WeTransfer has just unveiled a new independent charity, called The Supporting Act Foundation, with €600,000 worth of funding to support emerging underrepresented and underfunded artists and organisations, plus community-centred initiatives. WeTransfer’s mission with the new venture is to open up entry points into the arts and to tackle age-old barriers that make the industry inaccessible.
As of 1 September, several grants are now open for applications: one is catered towards artists, and the other two are for organisations. The first (Creative Bursary) is targeted at students seeking to pursue a career at the “intersection of arts and technology”, the Foundation site explains. It accepts applications from any students who are in their final year of study (2022-23) at any undergraduate course and come from underrepresented groups or are experiencing any form of financial hardship. Ten bursaries of €10,000 are available.
Also accepting applications is the Impact Grant, which works towards “empowering underfunded grassroots organisations who seek social, intersectional or environmental justice – particularly for people from marginalised backgrounds,” says the foundation. Grassroots organisations led by artists who use art for change are the focus, with six more grants of €25,000 available. Lastly, the Community Grant is for community-driven projects for underrepresented artists. “This grant is about tackling the social and economic challenges many artists face across Europe, creating circles of support in a way that’s genuine, sustainable and can have widespread impact,” the site states. Ten grants of €20,000 are available to cover project-related costs; more details on each programme can be found here.
One of the issues WeTransfer outlines in current funding within arts, cultural and creative sectors is the landscape brought about by the pandemic, “with the vast majority [of artists and creatives] self-employed and often excluded or only partially covered by social security protection”, it states, citing 2021 research from EENCA and Panteia. Also highlighting research from OECD, WeTransfer says: “The setback in the growth of the arts is predicted to have an effect for years to come, with fewer opportunities for artists and less diversity in the industry.”
So far, The Supporting Act Foundation is operating across the Netherlands, UK, Italy, France, Spain and Germany.
In the press release, Jenne Meerman, Director of the Supporting Act Foundation, concludes: “The career paths of up-and-coming artists are rarely straightforward and often precarious. Achieving recognition and long-term systemic change is even harder for artists from underrepresented backgrounds and ethnicities who continue to face inherent inequalities that make it almost impossible to pursue a career in the arts [...] Our mission is to enable and inspire emerging artists by giving them meaningful resources they need to launch their careers in the face of these systemic challenges.”
The deadline for bursary applicants is 19 September 2022. The deadline for applicants to both the Impact and Community Grants is 26 September. Find out more about the application guidelines here.
WeTransfer: The Supporting Act Foundation (Copyright © The Supporting Act Foundation, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.