FotoPartner Goethe-Institut Promotes Photography Year-Round

November 12, 2012 10:00 am

The success of FotoDC and the FotoWeekDC festival would not be possible without partnerships and the support of businesses and organizations throughout the area.  These mutually-beneficial alliances offer opportunities to celebrate photography beyond the walls of FotoWeekCentral through exhibits and other events, as well as providing additional locations to expand the festival’s offerings.  This year, the Goethe-Institut, located near the Chinatown neighborhood of Northwest D.C., has opened up their space to host the portfolio reviews, the FotoWeekEDU Seminar Series, and the FotoBook Award Winners.

To learn more about the Goethe-Institut and their involvement with the 2012 festival, we asked Norma Broadwater in the Institut’s Cultural Programs and Public Relations a few questions.

>>  No stranger to the FotoWeekDC Festival, Goethe-Institut has participated for several years by hosting fantastic exhibits highlighting photography by German artists.  How did the partnership this year with FotoWeekEDU come about?

Norma:  FotoWeek approached us with the idea of a workshop series in our theater. One reason was that the size of our theater and the equipment it contains seemed a good fit for FotoWeek activities. In addition, there was interest in possibly including some German photographers. We then developed the idea to present the winners of one of the competitions in our gallery, as well as to have the portfolio reviews at Goethe. With this, we would like to foster the exchange between US and European photography.

>>  How has involvement with FotoWeekDC influenced activities at Goethe-Institut with regard to visitor traffic?  Has there been increased interest in the Institut’s exhibits and other events year-round?

Norma:  With the announcements on the FotoWeek website and the resulting press coverage, we do get attention from new audiences, which includes both professionals and a general audience that does not normally know about our programs. This year, we are expecting full workshops, and we anticipate that the participants will come to additional exhibitions and other events here throughout the year. We’re also expecting an increased number of visitors to come to our FotoBook competition winners show, both participants and those interested in the results. And, we should see a number of artists coming the weekend of the portfolio reviews to have their work evaluated by experts.

>>  Tell us about the photography coming out of Germany and how it compares with the work right here in Washington, D.C.?

Norma:  With our long-standing cooperation with German photography institutions like C/O Berlin and gute aussichten, we like to give young photographers a platform to present their work, and hope that this establishes a chance for artistic exchange between Germany and the US. It’s always exciting to see how photography coming from Germany is responding to topics and trying new methods, and how that compares to work by young photographers in the U.S. We like to initiate a dialogue and discussions with local artists, as we did last year with a group show with C/O Berlin winner Iris Janke, who presented her works here alongside work by Corcoran College of Art + Design Fine Art Photography alumna Sara J. Winston and BFA Fine Art Photography candidate Kaitlin Jencso. Then, the audience can compare.

We hope you take advantage of this opportunity to explore more of Goethe-Institut’s programs – get started by looking through their events schedule listing from now through the end of the year.