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Saskatchewan Arts Board launches new funding program for BPOC community members

The Saskatchewan Arts lauches a new funding program that targets artists in the province who identify as Black and People of Colour.
The Saskatchewan Arts lauches a new funding program that targets artists in the province who identify as Black and People of Colour. Dave Parsons / Global Regina

Members of the Black and People of Colour (BPOC) communities in Saskatchewan will now have access to a new arts funding program.

The Saskatchewan Arts Board (SK Arts) announced the Building Arts Equity: BPOC Program which was designed to provide funding to artists of up to $5,000 for individual applicants.

In a release, the SK Arts policy and planning adviser said their organization, along with SaskCulture and the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS), are committed to making changes happen for artists.

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“Our mandates and strategic priorities of inclusion, diversity, accessibility, and equity were the impetus towards building a new dedicated program that centres Saskatchewan BPOC artists,” stated Carol Greyeyes.

“Because the more we encourage and support all the artists in all our programs, the richer we will all be.”

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Self-proclaimed rap artist Ali Kharsa said having grants available for BPOC artists in Saskatchewan is essential as he recalls his own personal experience when he first came to the country.

“A couple of years ago, I applied for a grant, and I had some language barriers and I got rejected,” said Kharsa. “I was so disappointed because I felt like my art could bring a lot of life to the community and to Saskatchewan in general.

“This program is really important because it focuses a lot on minority artists from minority communities. And this gives us a chance and an opportunity.”

BPOC artists have two deadlines a year by which to apply, Feb. 1st and July 1st. The funding comes directly from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture and the MCoS.

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