You care about Black people, Black culture, and Black artists. That’s why you attended our many programs this year in person and online, why you gave to the Seattle Artists Relief Fund spearheaded by Ijeoma Oluo and facilitated by LANGSTON, and that’s why you’re getting this call to action today.
As a Black-led organization with a vision to cultivate Black brilliance, LANGSTON was built to hold vital space for Black art, culture, and people. For the past four years, we have done so: we’ve nurtured, celebrated, and amplified exceptional work by Black artists, catalyzed a dynamic community hub for Black artists and audiences, and re-energized the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI), a long-treasured community space in the heart of Seattle’s historically Black Central District. We are well situated to steward this work as it is inherently ours; it is the work of strengthening our own communities, of meeting our own needs, of celebrating our own intrinsic worth.
As the COVID-19 pandemic threatened the physical, mental, and economic health of our community, LANGSTON found new ways to serve our creative community. We continued to create paid opportunities for Black artists to connect to broad audiences online via programs like our innovative Seattle Hip-Hop history series, 2(06) the Break, our biggest Seattle Black Film Festival in recent years, and a powerful collaboration with the Kennedy Center.
We also ran the Black-artist-created Seattle Artists Relief Fund, Washington state’s single biggest emergency funding source for individual artists this year. To date, the SARF has been able to raise and distribute $1,034,226.20 from over 4,000 donors to over 2,000 individual artists of all backgrounds and disciplines. While these amounts are just a drop in the bucket compared to the ocean of need this crisis has created, for most of our funded artists these dollars were a true lifeline.
LANGSTON has gained valuable experience and expertise during this most challenging year and we are putting that learning to use in service to our community. Our goal is to bolster the conditions our artists need to remain in Seattle and keep creating.
Taking the Seattle Artist Relief Fund to the next level, we are creating a new permanent program to offer Black artists individual support, something that we can all agree is long overdue and worthy of investment. We are also building our institution to better serve the Black artist community, the many local organizations that produce and support Black arts, and our audiences. Financial stability, institutional support, and a hub with all the technology and performing arts infrastructure needed for 21st-century artists are all things we’ve heard our artists and audiences need.
We’re answering their call and asking you to help us raise $200,000 by December 31. We will dedicate 50% of everything we raise in December to support individual artists in 2021 and the other 50% to continue advancing our institutional growth.
LANGSTON has been here for the community. We ask you to stand with us now and help ensure we can keep cultivating Black brilliance in 2021 and beyond.
Thank you for your gift.
Your support of LANGSTON ensures our mission to strengthen and advance the community through Black arts and culture will endure and thrive. You are a part of that community, and you are appreciated!
LANGSTON is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, tax ID 81-2515412, and all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
For more information about donating to LANGSTON contact Tim Lennon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for helping us Cultivate Black Brilliance!