Pulitzer-winning Crowley coming to Brookings

Courtesy photo: Stephen Crowley

Tickets to April 4 event go on sale Thursday

BROOKINGS – Retired New York Times photojournalist of 25 years and Pulitzer prize winner Stephen Crowley will be in Brookings for a two-day residency April 3-4 to speak about photojournalism, journalism and media in changing times. 

Crowley’s presentation is part of the 3M and 3M Brookings Community Vibrancy Grant awarded to the Brookings Arts Council. 

The Community Vibrancy Grant was awarded to the BAC for a “Year of Art Instruction” to include three, two- to three-day residencies involving area schools, community members and art education. 

Now in its third year, 3M established the Community Vibrancy Fund to enhance community vibrancy in 3M communities across the United States. The 3M Foundation invests in nonprofit community organizations that improve the standards of living in communities – with priority given to initiatives that promote economic development, youth development or increase access to quality arts programming for underserved populations.

Crowley will spend time at Brookings High School with students from BHS and Deubrook on April 3. In addition, he’ll meet with photography and journalism classes at South Dakota State University. A community reception will be held April 4 at the McCrory Gardens Education & Visitor Center. 

Crowley began his career as a photographer in 1972 during a stint at a community newspaper in Jupiter, Florida. From 1992-2017, he worked in the Washington bureau of The New York Times. 

During his tenure at The Times, he distinguished himself as a political photographer who was equally adept at covering domestic and foreign stories, notably in Rwanda, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Turning to new media early, he spent several years producing video projects for a Times series called “American Album,” which focused on domestic issues. 

In 2002, Crowley, a graduate of the photography program at Daytona State College, was cited as “Photographer of the Year” by the White House News Photographers’ Association for a portfolio that included his essays “Voices of Afghanistan” and “A Day in the Life of President Bush.” 

In 2001, Crowley was part of a team at the New York Times that won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for “How Race is Lived in America.”

In 2002, the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography was awarded to Crowley and four other photographers at The New York Times for work produced during the war in Afghanistan. That same year he received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. In 2005, American Photo Magazine included Crowley on its list of the 100 Most Important People in Photography. 

In his personal work, Crowley searches for morsels of humanity, irony and humor, collecting images of the country’s character as hinted by physical structures, shifting light patterns and happenstance. His photography has been exhibited in shows at the Library of Congress, The National Geographic Society and the Corcoran Art Museum. 

The McCrory Gardens Education and Visitor Center will be the site of Crowley’s presentation, “A Visual Historian” on Thursday, April 4. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the presentation to start at 6:30 p.m. Guests are invited to stay for wine and dessert and a “Meet the Artist” reception immediately following the presentation. The reception will conclude at 9 p.m.

Tickets for the public event at McCrory Gardens will go on sale starting Thursday, March 7. Advance tickets are $12, available online at brookingsartscouncil.org or at the Brookings Arts Council building at 524 Fourth St. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15.

Brookings Arts Council is a nonprofit organization and for more than 48 years has pursued its mission of “encouraging community communications through the arts by providing a supportive environment for awareness, appreciation and participation.”

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