The Black Genius Foundation is committed to helping color artists with grants, resources to create works

The goal for 20 years is to award 476 awards, distribute $ 12.9 million to 436 artists, 240 art projects and 20 art organizations, and receive 51% of funding from black philanthropists.

Jason Fraley of WTOP Highlights Black Genius Foundation (Part 1)

It’s hard to find anyone more of a black art fan in DC than Simone Ecclestone.

Her day job is director of hip-hop culture and contemporary music at the Kennedy Center.

“We collaborated with the Lyricist Lounge [for] triple account involving Rakim, KRS-One and Slick Rick, ”Ecclestone told WTOP. “We have a future presentation with MC Lyte that honors women in hip-hop called‘ I Am Woman ’. We worked with Robert Glasper, representing his two-week residency … [and] we have a two-year residency with The Roots ”.

Now Ecclestone is launching a new exciting venture called Black Genius Foundation.

“The Black Genius Foundation seeks to transform the conversation about genius by putting black artists and the creative ecosystem of blacks at the center,” Ecclestone said. “It came as a result of my twenty-year career celebrating and investing in the creative genius of the African diaspora … in organizations like Harlem Stage [and] Kennedy Center.

The goal for 20 years is to award 476 awards, distribute $ 12.9 million to 436 artists, 240 art projects and 20 art organizations, and receive 51% of funding from black philanthropists.

Including eight Black Genius Prizes this year’s inaugurations range from $ 75,000 to $ 100,000 for artists and $ 25,000 for journalists, scholars and art professionals.

“The Black Genius Award provides unlimited funding to artists, art professionals, art organizations, journalists and scholars,” Ecclestone said. “It’s about providing unlimited support, which I hope will continue to sow their creativity, give them the opportunity to sometimes relax or make other choices.”

Well-known artists can also apply for participation Ingenious touches program.

“Strokes of Genius is an open-source program that provides artists with support to develop new works,” Ecclestone said. “Our goal is to provide artists with resources. … It can be studio time, purchasing materials, for journalists and scholars it can be the availability of resources for research, time to complete the writing process ”.

Growing artists will benefit from Being a genius program.

“It’s for new professionals … artists who are emerging in their careers … who are showing promise,” Ecclestone said. “It’s all cyclical, so we can build our cohort and our community of artists… and then help them to support and educate the next generation. Part – mentoring, part – opportunities for professional development.

After all, it’s all about igniting and preserving Black’s creative genius.

“This canon of work, criticism, science has served as a document of our experience and has become a symbol of genius,” said Ecclestone. “It ensures that people know that we have been here and that our contribution has been significant and profound. This work with this wonderful community of individuals … is based on this tradition. “

Jason Fraley of WTOP Highlights Black Genius Foundation (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

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