Queer and Trans BIPOC Artist-Scholar Graduate Student Collective

Project Size: Large, >$1,000
Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $29,950

Letter of Intent:

The Project's Impact on the Sustainability of the Campus:
The University of Washington defines sustainability as the “capacity to create and maintain healthy, equitable and diverse communities now and into the future.” To achieve this capacity, we need present collective understandings of how we commune with each other, other beings, and our environments to build this future. This proposal asks for funding to provide space, materials, and community for a collective of queer and trans Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) creative graduate students at UW for the sake of maintaining our own well-being and the well-being of our communities at this institution. Funding this project will allow us to demonstrate that one of the ways personal and communal sustainability in academia can be implemented is by building a community where our arts, which are tied to our self-expressions and how we move with the world and our communities, and our scholarship, which seeks to add to ongoing conversations about our knowledges, cultures, and beings, are not forced to be separated because of academic discipline standards— standard, we might add, that are rooted in hegemonic and colonial ways of producing and sharing knowledge. Furthermore, funding this project will allow us to impact this larger need to build healthier, more equitable and diverse communities in academia because we can offer support to undergraduate artist-scholar who early on in their academic career and don’t have adequate support and understanding for how to infuse their arts into their scholarship or the other way around.

The starting group for this collective are graduate students in the humanities, social sciences, and DX Arts and have already been in conversation with each other as we hold frequent meetings, shows, and viewings to witness and talk with each other about our artistic practices and how they respond to the scholarship we engage in. However, we are at a point where we realize that in order for our artistic crafts to be more intertwine with our scholarship, we need more support that we aren’t receiving from our disciplines— like the knowledge of both our crafts and scholarship, adequate materials and education to work on arts and studies, and time and space to dedicate to both. We are also at a point where we can see the power in our conversations through the works we create, and we want to expand these conversations to the wider public and community by offering showings, workshops, residencies, and supporting other artist-scholars’ projects.

Many of our disciplines are focused on teaching us to produce our research findings in academic style writings; however, this collective realizes such restrictions are detrimental to our learning processes, our creativity, and how we intend to contribute to our respective fields of study. This collective addresses a trend in academia of wanting more creative, interdisciplinary projects, and although we often have encouragement from our departments to explore more creativity and theory in our disciplinary works, we lack the education and learning communities necessary to adequately contribute to our fields of research with our creative mediums. Therefore, this collective seeks to fill this gap by offering a space for dialogue and group critique by other scholars in our fields, who also understand the artistic mediums that we work within, as well as, inviting instructors of creative medium to lead workshops to help us hone in our creative mediums as responses to academic conversations.

Another goal of this collective is to build community with other artistic Queer and trans BIPOC graduate students for us to build safer spaces for us to discuss concerns that are salient to our identities. So much of our creative work stems from our cultural backgrounds; therefore, this collective seeks to build a community where we are not holding each other’s works against a colonial background for critique. Rather we are able to see our work as valid, understandable, and valuable contributions to our fields in their own right.

This collective seeks to build a sustainable community for those who’s identities, scholarly interests, and creative mediums are not adequately supported in our disciplines, yet our creative mediums and identities are intricately tied to the contribution we intend to make in our fields; thereby, calling attention to a need to build a space for us to imagine what a new wave in academia can look like when queer and trans BIPOC peoples are able to contribute with our imaginations.

What we will do and educational elements:
Peer to Peer Opportunities-- As a collective of graduate students and creatives, we will be providing peer-to-peer opportunities through: Graduate to undergraduate mentorship by assisting selected undergraduate students in supporting their creative endeavors and offering guidance on proposed projects and residencies for spaces to work through proposed projects.

Group Critical Feedback-- collective comes together on a bi-monthly basis to offer peer feedback on in-process creative projects.

Community Education Opportunities-- Following the trend of various disciplines encouraging creative liberties in academic work, we will encourage community educational opportunities through inviting working artists and creatives to facilitate workshops on the praxis of fusing academic and creativity in their respective fields.

Funding Opportunities-- Recognizing the barrier of resource accessibility to the materialization of creative projects, we will provide funding opportunities through: Accepting applications from undergraduate students for resource support for their proposed create projects and material/supply grants; Allocating funds to support members of collective to fund their own respective projects; Offering employment and compensation to contracted creative contributors to undergraduate and cohort projects.

Exclusive Collective Opportunities-- Recognizing the need of physical space to collaborate and produce meaningful work, we will offer studio space where members of the collective can collaborate or individually draft or produce intended creative projects.

Residencies-- Recognizing a need for cultivating a safe space to work through our artistic practice, we will offer a residency during the year as 2-daylong intensives for creatives to work on collaborative projects while also receiving peer feedback and support.

Group Showings-- One of the results of our collaborative process will be group showcases of the work in process and fully produced. Our work will be featured collectively in spaces such as the Henry Art Gallery, Wa Na Wari cultural center, or other art institutions/ galleries.

Our roles and how it speaks towards student leadership:
It is our intention to foster and facilitate a collaborative community lead environment, which will function through a student governed committee structure. Based on the scope of our proposal, we have identified the need for the following positions to be filled by members of the collective:

Residency Coordinator-- Responsible for managing project requests for creative sustainability funding submitted by students via proposal for support with supplies, space, and other resources needed.

Internal Outreach Coordinator-- Will act as liaison for undergraduate mentorship programs, by connecting with university creative arts schools across campus. Will organize and facilitate mentorship opportunities for undergraduate candidates.

External Outreach Coordinator-- Will coordinate with creatives, organizations, and facilities outside of the university to facilitate regular opportunities for learning workshops, collaborative creative opportunities, and public work presentation.

Administrative Coordinator-- Undergraduate artist-scholar who will support operations with administrative tasks as needed.

Treasurer-- Will oversee management of financial affairs.

Accountability:
In order to ensure that the project is organized and functions according to projections, we plan to implement the following structural elements within the program:

Budget Creations & Maintenance-- The development of a programmatic budget that will be regularly reviewed, and adhered to for project stability.

Development of Selection Criteria-- The development of a criteria for residency proposals acceptance, as well as internally and externally coordinated resources.

Monthly Organizational Meeting-- All members of the committee will meet monthly to review and discuss proposals, events and workshops, budget projections and day to day operational functioning.

Bi-Monthly Budget Forecasting-- We will review the budget twice a month to consider any re-forecasting needs.

Timeline and Budget:

Timeline:
Spring 2022: For initial planning; outreach; placing events on calendars
- 3 Monthly meetings to plan and discuss how we’d like to use each quarter. Plan of actions to be implemented after each meeting. Planning Spring quarter in detail while having malleable ideas for Summer, Fall, and Winter quarter.
-Plan for collective additions: solidify who will be a part of the collective. Ideally, at least 7 dedicated members.
-Plan for residency for the year: discuss who we’d like to lead the residency, who can host us, ideal dates, and budgets.
-Plan for regular peer-to peer activities: brainstorm how we can facilitate group critique, collaborations, and group showings
-Plan for workshops: compile lists of people for workshops; the types of creative and scholarly practices for the workshops, dates, and frequencies
-Plan for undergraduate support: develop applications for funding undergraduate projects and discuss funding max
-Studio Space: Start looking for affordable studio spaces and equipment needed for arts and space
-Start an official, shareable calendar of events
-Funding: brainstorm other grants and fellowships to apply for funding so that we can keep this project going

Summer 2022: The start of activities for collective
-Studio Space: move into one and place equipment
-Undergraduate Support: put out calls, vet applications, and send out acceptance. Start mentorship process, for every 2 members of the collective mentors, one undergraduate student to support
-Residency: host quarterly residency
-Workshops: host 2 summer workshops
-Group Feedback Critique: host 4 session of feedback group dialogue
-Studio Visit: host a studio visit where at least 2 member of the collective show their works-in-progress to public
-Group Show: work on application and proposal for end-of-year group show.
-Funding: develop applications for found grants and fellowships for funding

Fall 2022: Continue quarterly activities
-Undergraduate Support: work with mentee to help develop project
-Workshops: host 2 fall workshops
-Group Feedback Critique: host 4 sessions of feedback group dialogue
- Studio Visit: host a studio visit where at least 2 other members of the collective show their works-in-progress to public
- Group Show: send out application and proposal for end-of-year group show and beginning of quarter. Do site visits at the middle-end of the quarter. Confirm gallery by end of quarter
- Funding: apply for second round of funding from Sustainability grant and other grants/ fellowships

Winter 2023: Finish up year of the collective
- Undergraduate Support: work with mentee to finalize projects and put them out to the public
-Workshops: host 2 winter workshops
- Group Feedback Critique: host 4 sessions of feedback group dialogue
- Group Show: collaboratively work on finalizing our project, plan the layout of the show, prep the gallery space, hang works, put on show
- Funding: secure funding for next year around and re-visit budget and activities

Budget:
-Funding Undergraduate Students’ projects: $900 ( 3 projects at $300)
- Funding the collective projects and materials: $7,000 ($1,000 per collective member)
- Studio Space and equipments: $16,400 ( $1,000/month and $2,000 equipment)
- Compensation for workshop collaborators: $1,800 ($300 per workshop (6))
- Compensation for collective members: $3,150 ($450 per collective member)
- Residency: $700

Total: 29,950

Primary Contact First & Last Name: Brittney Frantece