editing this page for the next round, sorry if it’s missing parts! Updated Sept. 7th, 2019 and will be constantly updated throughout September.
BEEN Micro-Grants are awarded to artists, creatives, and researchers who: 1. Identify as a Black, Indigenous, and/or Person of Color, and 2. Explore social or environmental issues in their work.
These grants began in 2018/2019 and will occur 2x/year. The next round will be announced soon. Please read on for info!
Originally, BEEN micro-grants were meant to support what could be an expensive single cost or barrier to entry in completing or starting a project. After the first round, I’m expanding what the $$$ can be used for. Read more below.
By The Numbers:
The inaugural round had 4 grantees, over 100 applications, and $800 donated.
For the next round, I’m trying to scale it by directly asking folks to donate. Hopefully we’ll award $1,000.
What can the micro-grant be used for?
Barrier to Entry: funding some form of material or equipment expense that is a barrier to starting or completing a project. This can look like painting supplies or a microphone.
Housing/Other Bill: to support the living costs of an artist. Often, the most important thing for creatives to have is time. Time to develop, time to think. Time to experiment and create. While I’m unsure how this will work in practice, I’m adding it in.
Project: directly for a project’s bigger, structural cost.
Need the moneys
Social or environmental lens on their work
That’s about it!
To read a longer why, please click through here.
In short, though, this is a way to support individual BIPOC artists with 1. no strings attached, and who 2. might not have support coming from a larger institution. It’s easy to donate to 501c3s, but there’s also a lot of great work being done by solo folks. This is one way to use my platform to spread their project, get folks involved, and support them too. Also, admittedly, I don’t know everything. I’m learning as I go.
Where does the money come from?
You! (Just kidding). It does come from donations, however. For the first round, I sold surplus camping equipment (some mine, some donated) to raise money and donated a tiny bit myself. HOWEVER: I don’t have anymore equipment, so I’m relying on donations from folks from here on out. :)
What’s in it for you? Are you wealthy?
I’m not wealthy at all, and I struggle as a freelance artist month to month. My financials are not steady. Literally. As for what’s in it for me, unsure; I just know it’s not about me. I have a platform and the ability to give back in a way that I see is meaningful: support individuals doing great work. There are plenty of opportunities to support organizations and it’s a lot easier to do so (501c3 status). But there’s a lot of individual folks who also could use the support. This is for them/us. I think it all comes back and running these grants through BEEN will hopefully go a long way.
Why not start a non-profit?
I’ve considered it, but this so far seems like the easiest way and simplest way for folks to be supported without losing $ in unnecessary things. No money goes to me or anyone else in this, it’s just redirected to grantees. 0% transaction costs and no employees needed, just helpful volunteers.
Are you interested in scaling?
How can I support?
Either donate or hire me to do some work! :)
Sharing my work also goes a long way.