Black Trans Femmes in the Arts (BTFA) Collective, 2020 Grantee

Black Art Futures Fund application is open for Cycle VI. 

This cycle honors organizations founded in or before 2011 through the Shay Wafer Legacy Awards.

Deadline: July 5, 2021

Black Art Futures Fund provides general operating support for U.S. small and community-based Black-led and Black-benefitting arts and culture organizations, whose annual budgets are $500k or below. Organizations can be independent 501c3 organizations or entities with a fiscal sponsor in place for more than one calendar year.

Beyond this core eligibility, the Cycle VI Shay Wafer Legacy Awards recognize Black arts organizations that have been in operation for more than ten years. We want to celebrate these groups, who have survived and thrived despite a disinvested and underfunded field, while honoring the contributions of Shay Wafer—a mentor for a generation of Black cultural workers and who models a generous definition of cultural caretaking.

Frequently Asked Questions

We define this as organizations and projects founded and led by Black leadership, whose annual budgets are $500K or less, and who primarily serve Black communities.
Currently, BAFF does not fund individuals.
Yes, we want to see evidence of at least a one-year relationship between your collective and the fiscal sponsor. Just specify those details in your application.

Only organizations based in the US and with programming offered within the country are eligible to apply at this time.

The projected minimum grant award will be $5,000, based on how much is in the BAFF fund at the end of the funding cycle.

Cycle VI honors legacy Black arts organizations, which we define as organizations founded in or before 2011. Your org must also meet BAFF’s core eligibility requirements (Black-led, US-based, with annual budgets below $500k). 

BAFF grants are intended for general operating expenses. 

We consider BAFF to be more than a grant. Over the course of a year, we invite grantees into a collaborative learning space through Olive’s Classroom to discuss capacity building, board development, and other fundraising “best practices” for small Black arts organizations.

Yes! In 2021, there will be a total of 4 BAFF funding cycles. Beyond our core eligibility (small, Black-led arts and culture nonprofits), each quarter deadline will have further specified eligibility guidelines:

(Current) Cycle VI: June 15, 2021—July 5, 2021

Shay Wafer Legacy Awards

This cycle is open to organizations founded on or before 2011. 

Cycle VII: September 15, 2021—October 1, 2021

This cycle is open to organizations who have never received a grant from a foundation (or from a re-granting organization funded by a foundation) for more than $10,000.

Cycle VIII: December 1, 2021—December 15, 2021 (funding to be received in 2022)

This cycle is open to all eligible small, Black-led arts & culture nonprofits.

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Sometimes an application is turned down because it does not meet one of the eligibility requirements. In most cases, however, it’s a matter of receiving more requests than our grant budget allows for. With the exception of 2020, we typically ask our readers to provide feedback on applications—we’re very happy to share this information with organizations interested in reapplying for future funding cycles.