Antwuan Sargent, renowned writer, curator, gallerist, and most recently, the #BlackVisionaries Creative Chair, has been in the process of giving back to the Black creatives who are innovating in the spaces that they are in. The program, in partnership with Instagram and the Brooklyn Museum, was established to “uplift, center, and invest in Black voices and organizations working across art and design.” Adding action to words by investing back in Black businesses is an integral part of their growth and success, and this year #BlackVisionaries has decided to award $650,000 in grants to 10 winners for the Visionary Small Business Grant and Emerging Visionary Grant.
Sargent shares his ethos behind #BlackVisionaries, “Community builds community, and that’s the intentionality behind what we’re trying to establish here. It is the financial support, mentorship, connections, and the emphasis on storytelling that, combined, are meant to provide a framework for the boundless development of these recipients.” Black communities have always been the solid foundation for any individual to see their full potential, “it takes a village” rings true for these 10 recipients. “What stood out about these particular winners was their awareness and participation in today’s cultural moment. Their work is captivating and engaging with Black creativity in refreshing new ways,” says the Creative Chair.
Sargent, among other committee members Ian Spalter, Ruth E. Carter, Asad Syrkett, Christopher John Rogers, Alexandria Smith, Taofeek Abijako, and Maya Bird-Murphy, selected these 10 recipients as they have been building up their communities with not just good intentions but, again, actions to back their ethos. Sargent expresses something beautiful about these 10 recipients on their ideas manifesting into fruition and their tenacity in the face of so many obstacles as Black visionaries. He says, “There is this quote I really like that goes “the past is painful, the present is precarious, but the future is free.” For me, that is visionary thinking, and these recipients embody that to the core.”
The recipients are Black Fashion Fair, Dark Matter University, Pacific, Strada, and The Black School for the Visionary Small Business Grant and Albert Hicks, Anaïs Duplan, Christopher Joshua Benson, Cornelius Tulloch, and Jaline McPherson for Emerging Visionary Grant.
Take a look through each of their visions for the future of art and design and why they deserve to be recipients for yourself!