Lonnie Graham has taken on multiple academic roles, serving as a professor of fine arts at Pennsylvania State University, an instructor of special programs at the Barnes Foundation in Marion, PA, and as a visiting instructor of graduate studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. A former visiting professor at Haverford College in Philadelphia, PA and Curator-in-Residence for the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA. Graham also continues to serve as an active site visitor for the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts.
During his tenure as director of photography at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, an arts organization dedicated to the educational development of disadvantaged urban youth, Graham developed the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild Arts Collaborative, an interactive program involving public schools and community organizations that has been officially sited by the White House as a National Model for education. His efforts also contributed to the development of the CDC/ARI (Community Development Corporation/Arts Resource Initiative), a multi-million dollar, multi-year project funded by the Ford Foundation.
Graham has been involved in and won a number of major commissions concerning social and political issues. Among these are: the African/American Garden Project, a physical and cultural exchange facilitating interaction among disadvantaged urban single mothers, an elderly African American community, and farmers from the small village of Muguga, Kenya; a 1997 commission to travel to Papua New Guinea to document the harvest of the Woowoosi tree used to produce tapa cloth by the Maisins, a people who successfully blocked the efforts of foreign logging companies to win over their property rights, and have chosen to support themselves by maintaining traditional values rooted in an ancient lifestyle; and a commission from Philadelphia's Fairmont Park Art Association to address the needs of a blighted urban community with revitalization through the arts, cultural activities and various entrepreneurial ventures.
Most recently, Graham was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and a National Endowment for the Arts/Pew Charitable Trust Travel Grant for travel to Ghana. He is a three-time Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship winner and has also been nominated as a Dupont Fellow and for the Cal Arts-Alpert Award in the Arts.
Graham's photo credits include co-authorship of the book, Thaddeus Mosely, African American Sculptor, work for the National Endowment of the Arts and the Ford Foundation, the catalogue for the exhibition Countdown to Eternity, photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King by Ben Fernandez, and designs for a number of limited editions and catalogues, including an edition of his own work produced in photogravure entitled, Friendship, Strength, and Vitality.
Graham's work is also included in the permanent collections of the Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI; the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in Philadelphia, PA; the Delaware Museum of Art in Wilmington, DE; and the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA.
Graham is a member of the National Planners for the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities (ZORA! Festival).