Austin’s Co-Lab Projects Announces BIPOC Grant

by Christopher Blay July 15, 2020

Co-Lab-Projects-Matching-CARES ACT-Funding-Grant-July-2020

Austin’s Co-Lab Projects, an artist-run nonprofit exhibition space and artist resource, has announced a new grant for one BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color) artist, collective, or arts organization. The grant, up to $1,362 toward the creation of new work, could also be used for studio rent, materials, research, travel, or event production.

The award is a matching amount from Co-Lab, who received Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds. Although not part of the  $668,500 in total, which was equally distributed to nearly 500 Texas nonprofits through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Texas Commission on the Arts, Co-Lab’s BIPOC grant is open to Austin area artists.

Co-Lab is encouraging other organizations to follow its lead. Its statement on the grant reads, in part: “We realize not every organization is in the position to do this or perhaps they will use the funds for other critical work in support of the BIPOC artist community. However, if your organization is in a similar position as ours, we encourage you to consider a similar (or greater) use of funds to support BIPOC artists in some way.”

The statement continues:

“While this is not an insignificant amount of money for a small arts organization, currently struggling with our own finances, we feel that there are needs beyond our current predicament that we would like to support. As a contribution toward greater equity for BIPOC individuals in our creative community, we are distributing an equivalent match to our unearned income from the CARES act. While we deeply appreciate the granting of these funds to us, and the hard work it required to distribute them, it is unexpected income and therefore we feel like we are able to match it with this assistance grant.”

To be eligible, applicants must identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color living in the Austin area. Application deadline is midnight, August 31, 2020.

For more on Co-Lab Projects or to apply for the grant, please visit Co-Lab’s website here.

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Sean Gaulager July 16, 2020 - 10:40

Hello, Sean Gaulager here from Co-Lab Projects. Thank you to Glasstire for spreading the word about our MATCHING CARES grant and prompt for collective action. Writing to clarify that we ARE NOT regranting our CARES Act funds but rather granting an equivalent amount to what we received. Organizations are not allowed to regrant the funds provided to the by TCA and the NEA. Those funds must be expended in compliance with their TCA grant contract. However, since organizations received these funds they may be in a position to allocate an equivalent amount toward supporting BIPOC artists in their communities. This prompt is meant to encourage organizations to think about how they could spend an equivalent amount of funds for these purposes. Through this kind of collective action, it’s possible to leverage more money towards BIPOC artists in Texas and across the country. This distinction is important to note as we don’t want anyone to compromise their standing with granting institutions.


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