The CreateWell Fund invests in the belief that art is a critical human need through its awardmaking initiative to individual BIPoC artists from racially, socially, and economically oppressed communities. We envision a society that values the benefits and power of art so that all people have access to arts education, participation, and production.
about usFounded in 2016, the CreateWell Fund was the first advocacy and gift-making initiative in the Greater Boston area to support BIPoC artists in their authentic art-making and in the care of their well-being. Living in a capital-driven society, we are immersed in social and cultural norms that place value on industriousness above our basic existence and wellness; these systems enforce and corroborate beliefs that prioritize the value of profitability over creative and artistic potential, authenticity, risk and diversity of expression.
In its inaugural award program, in 2016, the CreateWell Fund awarded $20,000 in cash gifts to four BIPoC individual artists whose artwork spans a spectrum of medium and genre and whose health and wellness needs ranged from operation recovery to preventative care. Since then, the CreateWell Fund has awarded over $140K to 18 BIPoC artists in the Boston metro region.
award programThe CreateWell Fund Award Program is grounded in the desire to support people, creative processes, and authenticity. Our intention is not only geared towards the final product but also nurturing the growth, learning, and creativity of the people involved. We are invested in resourcing work that our awardees would produce if they did not have to consider commercial viability or funder restrictions.
Each year, CWF has engaged in a process of intentional peer review in partnership with artists and creatives in the Boston Metro area. In 2019, the award program was expanded from a one year program to two years as a means to deepen engagement, commit more time to building relationships, reduce barriers to access for working artists/artists that work, and allow more time to create a sustained wellness practice.
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coL-labThe col-LAB is an extension of the award program which offers micro-awards to a cohort of alumni. col-LAB works to create programming built around seminars and workshops that facilitate a non-hierarchical learning space. It is a space for consideration, relationship building, and reflection. The design of col-LAB is informed by and changes with the goals and interests of its members. Additionally, the group is involved in the continual evolution of the CWF’s programs.
mutual aidWe understand that there are varied articulations of safety, economic, social, and health crises that occur year-round. In March 2020, CreateWell established a Safety & Crises Mutual Aid Fund for awardees and alumni who are facing personal crises. This fund was in development before COVID-19, but we prioritized initiating the fund due to the state of emergency the pandemic caused.
The Safety and Crisis Mutual Aid Fund is not a long-term or sustainable solution to the myriad of crises our community regularly faces within our racially, socially, and economically inequitable society, but a vehicle through which we enact our values of care.
co-tending designersThe Createwell Fund is run by BIPOC artists for BIPOC artists, united by a desire to organize around community, access, and wellness. We are a collaborative of individual creatives, engaging in horizontal leadership, with vested interest in changing societal views on the value and purpose of the arts and artists, as well as imagining more equitable and accessible art funding practices.
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