Alexia: Stories that Drive Change at 25CPW in New York

Nearly 400 people braved a cold and blustery night in New York City, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, to share in the work of The Alexia Foundation. “Stories that Drive Change,” a very special one-night only event, featured 35 of the most moving, provocative, and inspiring photographs from The Alexia Foundation archives.

The event promoted the need for more stories that drive change and brought awareness to the essential role of photojournalists as witnesses to the events that shape our world in ways large and small.

Guests included a long list of past Alexia Foundation award winners, staff from publications ranging from City Limits to The New York Daily News to The New Yorker, television reporters, and a wide range of leaders from the business and non-profit communities – many of whom were learning about The Alexia Foundation for the very first time.

We support those photographers who seize the moment and take that leap forward to the future. We are dedicated to and inspired by – stories that drive change.

Hosted by Alexia Foundation Photojournalism Advisory Committee Member Bess Greenberg at 25 CPW Gallery, “Stories that Drive Change” showcased the work of recent Alexia Foundation Grant winners Justin Maxon and Katie Orlinsky, who were in attendance to speak with the enthusiastic guests about their projects for Alexia and other recent work.

Justin Maxon continues the project for which he received the Alexia Foundation grant, “When the Spirit Moves,” and will be returning to the neighborhoods of Chester, Pennsylvania in 2013 to revisit many of the individuals whose stories he shared at the beginning of this project. In speaking about his work at the event, Justin noted how difficult it would be to ever truly leave the community.

In the days immediately following the event The Atlantic Monthly published a number of photographs taken by 2012 Alexia Student Grant winner, Katie Orlinsky, whose work was also featured at 25 CPW. Katie’s project, which is not yet complete, focuses on the innocent victims of Mexico’s violent drug war – women and children. Whether literally caught in the cross-fire or left without financial support as the result of the death of a husband or father, the violence surrounding both the drug trade and the efforts to stop it have created a humanitarian crisis.

Founders Aphrodite and Peter Tsairis addressed the guests, speaking passionately about the legacy of their daughter, Alexia, for whom the foundation is named. They spoke about the foundation’s efforts to increase the impact of photojournalists and the stories they tell through special initiatives and partnerships with non-profit organizations. This will enable the images created by Alexia photojournalists to bring awareness to problems, give voice to those who have gone unheard, and move people to take action.

“As many lament the decline of the magazine, the newspaper, the book. A whole new vista has opened up that is ready for the taking. Rather than bemoan what was, it is now one of the most exhilarating times to be a photo documentarian,” said Aphrodite addressing the crowd.

“The Alexia Foundation is committed to being in the forefront of supporting this dramatic evolution in documentary photography and, most importantly,” continued Aphrodite, “we support those photographers who seize the moment and take that leap forward to the future. We are dedicated to and inspired by – stories that drive change.”

Many of those in attendance stayed late into the evening, enjoying the opportunity to view up-close some of the images for which The Alexia Foundation is so well-known and speak with the people who captured them.

The Alexia Foundation would like to express our tremendous gratitude to the following sponsors and contributors whose generosity makes our work possible: Steve & Brenda Alperin, Vincent & Angela Amato, Dr. Harry & Diane Bade, Louis & Olivia Bravakis, The Camissa Family Foundation, Dr. Thomas & Claire Cardella, Harold & Barbara Danenberg, Homer J. Demetriou , Joseph & Hellin Desiderio, Paul & Helene Emanuel, Sidney & Toby Fleisher, C. Steven Georgilakis Revocable Trust, Grammercy Wine & Spirits, Dr. George & Stacey Kacoyanis, Dr. Katherine Keil, Scott & Pam Krim, Mel & Lee Lazar, Peter & Gabriela Leventi, Peter & Suse Lowenstein, The Mandel Foundation, Thomas McAdam Liquor Co. – Robert & Lori Fink, Dr. John & Geri Roglieri, Dr. Thomas & Cynthia Sculco, The Sumas Family, Tri-County Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, Androniki Tsairis, Maine Lobster Outlet – Mr. Greg Tsairis, Mary Tsairis, Village Supermarkets, Inc., Mitch & Joan Warwick, Whole Foods Market – Columbus Circle, Mark & Maureen Willensky, Dr. Michael & Abby Wolk, Demetrios Yatrakis, Peter & Kathryn Yatrakis.

We hope that this event will be the first of many more opportunities to share the work of The Alexia Foundation with a larger audience.

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