John Ridley's No Studios announces $100K grant program for Wisconsin artists

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- John Ridley, the Academy Award winning filmmaker from Milwaukee announced Monday, Feb. 22, that his "No Studios" organization has created a grant program for Wisconsin artists. 

It will give up to $100,000 a year to support those artists, especially artists in historically underserved populations. 

Monday's announcement points out that the creative industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The first round of the application for the grant is in March. 

According to a news release, the Artist Grant Program was established to support Wisconsin-based creatives working in a range of disciplines including, but not limited to, visual arts, photography, music, film, dance, fashion, poetry, creative writing and performance. The program will distribute up to $25,000 quarterly to qualifying artists with special consideration given to those identifying as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, female or female identifying, disabled and/or veterans. Individual recipients are eligible to receive grants up to $10,000 each.

“I remember how challenging it was to find resources to complete the creative projects I wanted to complete,” said John Ridley, Nō Studios founder. “It’s an honor to be able to help fund artists and provide the resources they need to help them realize their vision.”

Nō Studios is partnering with gener8tor, a Wisconsin based platform that provides resources and connections to people working in the creative economy to help run the program. gener8tor will be responsible for handling artist grant submissions, the juried selection process and providing programming support to selected artists through mentoring, professional development and networking opportunities.

“We are fortunate to partner with Nō Studios in advancing this remarkable effort," said Joe Kirgues, gener8tor co-founder. “By providing a structure of professional development and mentorship, we can support creative professionals and help them execute their creative projects.”

The first application submission round will begin in early March, with grants awarded in June. Individual artists living and working in Wisconsin are encouraged to apply at gener8tor will also offer a series of webinars and virtual office hours to help artists with the grant application process. A jury of creative professionals from outside of Wisconsin will review all applications and award the grants.

“Artists help us reflect on our common human experiences be they hopeful, confusing, inspiring or painful,” added Ridley. “At this time in particular, we need individuals who can help us make sense of the times we live in and help us understand life and each other a little bit better.”

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