The BIPOC Arts Network & Fund (BANF), which is a new organization dedicated to supporting BIPOC-founded and -led collectives and nonprofits, has awarded a total of $2 million in grants to 120 arts organizations and groups in the Greater Houston Area.
Applications were reviewed by a 24-person Community Review Panel, which included five members of the BANF Steering Committee, seven members of the BANF Accountability and Advisory Council, and 12 community-nominated reviewers. The visual arts community included Adán Medrano, Eureka Gilkey, Janice Bond, Julie DeVries, Mari Carmen Ramírez, Roberto Tejada, Karen Navarro, Leamon Green, and Monica Villarreal, among others.
According to the BANF website, about half of the grantees are nonprofit organizations, while the other half are artist collectives located in communities of color. Slightly more than half of the grantees’ missions are culturally specific, with the following breakdown: 29% Black, Afro-Caribbean, or African-American tradition; 15% Latinx; 10% Asian American or Pacific Islander. The remaining grantees do not have culturally specific missions.
Among the organizations receiving the highest level of funds ($50,000 each) are the Emancipation Park Conservancy, the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation, the Houston Museum of African American Culture, MECA, The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, and The Ensemble Theatre. Click here to see a full list of the 2021 BANF grantees.
This round of grants is just the first step in a multi-year plan in which the fund intends to support Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and other communities of color of Greater Houston through grantmaking and network-building. BANF is funded by the Houston Endowment, the Ford Foundation, The Brown Foundation, Inc., The Cullen Foundation, the Kinder Foundation, and the Powell Foundation.