Announcing $900k Investment in Local Artists of Color to Advance Racial Justice

April 29th 2020

The Transforming Power Fund is awarded $900,000 from Surdna Foundation to invest in local artists of color advancing racial justice over the next three years

The Transforming Power Fund announced today that they received a $900,000 award from the Surdna Foundation to invest in artists from communities of color who are embedding their creative practice within work for racial justice.

This award provides support for the Transforming Power Fund’s Radical Imagination Fund. The Radical Imagination Fund will provide multi-year grants to artists of color in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. The fund will prioritize artists who practice their work through cultural organizing, working for justice that is at the intersection of art and activism. The Radical Imagination Fund will provide resources to artists of color that will enable them to cultivate their personal sustainability by providing grants for transformational costs such as rent, living wage, etc., as well as funds for their artistic vision and craft. Artists will also receive professional development support. The Radical Imagination Fund will launch in the summer of 2020.

“We are honored to launch the Radical Imagination Fund,” said Ahmina Maxey, Executive Director of the Transforming Power Fund.  “Through the fund we will provide local artists of color with the capacity and resources, relationships, and skills needed to thrive while working collectively and equitably to shape Detroit’s future. Through strong partnerships between artists and the community, we aim to help shift the dominant narrative of scarcity and lack for people of color living in Detroit. By centering and sharing stories and experiences about and by people of color, including their holistic solutions to racial injustice, we aim to radically imagine a more equitable future for all.”

“As communities across our nation work together to survive COVID-19, artists are uniquely positioned to help us imagine and build a more just future in which we all can thrive,” said F. Javier Torres-Campos, Program Director of the Foundation’s Thriving Cultures program. “We are proud to partner with organizations that provide direct, on-the-ground support and technical assistance to artists of color. Our artist regranting cohort invests in the leaders and communities most impacted by injustice because they bring the necessary lived experience, strategies, and creativity to realize racially just societies.”

The Transforming Power Fund joins a diverse cohort of 11 regranting partners, which are national and regional in focus, and include several learning clusters of organizations attempting to impact prevailing inequities in arts grantmaking in specific ways. Among the clusters are organizations focused on the U.S. South, local cross-sector partnerships between municipal governments and local arts nonprofits, and culturally specific intermediaries serving Latinx and Indigenous communities.

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