Black Art Futures Fund Awards Over $75,000 to Black Arts Organizations

May 29th, 2021

The Black Art Futures Fund (BAFF) has announced the recipients of its fifth grant cycle. Chosen from among 88 applicants, the grantees are the C. Williams Rush Museum of African-American Arts & Culture, Kingstree, SC; Community Music Center of Houston; George Floyd Global Memorial Project, Minneapolis; Harlem Needle Arts, New York; Ko-Thi Dance Company, Milwaukee; Selah Gospel Choir, Pasadena CA; Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, New York; and Tiny Farm Wagon, Philadelphia.

Each organization will receive a grant of between $7,000 and $10,000 in support of programming and operating costs. Founded by the Black-woman-led Red Olive Creative Consulting in 2018, BAFF has to date distributed $250,000 in independently raised funds to small, Black-led community-based organizations operating at or below $750,000 annually. This cycle’s grants were aimed at groups providing programming to adult and general audiences, and were tailored to suit the individual recipients’ needs, with Tiny Farm Wagon and Sydnie L. Mosley Dances receiving funding in twelve monthly installments to build momentum over the course of the year.

“We believe that BAFF allows individuals and small businesses all over the world to learn about, support, and collaborate with culture-makers like this cycle’s grant recipients,” says BAFF founder DéLana R. A. Dameron. “We wanted to center community-based radical art-making, with the arts, artists, and people of African descent at its core.”

BAFF has announced three more funding cycles for Black arts organizations for 2021. Applications for its sixth cycle, the Shay Wafer Legacy Awards, are open June 15–July 5 to organizations founded on or before 2011. Grants for the seventh cycle, whose application period runs September 15–October 1, will focus on organizations who have never received a grant from a foundation (or from a re-granting organization funded by a foundation) for more than $10,000, while the eighth cycle is open to all eligible small, Black-led arts and culture nonprofits. Applications for that round are open December 1–15, with funding awarded in 2022.