Fellowship in Photography

The Competition for the 2024 CINTAS Foundation Sondra Gilman González-Falla Fellowship in Photography is now CLOSED.

The CINTAS Foundation proudly announces the inception of its first fellowship dedicated exclusively to the art of photography. The fellowship is named in honor of Sondra Gilman González-Falla and generously funded by her family. 

Sondra Gilman held a variety of leadership positions. At the Whitney Museum of American Art, she was Chairman of the Painting and Sculpture Committee, Vice President of the Executive Committee, Chair of the Photography Committee, and served on the Permanent Collection Review, Building, and Facilities Committees. She played an instrumental role in bringing photography into the Whitney’s collection leading the initiative to create a committee devoted to the acquisition of photographs. The position of curator of photography and the Museum’s photography gallery were endowed by and named after her. She also started the Gilman Paper Company collection now hosted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“From the Heart”, “Shared Vision”, “Beauty of Lines” shows, and books of her photography collection have traveled to many museums around the country and throughout Europe. She was honored at the 2012 Whitney Gala and named with her husband, Celso González-Falla, as owning one of the top ten finest photography collections in the world by Art News. The Aperture Foundation at its 60th Anniversary Gala gave tribute to Sondra and Celso for their contribution to Aperture’s legacy.

Sondra’s commitment to the arts extended to the theater world. She and her husband were honored with Theatreworks USA’s Lee Salk “Good Works” Award, Musical Theatre Works’ Annual Award for Distinguished Contributions to Musical Theatre and Urban Stages for their work in promoting and supporting musical theater. The Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center named its Patron Room after her.

Sondra was Chairman of the Board of the Sondra & Charles Gilman Jr. Foundation, Inc., Chairman of the Gilman and González-Falla Arts Foundation, President and Chairman of the Board, Gilman and González-Falla Theatre Foundation, Inc., and Chairman of the Board, Soncel Financial, Inc., a real estate development in southeastern Georgia.

Artists may submit a maximum of ten (10) digital images. The panel WILL NOT consider work samples that exceed the maximum. Images submitted without a detailed image list will not be considered.

Since 1963, the CINTAS Foundation has awarded over 185 fellowships in the visual arts. In addition to supporting Cuban artists, many early in their careers, the CINTAS Foundation also maintains a growing collection of works by past awardees and other esteemed Cuban artists. For the purpose of historical value and documentation, award recipients are encouraged to submit art work (i.e., representative samples of their work) to be added to the CINTAS Fellows Collection after the grant period.

Eligibility:  Creative artists of Cuban citizenship or direct lineage (having a Cuban parent or grandparent). Performing artists are not eligible to apply for CINTAS Fellowships. CINTAS Fellowships can only be awarded a maximum of 2 times to an individual.


The full application must be submitted. The application may be completed in English or Spanish. Please complete all sections of the application.

Artist and Project Statements

Prepare two narrative statements: The Artist Statement describes your personal history, your development as an artist, and your plans for the future. The Project Statement describes the project or activity that you would undertake if awarded a CINTAS Fellowship. Please include a timeline for the project, and identify other sources, where appropriate, of funding for the project.

Letters of Recommendation

Candidates must submit two letters of recommendation with the application. Letters may be submitted separately, if necessary, but must be received by the application deadline. Each letter of recommendation must be submitted attached to an email as a PDF, with the recommender's signature and written in English or Spanish. Hard copies of the signed letter are also acceptable.

Submission of Work Samples

All materials should be submitted to the CINTAS Fellowship Selection Program. All work samples must be in digital format. Candidates are encouraged to send their materials electronically to the email address below or ship portfolios by express mail only if necessary. Acceptable methods include PDFs or JPGs, Dropbox, Hightail, or flash drive. Materials must be accompanied by the Work Sample Form. Pieces should be carefully itemized on this form. Limit the submission to ten (10) samples. 

NOTICE TO APPLICANTS: The award ($25,000 US) is considered taxable income under US tax law and the Foundation will withhold appropriate US taxes. Fellows who are not U.S. citizens and who are living abroad must provide a U.S. taxpayer identification number when they accept the fellowship to receive payment. The address for the IRS website: www.irs.gov, at which the form is readily available. The Foundation's grant of an award is subject to current and future U.S. laws and regulations that may limit its ability to issue funds to Cuban Nationals.

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