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CCNY Studio Art Graduate Kyle Meyer Named 2009 Hays-Brandeis Fellow

Plans to Use $19,000 Stipend to Document AIDS Crisis in Swaziland

NEW YORK, June 1, 2009 -- Kyle Meyer, a recent graduate of The City College of New York's (CCNY) Art Program, is a 2009 winner of the Mortimer Hays-Brandeis Traveling Fellowship.  He plans to use the Fellowship, which carries a $19,000 stipend, to travel to Swaziland this fall to document communities affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic there.

Mr. Meyer graduated from City College on May 28 with a B.A. in Studio Art, with a concentration in photography.He is the eighth CCNY student to be named a Mortimer Hays-Brandeis Fellow since 1994.

An activist who has participated four times in the annual AIDS Walk New York, Mr. Meyer said he was tremendously excited at having been awarded the Fellowship."It offers an invaluable opportunity for me not only to document what's going on in Swaziland and also to help in the fight against the disease," he said.

The Harlem resident will be based at the Moya Center, a community center in western Swaziland where AIDS orphans who are heads of households receive assistance.Mr. Meyer chose to do his fellowship in the tiny southern African nation because its HIV/AIDS rate, around 40 percent of the population, is the highest in the world.

"I've been interested in the AIDS crisis since high school and when I return I'd like to have an exhibition of my images from Swaziland to show what's going on there and to raise awareness here," he said.He also plans to start a fund or scholarship program for children affected by AIDS. 

Dr. Anna Indych-López, CCNY Associate Professor of Art, described Mr. Meyer as a sensitive and motivated student whose photography projects show promise for effecting social change."Kyle is a hard worker whose passion for and commitment to art, specifically contemporary art and socially engaged issues, have been evident from his first days at CCNY," she said.

Funded by income from the Mortimer and Sara Hays Endowment at Brandeis University, the Mortimer Hays-Brandeis Traveling Fellowship provides support to students in the visual and fine arts for travel overseas in accordance with a program of study or other activities approved by the selection committee.

Only students from a select group of institutions – among them Brandeis, BostonColumbia, Harvard and YaleUniversities in addition to CCNY - are eligible for the Fellowship.  Criteria for selecting Fellows include:

  • Merit of the project and its proposed outcomes;
  • Relationship of the project to the candidate's professional or creative goals;
  • Clarity of the project goals and means by which they will be achieved; and
  • Appropriateness of one year as the time period within which to accomplish the project and its goals.

About The City College of New York

Since 1847 The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. For additional information, visit



Jay Mwamba
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