Five Spaces for Emerging WOC/POC/LGBTQA+ Social Activist Artists

Inspired by the artistic mentorship Artlink 212, I felt motivated to search for other residencies that focused on underserved communities. Have a project that raises social awareness? Have a project you would say has feminist themes? An up-and-coming artist with intention, vision, and purpose?

I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite artist mentorship, grant funding, artist retreats, and artist residencies that focus on supporting Artists of Color, Self-Identifying Women Artists, and LGBTQA+ Artists. Here’s just five. These are in no way ranked because they are all individually unique and look to serve artists in various ways.

1. The Kentucky Foundation for Women

http://www.kfw.org/

Location: Louisville, KY

Program Type: Grants, Short-term & Long-term Residency, and Retreats.

Who should apply: Individuals & Group artwork aligned with feminist activism for social change

Fee: Varies.

Kentucky and Feminism in the same sentence? Yes! Established in 1985, The Kentucky Foundation for Women strives to promote positive change by supporting feminist expression in the arts. A huge variety in programming this foundation is meant for artists at all levels in their creative endeavors.

2. demingfund.org

Location: Anywhere

Program Type: Grants for projects already in progress

Who should apply: Writers, Mixed Genre, and Visual Artists

Fee: Grant Based.

This is a feminist based foundation created by Barbara Deming, a second wave feminist activist and author. This is for a more developed vision and is meant to support projects that are ready for their next step.

3. mawa.ca 

Location: Winnipeg

Program Type: Artist in Residency, Artist Mentorship, and Workshops

Who should apply: Self-Identifying Women

Fee: Free. Plus opportunities for paid artist talk after you complete your residency.

Strengthen your medium, learn a new one, and have the space to create. Mini mentorships available. This space offers various ways to take your creativity to the next step.

4. http://kundiman.org

Location: Bronx, NY

Program: Retreat & Youth Leadership Intensive

Who should apply: Retreat, Self-Identifying Asian American poets

Youth Leadership Intensive, Self-Identifying Asian American 9th-12th graders

Fee: Retreat, $400. Intensive, $1000.

Kundiman prides itself on fifteen years of poetry support amongst Asian writers. They have an array of intensives such as retreats and workshops that not only serve individual writers, but form community spaces for writers to receive support and enlightenment.

5. CantoMundo

http://www.cantomundo.org/

Location: Columbia University NYC 2018

Program Type: Retreat 

Who should apply: Latinx Poets

Fee: If accepted, participants will pay for food and travel expenses.

CantoMundo founded in 2009 is a national organization that cultivates community of Latinx through workshops, symposia, and public readings. This programming provides long term mentorship and group engagement to cultivate experienced writers.

This is just a starting point. Once you have an idea of what you want to create or just need the space to do it, research spaces that will help you grow. A supportive environment is crucial especially when dealing with social justice creative work.

Most of all, do not be afraid to ask for what you need. Almost all of these programs have methods and resources to support you. Your work is needed, and your story is vital in the fight for artistic and social equality.

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- Eden Hakimzadeh