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Sundance Institute Announces $200,000 in Grants for Artists of Color and Arts Organizations

The funds are meant to assist artists and organizations dealing both with the effects of the pandemic and racism.

Sundance Institute

Sundance Institute

Sundance Institute

The Sundance Institute on Wednesday announced the launch of two grant funds totaling $200,000 that will support up to 35 artists and arts organizations. The first, the Uprise Grant Fund, launches today and will support artists of color who have been impacted by the pandemic. The second, the Arts Organizations Grant, will see its applications launch later this spring.

“These funds intend to address the deeply disproportionate effects the pandemic and racial terror have had on artists of color. With Uprise, our goal is to provide unrestricted financial support to those artists at key moments in their career development with the sole aim of combating the erasure of these important voices from our culture and society” Karim Ahmad, director, outreach and inclusion, said in a statement.

The Uprise Grant Fund will support up to 25 emerging U.S.-based artists whose creative development has been impacted by the pandemic. The unrestricted fund was created by Sundance’s Outreach & Inclusion Program; recipients can use grants for living expenses, project advancement, or general creative development. Grants will range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Applicants must identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a person of color, and be at an emerging stage of their career — defined by Sundance as those yet to complete a long-form or major work in their discipline.

Some 70 to 80 percent of grant funds in each round will be awarded to those working in traditional film disciplines and the remainder will go to artists working in emerging media or theater. Grantees can expect to receive their awards by August.

“Acknowledging the disproportionate effects the pandemic and racial terror have had on storytellers of color and other systematically marginalized groups, our goal is to provide financial support at key moments in an artist’s career by supporting their personal livelihoods and creative projects,” reads Sundance’s explanation of the grant. “This fund meets the most urgent needs of U.S.-based emerging artists of color from historically marginalized communities who are looking to sustain their creative practice, ensuring that these critical stories and voices are not erased.”

The application portal opens Wednesday and closes April 5. More information and the application is available here.

The other grant, the Arts Organizations Grant, will see $100,000 awarded to eight to 10 U.S.-based arts organizations working in film, theater, and emerging media that are led by Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color.

Sundance leaders say the program is a continuation of the grants to organizations it began last year with the Respond and Reimagine Plan, “affirming our commitment and belief in the urgency of a strong, vibrant ecosystem of organizations dedicated to serving BIPOC artist communities.”

Of the $1 million granted as part of that program last year, 39 grants totaling over $400,000 were awarded to storytelling organizations, artists collectives, and other groups. Among them were the Black TV & Film Collective, which seeks to advance the careers of Black and brown artists through production support, workshops, and networking events; and the First Peoples Fund, which aims to support Indigenous artists.

Applications for the Arts Organizations Grant will launch in the spring with nominators from a cross-section of media, arts, racial justice, philanthropy, and impact fields.

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