Free to Create: Grant for Black Artists

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The application process for 2020 is now closed.  A second round will be announced in Spring 2021. See below for 2020 grant recipients. For more information, please contact, Maeve E. McCool, Grants Manager, at maeve@createcouncil.org or grantsmanager@createcouncil.org.

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Grant for Black Artists Living in the Hudson Valley

First Round of Applications Due: August 28th, 2020. (Second round in Spring 2021)

APPLY ONLINE

Free Columbia is partnering with CREATE Council on the Arts to administer Free to Create, a grant program for black artists awarding grants ranging from $500-$1000. Black artists have been marginalized and ignored for centuries, and are often missing the support to even begin. Creative activity is what can change the world for the better. We want to offer this grant to black artists to support their work and help form a more equitable art community. In this time where racial justice issues are erupting all over our country we want to support work that examines the present while envisioning the future. During a time of upheaval and despair we want to support the power of creative activity in individuals. We believe that this creative activity will act as the catalyst for individual and societal transformation.

This grant funds black artists who are inspired to use their creative work to enlighten and bring change into the world. We want to fund the young black man who is playing music on his front steps every night but who needs a better instrument, we want to fund the woman who has stories to tell but no time to write them down, we want to fund the dancer moving with compassion through the world, who has no venue. And so many others. We ask the question: What do you need to bring your creative activity into the world?

Free to Create funds creative projects for black artists living in Columbia, Greene and Schoharie Counties NY. 

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2020 Grant Awardees:

Claire Cousin is a 27 year old single mother of 3, born and raised in Hudson NY, and a local activist of 8 years. Claire is a singer and songwriter, painter, and amateur photographer. Claire will document her experiences as a biracial woman involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, the fight for affordable housing and the fight for black liberation. 

Michael Krajeski is 24 years old, he grew up and resides in Durham New York. As an aspiring artist he works in drawing, photography, videography, graphic design and music. He has worked with clients such as Lumberyard Center for Film and Performing Arts, Brainard Ridge Realty, and Kathoderay Media Inc. He is always experimenting with new mediums of art and design. Michael will make a video documenting his experience growing up in Greene County. https://www.instagram.com/mike_krajeski/ 

For Kulton McCall, music is a learning experience. It’s a way to see the world in a new light and to investigate our emotions and our connections within ourselves and others. It’s how he makes sense of our unravelling reality; piecing it back together through a patchwork of universal truths that harness the kind of authenticity that only surfaces through honest introspection and a sense of humor. Creating art under his moniker Kulton The Maker, the 26-year-old is hurtling towards the next chapter of his career, thanks to years of dedication, focus and innovation. Kulton will create a new ep that shares his black narrative to dissolve stereotypes of black men and violence, and criticize a system that seeks to punish people of color with higher conviction rates and life sentences. https://www.instagram.com/kultonthemaker/ 

Ehm West is a sound and moving image artist and researcher in New York with an interest in the relationship between counter-narratives and sensory evidence. They are the co-curator of Ellipsis, a roaming screening series that premiered in May 2019 at Spectacle Theater, Center for Performance Research, and Light Industry in Brooklyn, New York. Ehm will create a documentary essay film that investigates a human obsession of “efficiency” and “narrative.” www.ehmwest.com 

To donate to support this Grant, please use the Paypal Button below, or send checks to PO Box 463, Catskill, NY, 12414.



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