Instagram is back with its ongoing initiative to invest in emerging Black artists and designers. 

As previously reported by AfroTech, in 2021, the social media giant partnered with the Brooklyn Museum in a joint effort to launch the #BlackDesignVisionaries. This year, the grant program is back and bigger than ever. 

2022 #BlackVisionaries

Brooklyn Museum, curator Antwaun Sargent, and Instagram are back with what’s now been updated to #BlackVisionaries and will be awarding ten grants totaling $650,000.

The program’s minor change to its name aligns with being opened to visual artists as well, thanks to the support of Meta Open Arts. Five grant awards of $100,000 will be distributed to small businesses and nonprofits focused on design while five grants of $30,000 each will be given to artists and designers pushing culture forward by telling stories in experimental ways, according to the application’s website.

Along with grants, recipients will have access to a community of mentors — who will provide at least one year of regular check-ins and guidance.

“Money is one thing, but mentorship is a whole other,” Brooklyn-based artist Elise Swopes shared with AfroTech. “Social justice is the equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. Since we live in a system rooted in inequality, projects like this are essential to uplifting marginalized communities and eradicating wealth gaps.”

Empowering Local Entrepreneurs

Uplifting the local community is at the heart of the program. To play a role in advancing Brooklyn’s art and design community, #BlackVisionaries will give at least one of the small organization grants to a Brooklyn-based business.

“Although I’ve only lived in Brooklyn for three years, I’ve learned that New York is about community,” Swopes said. “I saw many people come together to save businesses from shutting down or helping people pay their rent during the pandemic. Still, Black-owned businesses face higher closures and are less likely to be financed, so it’s great to see multinational conglomerates align with Black creators.”

Eligibility Criteria To Apply

Below are the eligibility criteria:

  • Be a Black-identifying artist or designer
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 35
  • Be a legal resident of one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • Account must meet Instagram’s Community Guidelines

Applications will close on July 29.

To learn more about how to apply, click here.