The ArtFotoFond is a program for professional photographic support to innovative projects with social significance through one of the following:
a) a photographic shooting and presentation to the public in a creative and provocative way, and/or b) the inclusion of photographic art as part of the creative concept.

The goal of the ArtFotoFond program is to support the visual presentation (through photos) and promotion of ideas/projects of social significance by organizations and civil initiatives in the field of Arts, Culture, Education, Sports, Environmental protection and others.

Each project/idea, which applies and wins support from the ArtFotoFond will benefit from free of charge photographic services of up to three mandays. This workload covers the duration of the event/s organized by the project or any other activity directly related to its implementation which requires photographic services and/or photographer‘s participation in the overall concept. As a result, the approved projects will receive a package of professionally photographed and post-processed photographs carrying the photographer’s recognized style. The package includes as well the sharing and promoting of a pre-agreed selection of photos through the photographer’s communication channels.

The ArtFotoFond is a program by the photographer Zdravko Yonchev. One of his major solo projects in the last years is the artistic filming of several old mineral baths in Sofia. Those were followed by several thematic online publications and an exhibition in the open-air gallery in front of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre. The latter event was marked with vast public as well as media interest and supported Sofia’s ambitions for European Capital of Culture 2019. Zdravko Yonchev is currently working on several other exciting and significant photography projects.

The ArtFotoFond program provides support using new and innovative technologies in

  • Photo shooting and post processing, for which the photographer uses specific new techniques and applies his own and recognizable approach and style;
  • Sharing the photographs in social networks, mobile applications, etc.

Program principles:

  • Equality
  • Accessibility
  • Thematic diversity

Who can apply to the program?

Each non-governmental organization or initiative by one or more individuals may apply for the support of the ArtFotoFond program regardless of the city or location of the project/idea.

The ArtFotoFond program is supported by the Fund for Innovation in Culture, which is co-sponsored by the Sofia Municipality and private donors. Therefore, for projects and ideas in the field of culture and arts concerning Sofia and Southwest region ArtPhotoFond candidates must be:

  • Individuals who live and work in Sofia or location in the Southwest region; incl. individuals permanently established in the Southwest region; OR
  • Legal entities, registered under Not-For-Profit Law, community centres (chitalishta/ читалища) under the National Community Centers Law, State and municipal cultural institutes and academic institutions, registered and operating on the territory of Sofia and/or another location within the Southwest region.

Criteria for selection of projects/ideas that can be supported by the ArtFotoFond (see evaluation table for details)

  • Social significance and benefits;
  • Justified need of photo shooting and presentation;
  • Uniqueness and innovativeness of the idea; for projects in the field of culture and arts from Sofia and Southwestern planning region it is additionally required:
    – innovative interpretation of the concept “Share Sofia”, reflecting the cultural diversity and demonstrating different perspectives;
    – innovative interpretation of known and traditional cultural spaces. The focus must be on popularizing the cultural heritage or saturating with cultural content of zones and spaces, where cultural elements are not traditionally expected;
  • Active involvement of the community/the audience in the realization – a provocative element for surfacing the creativity of the public;
  • Durability, sustainability;
  • Educational element; an element with a specific focus on audiences currently not covered by such initiatives (priority – children and young people, groups of persons with special needs);
  • Organizational capacity for realization of the project/idea;
  • Publicity and reached audiences; for projects in the field of culture and arts in Sofia and Southwestern region it is additionally required to include an element of performance that goes beyond the city center;
  • Projects/ideas of young people aged between 18 and 30 years.

Criteria of eligibility for projects / ideas – required terms for support by the ArtFotoFond program:

  • Submitted application in the form and deadlines described below;
  • The applicantshould NOT have already used the support of the ArtFotoFond program for this same project/idea (the same project/idea cannot be selected twice);
  • The candidate shouldNOT have already won the support of the ArtFotoFond program (for another project) in the course of the last three months (taking into account the date of submission for the desired month, i.e. an organization can apply many times, but not more frequently than every three months);
  • The idea / projects areNOT financed by the Sofia’s Fund for Innovation in Culture or other programs of the Sofia Municipality;
  • The applicant / partner(s) fulfills the specific requirements in terms of obligations and relationship with the State and Sofia Municipality, according to the text of the attached declaration (discussed at the contract phase).

Way of applying for support from the ArtFotoFond program:

Deadline for submission: not later than 23:00 hours on 11th of the month preceding the month in which the photo shooting of the project / idea is to take place (the ArtFotoFond program is open for applications monthly).

Each applicant must submit a summary of the project / idea using the online application form (here).

Evaluation of candidates and selection of project / idea to be supported by the ArtFotoFond program

The evaluation is carried out using an evaluation table based on the above mentioned selection criteria. Each criteria account for a certain pre-defined number of points. A shortlist of up to three projects / ideas submitted in the current month is prepared. Following the shortlist, an interview will be carried out with the representatives of each shortlisted candidate project/idea.

Based on that interview there will be further assessment, using the same table and criteria. The winning project/idea will be decided based on the final assessment results and that will be the candidate winning the support of the ArtPhotoFond program or the current month.

A contract is signed with the winning candidate within the current month (which must be the month preceding the photo shooting).