By: Mark Westall, FAD Magazine
Date: Friday, November 5, 2021
Instagram’s @design, the official account dedicated to celebrating the craft and creativity of the design community has announced the 5 recipients of the inaugural #BlackDesignVisionaries grant program. Presented in partnership with the Brooklyn Museum, #BlackDesignVisionaries aims to uplift, centre and invest in rising Black designers and Black-led design businesses who offer experimental expressions of Black culture and have a powerful vision for the future.
@design has also created an additional $75,000 Impact Grant, in recognition of the exceptional talent of the shortlisted designers and businesses. In total, $205,000 has been awarded to the following #BlackDesignVisionaries recipients:
Fashion design house Head of State has been awarded the $100,000 Visionary Small Business Grant.
Graphic design studio Morcos Key has been awarded the $75,000 Impact Grant.
Spatial designer Dominique Petit-Frère, type designer Tré Seals and designer and art director Sabla Stays have each been awarded a $10,000 Aspiring Designer Grant.
In addition to the grant money, each recipient will be connected with a team of mentors, selected by the grant committee and the program’s esteemed partners, Chicago Mobile Makers, Inneract Project and The Hidden Genius Project. The grant recipients were chosen from more than 500 applications by a prestigious committee led by writer and curator Antwaun Sargent and including Ruth E. Carter, Justina Blakeney, Toni L. Griffin, Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Rick Lowe, Bobby C. Martin Jr, Heron Preston, Ian Spalter and Asad Syrkett.
Antwaun Sargent, grant committee lead:
“I’m overwhelmed by the quality of submissions and the ways in which these designers are thinking about the world. A grant like this could mean limitless possibilities, providing an opportunity to those who do not have access to traditional pathways into spaces such as art and design. We all live in this world, we all have to navigate this world. When we have those different perspectives, we all benefit.”