues that disproportionately affect people of color. 

Beginning as a collective of photographers from the Puerto Rican diaspora who were struggling for recognition as legitimate artists worthy of funding, En Foco’s initial mission was to engage the community by bridging Latino artists into schools who would serve as mentors, as well as establishing a Street Gallery and Portrait Studio in order to share Puerto Rican culture throughout the Bronx. 

In 1985, En Foco broadened the community it strives to help and began publishing its biannual magazine, Nueva Luz, to showcase contemporary photography by photographers of color, as well as offer cultural commentaries on social justice and advocacy. Currently, En Foco has published 70 issues to date, featuring artists like Dawoud Bey, Sophie Rivera, Hank Willis Thomas, Dulce Pinzón, Carrie Mae Weems, Adál, Elia Alba, Héctor Méndez Caratini, and many others. Every issue features a commentary essay by art historians and curators like Elizabeth Ferrer, Lucy Lippard, Deborah Willis, Ilan Stavans, and many others. To date, over three hundred artists have been exhibited through its pages.

The New Works Photography Fellowship Award was offered in 1996, and for more than a decade artists were selected for an award and an exhibition. Fellows include Sheila Pree Bright, Don Gregorio Antón, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and many others.

For over five decades, En Foco has amassed works by many of the photographers who have taken part in its programs and exhibitions. In 2012, En Foco curated and cataloged its Permanent Collection holdings to an astonishing total of over 700 works, featuring the likes of Juan Sánchez, Lola Flash, Víctor Vázquez, Kenro Izu, and many others.

In 2016, En Foco initiated its current Photography Fellowship Program providing monetary awards through a competitive selection process featuring a professional art panel. The Fellows are featured in a curated issue of Nueva Luz along with a gallery exhibition. In 2020, En Foco launched the Media Arts Fund: Works-In-Progress Initiative, aimed at supporting early-career artists of color based in New York City. This initiative supports 5 artists annually as they work on completing their proposed projects. The awarded artists receive financial support and access to resources from BronxNet TV.

After years of work to establish the archives, En Foco launched the digital Nueva Luz Study Center in 2023. This center operates as a hub for information about its rich history and includes access to the digital database, all Nueva Luz magazines from 1985 to the present, and information on over 400 artists, writers, and curators who have been featured in Nueva Luz. The archives are activated as a resource through exhibitions, commissions, and programs.

As part of the study center initiative, En Foco launched the Nueva Luz Commissioning Fund opportunity. This initiative commissioned three artists Shiloah Coley, Lisa DuBois, and collaborating artists Rejin Leys and Thiago Szmrecsanyi to create new work using the Nueva Luz Study Center as a catalyst to explore historical contexts, artists, and themes from a contemporary point of view.

Through the decades, En Foco has expanded its mission to present exhibitions of emerging photographers, offer career development workshops, build an extensive archive of photographic works, and publish Nueva Luz magazine. Through all these activities, En Foco offers emerging artists professional recognition, honoraria, and assistance as they grow into different stages of their careers.

Your gift will strengthen En Foco’s ability to support photographers of African, Asian, and Latinx descent. Founded in 1974, En Foco makes their work visible to the art world, yet remains accessible to under-served communities. Through exhibitions, workshops, events, and publications, it provides professional recognition, honoraria, and assistance to photographers as they grow into different stages of their careers.

Meet Our Staff

Bill Aguado

President

Oscar Rivera

Managing Director

Kim Vaquedano-Rose

Assistant Director

Lorraine Pizarro

Fiscal Manager

Dominique Doonquah

Grants & Development Manager

Valarie Irizarry

Collections and Archives Manager

Kay Hickman

Artist Services Specialist

Anna Matos

Social Media Manager

Meet Our Board

Bill Aguado
President

Juanita Lanzo
Chairperson

Carmen Lizardo

Frank Gimpaya

Kathi Pavlick

Idelsa Mendez

Kim Hamilton

Jamel Shabazz

Meet Our Funders

En Foco is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, The Mellon Foundation, BronxCare Health System, The Joy of Giving Something, Inc., The Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, Ford Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Hispanic Federation, and Aguado-Pavlick Arts Fund.