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iStock Announces Inaugural Inclusion Grant Awarding $20,000 to Emerging Commercial Photographers, Videographers and Illustrators Globally

November 8, 2021 • Company News

Four organizations which work directly with underrepresented communities in the U.S., UK, LATAM and Australia are partnering with iStock to support those creators who need it most

New York – November 8, 2021: iStock, a leader in affordable visual communications for the creative, entrepreneurial, student and SMB communities, today announces the launch of its inaugural Inclusion Grant, designed to promote the work of emerging creative commercial artists who are seeking to draw attention to and depict underrepresented communities through their work. The grant is open to commercial photographers, videographers and illustrators based in the U.S., UK, LATAM and Australia.

“iStock is committed to supporting diverse creators globally, launching this grant to give them the support, exposure and financial backing necessary to help elevate their careers, while also encouraging the creation of much-needed imagery, video and illustration, as well,” said Claudia Marks, Senior Art Director, iStock. “Together with our prestigious partners, we are calling out to creators from underrepresented communities to seize this opportunity to receive meaningful support and share their content with the world.”

Four first-place prizes of US$5,000 will be awarded to the recipients of each of the grants, in partnership with U.S.-based organization Black Women Photographers, UK-based organization Creative Access, Fotografas Latam and Australia Council for the Arts. Each partner organization has established its own set of criteria for their respective grant, to further ensure that under-represented creatives working in their own communities are encouraged to apply.

“Given that photography is still a white, male-dominated industry and the fact there are very few grants out there designed to serve Black women in commercial photography, it’s safe to say that this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity,” said Polly Irungu, Founder, Black Women Photographers. “Which is why, in conjunction with iStock, we’re putting our money and hearts where our mouth is to level the playing field and support Black women photographers, as well as those in other underrepresented groups, by providing funding and resources.”

According to Patricia Adjei, Head of First Nations Arts & Culture Sector Development for Australia Council, this grant demonstrates a timely commitment on the part of iStock and Getty Images to work more closely with emerging First Nations artists and photographers in an ethical way. “First Nations people are the custodians of First Nations culture, and yet, we often see non-First Nations photographers recording First Nations’ people and stories. This new grant series aims to increase the visibility of First Nations artists and photographers in the broader photography field, while also allowing them to express themselves through their point of view and lens.”

“Commercial photography and videography cannot reflect society, if society is not reflected in commercial photographers and videographers,” said Josie Dobrin, CEO of Creative Access. “This is as much about business as it is about doing the right thing. We are excited to be able to offer this grant to someone from a community that is currently underrepresented in the sector as part of our wider mission to make the creative industries more representative, accessible and inclusive.”

“This grant will allow us to create visibility for Latina creators working in LATAM, giving them the opportunity to create and produce content which expresses themselves and their Latina identity in our world,” said Lorena Velasco and Fernanda Pitaño, Co-Founders, Fotografas Latam.

Each of the four grants will be judged independently by the following judges, in collaboration with the iStock Art team:

— U.S.: Polly Irungu, Founder of Black Women Photographers, and Barbara DuMetz, pioneer in commercial photography

— UK: Josie Dobrin, CEO & Co-Founder of Creative Access, and Vanessa Martins, Freelance photographer

— LATAM: Lorena Velasco and Fernanda Pitaño, Co-Founders, Fotografas Latam, and Cristina Otero, commercial and fine art photographer

— Australia: Franchesca Cubillo, Executive Director of First Nations Arts & Culture, and Patricia Adjei, Head of First Nations Arts & Culture Sector Development, both with Australia Council

Applicants can apply here from today and have until 11:59pm EST on Monday, December 6 to submit proposals. Applicants are required to submit an existing or new project along with a portfolio of their work and a short essay describing their intent and inspiration and must meet all eligibility requirements. In addition to the grants, all four recipients will be given the opportunity to license their winning work on the iStock website at a 100 percent royalty rate.

The iStock Inclusion Grant is part of Getty Images’ wider grants program which has awarded US$1.8 million to photographers and filmmakers worldwide since its inception. Please visit Getty Images Grants to learn more.

Image credit: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

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