The Louisiana Cultural Equity Arts Grant

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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation announces the creation of the Louisiana Cultural Equity Arts Grant. This grant is open to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) creatives and BIPOC-led nonprofit organizations in Louisiana.  Applications will open on June 22 and will close on August 17th at 11:00 p.m.. The creation of this grant category is part of a larger effort by the Foundation to address structural racism within and beyond its walls and to elevate, amplify, and support the art of BIPOC creatives and communities. The Foundation uses the term “BIPOC” in accordance with the BIPOC Project’s assertion that “the term BIPOC [is used] to highlight the unique relationship to whiteness that Indigenous and Black (African Americans) people have, which shapes the experiences of and relationship to white supremacy for all people of color within a U.S. context.”

The Foundation believes that diversity in art and cultural expressions is crucial; that the creative expressions of BIPOC communities and people are fundamental to the arts and culture of Louisiana. Further, the Foundation recognizes that BIPOC artists and non-profits historically have been excluded from funding opportunities due to both explicit discrimination and implicit biases. The Foundation also acknowledges the legacy in Louisiana of slavery, cultural erasure and the forced removal of Indigenous people from their land. We acknowledge that Bulbancha is the name of the place we call "New Orleans."

To begin to address these inequities, the Foundation announces the creation of the Louisiana Cultural Equity Arts Grant, a new category within the Community Partnership Grant program. In this grant category, the Foundation seeks to support projects from BIPOC artists and organizations that document, interpret, or present the unique BIPOC culture and heritage of Louisiana. Examples would include: art exhibits or installations; visual art, photography or film projects; literature (fiction or nonfiction); digital, electronic or other media projects; documentaries; performing arts; or recordings. 

The intention behind this grant is to support BIPOC creatives and to strengthen the capacity for arts presenting, producing, programming and instruction at organizations in Louisiana led by BIPOC people.  This new grant category is just one way the Foundation is working to increase support for BIPOC artists and the sustainability of BIPOC-led arts organizations.

The Foundation commits to developing an anti-racist work practice that centers the creativity and leadership of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We seek to both correct inequities within our organization and use arts as a strategy to steer Louisiana as a whole toward racial equity and social justice. We will continue to break barriers and build arts-integrated tools that challenge the status quo and push us toward the inclusive society we envision. We support the work being undertaken to dismantle the array of social and economic injustices. We work against racism and implicit biases by standing for racial equity in arts funding. 

The Foundation is committed to our role in dismantling inequities in arts funding and increasing philanthropic support in the arts for marginalized communities, particularly, Black, Indigenous and People of Color artists and BIPOC led non-profit organizations.

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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.