A new initiative vows to restore equity in the art world — starting with Art Basel.
Called “Bridge to Basel,” Fashion for All Foundation, a nonprofit focused on racial equity in fashion, established the BIPOC-creative cohort to float talent to the top of creative industries like art, fashion and more.
After a week spent at Art Basel, the Bridge to Basel finalists submitted a capstone project to illustrate how they will use their Art Basel experience and newfound connections to navigate their careers.
So far, brand partners and supporters include Council of Fashion Designers of America’s IMPACT, PVH Corporation, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Fashion Scholarship Fund, Scope Art Show and Prizm Art Fair. More partners are soon to be announced, according to FFA.
The judging panel includes Tommy Hilfiger, industry veteran and CFDA president CaSandra Diggs and Fashion Scholarship Fund’s executive director Peter Arnold, among others, with more names coming.
The 15 finalists include: 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 of the finalists will participate in a yearlong creative cohort (running January to December 2023) where they will have access to a skill-building network of industry professionals, among other insights.
Upon review of the capstone projects, a grand prize winner will be selected to receive a $15,000 grant to fund their current work as well as a two-year mentorship within the industry.
FFA cofounder and chief executive officer Hannah Stoudemire said this project resonated on a spiritual level for her.
“I felt I was called to do this exact work — to help minority creative talents find their place in creative spaces beyond fashion that are predominately white — such as art,” she explained. “I know that forming a Black-led competition that funds BIPOC talent sounds ambitious, but that is who I am. I’m not after small goals and short shots, I’m always going to take the long shot and go after the goal that seems impossible. We have one lifetime and I choose to spend mine helping others transform theirs.”