Make Your Mark BIPOC Arts Scholarship

Funded by
Grind Arts Company
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner
Application Deadline
Apr 2, 2021
Winners Announced
May 5, 2021
Education Level

While this scholarship has already been awarded, we have lots of other available minority student scholarships.

The point of entry for artists in the spheres of film, theater, and dance is a narrow one. There are so many Black and Indigenous and People of Color with profound ideas and powerful voices that are left unheard due to inequality and a lack of access. But art, in whichever form it takes, does not provide an accurate narrative of our times until it includes more BIPOC creators.

In an effort to jumpstart the career of BIPOC creators, this grant will be awarded to an up-and-coming artist(s) of color to create a short piece that exists at the intersection of dance, theater, and film. We hope that the work you create from this grant will be something that you can have forever, and use as a tool to begin your journey as an artist.

To apply, candidates will submit a proposal for a project that they would like to create. Winners will be chosen based on their creative vision and expertise. We will accept proposals that are collaborations between multiple artists.

The grant recipient(s) may use the funding for physical production costs, space rentals, equipment rentals, permits, and to pay any professionals involved.

The grant recipient will also be able to work directly with the Artist Director and creative team at Grind Arts Company, who will guide you along the way as you bring your vision to fruition.

At Grind Arts, we are dedicated to innovating where and how theater and dance take place in an effort to keep the performing arts thriving and reaching new audiences. We create work in the film sphere, leaning heavily into theater and dance on film, as well as live performances within and beyond the proscenium, ranging from immersive theater to reimagined classics.   

We are hoping to work with applicants who similarly look to innovate, and discover new approaches to theater, dance, and/or film, and the intersectionality between mediums. If you have a strong vision for a project, we’d like to hear it.

Diversity and Inclusion
Selection Criteria:
Creative Vision
Essay Topic

Please describe the project you would like us to help you produce. Tell us about your passions as an artist, and what you hope to achieve with your piece in the minds and hearts of others. Please also submit links to any videos, images, and recordings of you and/or your team's work that help us understand you as an artist.

300–500 words

Winning Application

Kandace James
Kennesaw State UniversityPittsburgh, PA
Currently, I am working on a couple of projects, both screenplays that I plan on turning into films. My short script "Crane," which focuses on a grieving teen who recently lost his parents deciding to skip school after his uncle does the unthinkable, explores the themes of freedom and faith and the fragility of them. No matter what we base our freedom on and what we base our faith in, they are living things that drive us, and we cannot have one without the other. It centers on a young dark-skinned boy navigating grief and trauma. My feature-length screenplay entitled “Home,” follows an anxious girl who, after her mother kicks her out of the house, is forced to live in her car. The film features two teenage girls in an intimate exchange and explores the internal and external battle of coming to terms with one’s sexuality. The main character is in love with the free-spirited dog walker but she’s the one who got her kicked out in the first place. I see it as a Black Independent Film. Attempting to possess the voices of queer, Black women, I display one possible outlook on the queer experience. This story highlights what many people in the LGBTQIA+ community, especially in Black families, even more specifically in Black, religious families, are faced with. I know firsthand how it feels to be queer in a Black, religious household. I'm a screenwriter, poet, and painter who creates stories about the African American experience, gender, and sexual orientation: the intersectionality of their lived experiences, the exclusion of identity within these groups, and the silencing of their voices. As a Black and queer female writer, I write stories that affirm our existence. I want us to be seen as real and here, and to add representation of lost voices to my screenplays and create narratives that reflect and diversify the Black experience. With my desire to further my career as a feature screenwriter, I will reimagine and redefine how Blackness is currently depicted—particularly in connection with disabilities, mental illness, sexual violence and abuse, and gender expression.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 2, 2021. Winners will be announced on May 5, 2021.

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