A new initiative aims to restore equality in the art world – starting with Art Basel.
The Fashion for All Foundation, dubbed “Bridge to Basel”, a non-profit organization focused on racial equality in fashion, formed the BIPOC Creative Cohort to bring talent to the top of creative industries such as art, fashion and more.
The FFA has selected 15 finalists from the USA aged 18 to 36 who are actively developing their creative careers after a practice run in Miami, where the artists experienced Art Basel, which took place from November 30 to December 5.
After a week at Art Basel, the Bridge to Basel finalists submitted a capstone design to illustrate how they will use their Art Basel experience and new connections to guide their careers.
To date, brand partners and endorsers include the IMPACT Council of Fashion Designers of America, PVH Corporation, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Fashion Scholarship Fund, Scope Art Show, and Prizm Art Fair. According to FFA, more partners will be announced soon.
The judging panel includes Tommy Hilfiger, industry veteran and CFDA President CaSandra Diggs, and Fashion Scholarship Fund Executive Director Peter Arnold.
The 15 finalists included: Jonathan Martinez, Aashka Mehta, Vladjimir Fervil, Diana Almanza, Leo Lillard, Jakarie Akhil Whitaker, Chris Pleasant, Joyce Gayo, Anthony Bartley, Weijing Xiao, Alex Yarally, Yifan Xu, Jordan Bigelow, Cedric Thurman and Mohammed tall. .
All finalists will participate in a year-long creative cohort (January to December 2023), during which they will have access to a network of professionals in the skills-building industry, among other things.
Following a review of the capstone designs, the grand prize winner will be selected to receive a $15,000 grant to fund ongoing work, as well as two years of industry mentorship.
FFA co-founder and CEO Hannah Stoudemire said this project resonated on her spiritual level.
“I felt I was called to do exactly that job – helping minority creative talent find their place in creative spaces outside of fashion that are predominantly white – such as art,” she explained. “I know creating a black-led contest that funds BIPOC talent sounds ambitious, but that’s who I am. I’m not into small goals and short shots, I’m always going to shoot from distance and aim for a goal that seems impossible. We have one life and I choose to spend it helping others change theirs.”