Since 1991, the Alexia Foundation has supported politically committed documentary photography, awarding grants to students,and professionals . The photographers they supported have become renowned for their work. The year of its inception, the Foundation awarded Darcy Padilla for her series on prisoners with AIDS in a California prison. The recognition got her career off to a start. Other recipients include Ramon Jimenez (2001), Kai Wiedenhofer (2002), Andres Gonzalez (2004) and Khaled Hasan (2009), now well-known figures in the world of photojournalism.
With a penchant for classical style, the Foundation also strives to recognize the work of photographers with a more conceptual or distanced approach, in order to cover the many outllooks of photojournalism. The Foundation has awarded grants to 128 projects in its 22 years of existence. In order to support key initiatives in a field where funding guarantees the freedom to pursue long-term investigations, yesterday the Foundation organized a silent auction. With a modest minimum bid of $150, the sale emphasized the aim to make works of reportage more accessible. The spirit of the evening was affirmed in two touching speeches by Justin Maxon and Katie Orlinsky, both parts of the 2012 winners. The event was the opportunity for photographers, publishers and fans to come together around common values, in a welcoming atmosphere at the 25 CPW Gallery, hosted by Bess Greenberg, who for the occasion gave a performance on her double bass.