Houston’s BIPOC arts organizations receive unprecedented $ 2 million grant

As a dynamic professional traversing Houston’s myriad of artistic worlds, Sixto Wagan has been at the forefront of witnessing the evolution of the city’s cultural growth.

Now, the veteran of some of Houston’s most prestigious art providers is overseeing a game-changing cash injection for arts groups centered on people of color.

The Black Indigenous Peoples of Color (BIPOC) Arts Network and Fund (BANF) announced $ 2 million to tax-sponsored artists’ organizations and collectives in Black, Latin, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and other greater Houston communities. The $ 2 million, which will be awarded by the end of 2021, represents a (current) $ 12.4 million initiative that will provide five-year funding to BIPOC’s artistic communities, according to a press release.

“This historic first round of funding is the start of a new story and a new way to recognize BIPOC’s artistic communities in Greater Houston,” Wagan, BANF Houston project director, told CultureMap. “Our BIPOC artistic communities have shown leadership for decades with work that has shaped the culture and history of this country despite their exclusion from resources, funding sources, recognition and representation.

Applications will be accepted until October 22 at 5 p.m. A website hosting the guidelines on grant possibilities, including the specific set of eligibility conditions, as well as a link to the application submission portal, can be found here.

Virtual grant information sessions will be held on September 29 at noon CST and October 7 at 9:30 am CST. Interested candidates must register to participate at this link.

Why is this new subdivision so critical? Data provided by BANF reveals that Houston arts organizations and artist collectives from multicultural communities are “excluded from philanthropy in Houston.” Namely, according to BANF, 90 percent of cash donations go to 27 white-led organizations, while only seven percent of that public funding for the arts goes to Latin American organizations.

“In the face of this and being more vulnerable to climate, public health, and economic disruption, Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, and Middle Eastern arts organizations and artists have thrived on the systemic oppression and are still in their power. contributing as they always have to this country’s arts and culture story, ”adds Wagan.

This groundbreaking effort was born out of the America’s Cultural Treasures initiative of the Ford Foundation. In September 2020, the initiative committed an unprecedented $ 156 million to support BIPOC artistic communities across the country in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.

The regional grant-making initiative has invested some $ 35 million in seven regions, including Greater Houston. Local philanthropic partners have been asked to match funding in support of multi-year grant programs for cultural groups of color of “outstanding regional or local significance,” according to the BANF.

Locally, Houston Endowment and the Ford Foundation paved the way for the creation of BANF, also donating $ 5 million, with additional contributions from the Brown Foundation, Inc., the Cullen Foundation, the Kinder Foundation. and the Powell Foundation.

For Wagan, a shining star in groups like DiverseWorks, this gift is personal.

“As a child of immigrants who did not confess to my classmates that I spent my weekends learning Filipino folk dance, leading this initiative gives me the opportunity to give back in a way that I don’t know. ‘never imagined,’ he says.

“In a city like Houston, a Filipino American can be at the crossroads of Latinx, Black, Asian and other important communities of color coming together to pursue change from a place of power, togetherness and abundance. . It is a deeply moving moment in my career and my life. “

About Vicki Davis

Check Also

Clinton Foundation sees 2020 plunge into giveaways and grants

Contributions and grants to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation fell by millions in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *