BADG and Commission Develop Supportive Strategies

PASS IT ON: Two different initiatives are in place to help Black creatives advance their careers and to support members of the Asian American community.

The Black Artists + Designers Guild has launched the Creative Futures Grant, an educational initiative to provide monetary support and mentoring to four Black-identifying third- and fourth-year undergraduate students and graduate students who are studying the visual arts, interior design or architecture at a U.S.-based institution. Applications are being accepted through Aug. 16 and grant recipients will be identified this fall. Each will receive a $5,000 grant.

Architect Jack Travis, Fashion Institute of Technology instructor Michael Harrell and multidisciplinary artist Xenobia Bailey are among the jurors who will consider candidates.

BADG’s founder Malene Barnett said in a statement, “We invite our supporters to provide donations that allow us to offer these educational initiatives to Black creatives at all stages in their careers. Our Creative Futures Grant provides funding for thoughtful, unconventional, creative projects.”

The New York-based label Commission is launching a charitable book sale Tuesday. The company tapped the photographer Katsu Naito to shoot black-and-white images of Asian men in various stages of their lives. The images of Commission’s new men’s collection are meant to capture moments of stillness as New York City reopens post-lockdown. Stylist Jason Rider street cast the men.

Commission was started in 2018 by Huy Luong, Dylan Cao and Jin Kay who were inspired by their mothers’ style especially the ’90s wardrobes that they wore to work in Vietnam and South Korea. All of the profits from the sales of the books will be split equally between two charities: APEX for Youth and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

As Asian American immigrants, the founders “wanted to give back to causes that could make a difference for other immigrant youth and families,” a spokesman for the project said. The book is being published by Soft Copy and will retail for $40 on the company’s site, as will a special-edition version that comes with a print for $100.

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