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Leslie Lee’s Black Eagles, directed by L. Peter Callender, part of the 2018–19 season at the African American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco. Photo: Joseph Giammarco.

Black Art Futures Fund Awards $21,000 in Grants

Black Art Futures Fund (BAFF), a Brooklyn-based collective of emerging philanthropists who strive to promote and preserve black arts and culture, has announced the recipients of its spring 2019 grants, totaling $21,000. Established by DéLana R.A. Dameron in December 2017, BAFF awarded $15,000 to five small and midsize nonprofit organizations in its inaugural grant cycle last year.

Selected from a pool of fifty-five applicants across the US, this year’s grant recipients include the African American Shakespeare Company, California; Bailey’s Cafe, New York; viBe Theater Experience, New York; Castle of our Skins, Massachusetts; the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, Iowa; and TILA Studios, Georgia. Each organization will receive a grant of $3,500 to support programmatic and general operating costs. “Our 2019 cohort illuminates the broad range of exciting, rigorous work that is taking place all over the country and I am so proud that BAFF is able to support their efforts,” said board member Jessica Lynne.

Dameron also noted that following its successful first round of grants, BAFF wanted to recognize black arts organizations that have been operating for more than ten years. “It was important for us to celebrate the small black arts organizations that have survived and thrived in a disinvested and underfunded field for more than a decade,” she said. “Our Legacy Award honors the culture bearers who, despite the conditions, wanted to present exceptional black art to their community and to their respective fields. We wanted to create a separate award for that type of perseverance.” The Shay Wafer Legacy Award went to the African American Shakespeare Company and viBe Theater Experience.

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