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Deaf Spot Light: BIPOC Deaf Arts Grant – Apply Today!

BIPOC Deaf Arts Grant – Apply Today!


The Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Deaf Arts Grant is a new program that provides financial support for emerging and established artists to further advance their careers.

Deaf Spotlight’s mission is to inspire and showcase Deaf Culture and American Sign Language through the arts. The Deaf Arts Grant will make a crucial difference for BIPOC Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled and Hard of Hearing artists to thrive in the challenging arts field.

The number of grants given out each year is dependent on funding available. In 2021, Deaf Spotlight will award (4) recipients $1,000.00 each. At least one recipient will reside in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, or Idaho) and at least one recipient will be a National selection outside of the Pacific Northwest region.

Applicants must review the guidelines, then fill out the BIPOC Deaf Arts Grant application form by April 9, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST.

Here is a preview of the application (Word Document).


*Note: Interested applicants can contact [email protected] with any accommodations the organization can provide to support artists in their pursuit of the grant.

Application Open: Monday, January 4, 2021
Deadline: Friday, April 9, 2021 by 11:59 PM PST
Amount Awarded: $1,000
Number of Awards: 4
Eligible Disciplines: Literary, Media, Performing, Tactile & Visual


In 2021, applications will be accepted by artists working in these art forms or disciplines:

  • Literary: Comics and Graphic Novels, Experimental/Hybrid works, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Zines.

  • Media: Animation, Augmented Reality, Film, Immersive Audio & Video Works, Podcasts, Screenplays, Sound Art, Teleplays, Video Art, Virtual Reality, Web-based Art.

  • Performing: Costume Design, Dance, Music Composition, Musical Theater, Performance Art, Playwriting, Puppetry, Set Design, Sound Design, Spoken Word, Storytelling, Theater, Traditional/Folk Performance.

  • Tactile: Craft, Furniture Art, Installation, Interactive Installation & Sculpture, Immersion, Mixed Media, Multi-Sensory, 3-D, Printmaking, Public Art, Textile Arts

  • Visual: Bio Art, Craft, Digital Arts, Drawing, Ecological Art, Environmental Design, Furniture Art, Illustration, Installation, Interactive Installation & Sculpture, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Public Art, Sculpture, Textile Arts, Traditional/Folk Art.

Any work with audio elements must be made accessible (transcripts, captions, audio descriptions, visual descriptions, etc.).

To apply, you must:

  1. Identify as a member of an underrepresented racial group, such as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC).

  2. Identify as Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, or Hard of Hearing.

  3. Identify as an Emerging Artist or an Established Artist (as defined by this article):

    1. Emerging Artist: Someone who is early in their artistic career, with interest from the arts community or art galleries, but hasn’t yet established a solid reputation as an artist amongst art critics, art buyers, and art galleries.

    2. Established Artist: An artist who is at a mature stage in his or her career and who has created an extensive body of independent work. An established artist has reached an advanced level of achievement by sustaining a nationally recognized or internationally recognized contribution to their discipline.

  4. Live in the United States or U.S. Territories. US citizenship is not required.

  5. Be at least 18 years of age by the time grant funds are dispersed (April 23, 2021)

You CANNOT apply if you are:

  • Involved with Deaf Spotlight as: a board member, grant judging/planning committee member, or staff member (either contractor or employee) for the current application year.

If you are a prior volunteer or committee member for Deaf Spotlight, please disclose your relationship with Deaf Spotlight in your application under potential conflicts of interest.

If you receive a grant award, you must:

  • Provide 1 of two options: 1) Write a short summary describing how the grant award supported your artistic pursuits so far. 2) Record a short video (1-5 minutes) in sign language describing how the grant award supported your artistic pursuits.

    • What project did it help you make progress on or complete?

    • What were the funds used to purchase?

    • What did receiving the funds mean to you?

  • Email the 1-page summary or link to a video recording to: [email protected].

  • Grant permission for Deaf Spotlight to promote the awarded artist and their featured work via Deaf Spotlight channels and potential media outlets.

The application must: 

  • Describe how you plan to use the grant funds.

    • In a paragraph, explain how you would use a grant award. This could be for a specific project, or supporting your ongoing work. Below are some example questions to help guide your response:

      • How would an award help you create more art?

      • Are there specific supplies you plan to purchase? How would you use them?

      • Would the funds help in any new artistic collaborations? Describe the collaboration.

      • If you are using the funds for a specific project, do you have an estimated project timeline?

  • In 1-2 sentences, describe your career goals as an artist.

  • Include a sample of your artwork (a minimum of 3 materials, if applicable). A link to a website showing your work or portfolio is acceptable.

  • The application elements above must be submitted via the application form by April 9, 2021 before 11:59 pm (Pacific Time). Questions can be sent to [email protected].

Grant awards may be used for:

  • Direct project expenses (such as research or residency)

  • Wages, salaries, and fees

  • Supplies and materials (purchases that will assist for the completion or production of your work)

  • Equipment or space rentals (for presentation or creation of your work)

  • Insurance, licenses, permits

  • Publicity and marketing

  • Transportation (such as travel to workshops, seminars, and/or anything that will assist with art creation)

  • Documentation by photographer or videographer

  • Training (such as workshops, master classes, and/or coaching)

  • Accessibility (such as interpreters, captions, etc.)

Grant awards may NOT be used for: 

  • Purchase of equipment unrelated to art needs (such as software or food)

  • College or university tuition

  • Government-run programs and degree-granting institutions, religious services, fundraising efforts, or gifts

  • Political campaigns


  • Application opens: Monday, January 4, 2021

  • Application deadline: Friday, April 9, 2021 by 11:59 PM PST

  • Panel review: Friday, April 9 – Wednesday, April 20, 2021 

  • Award Announcement: Friday, April 23rd, 2021

Website: https://www.deafspotlight.org/grants/bipoc?fbclid=IwAR3LPwn7AkU4kovyOSyPzQBQhI3P4nnW_fPdtAfUbsigtXmBLEO6VZM9WN8



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