Elevate Launches the First-of-its-Kind NFT Residency Program for Canada's Underrepresented Creators
TORONTO, June 23, 2022 /CNW/ - Elevate, Canada's non-profit organization at the intersection of technology, arts, and social innovation, is announcing the inaugural cohort of creators selected to join the first-of-its-kind NFT (Non-Fungible Token) Residency Program, presented by TD Bank Group. With a suite of offerings, this program is designed to support underrepresented creators in funding, minting, and showcasing NFT art projects.
The NFT Residency Program will invest in 8 artists through access to mentorship, capital, and community, empowering them to step into the fast-paced NFT space and thrive. Through support of women, Black, Indigenous, Persons of Colour, and LGTBQ+ creators, this residency program will spotlight NFTs and the incredible work of these creatives on a global stage.
"With the launch of the NFT Residency program, we're immersing creators into the world of NFTs, funding their projects, and showcasing their stories. Given the barriers for artists in the mainstream art world, our goal with this residency program is to ensure that creatives from underrepresented communities are not left behind," says Sen Sachi, VP Innovation at Elevate.
The inaugural cohort brings together a rich tapestry of creators, from multi-dimensional designers and illustrators to photographers and filmmakers. The first cohort features: Zoe Osborne, designer; Gajan Balan, photographer and filmmaker; Jyothee Murali, visual artist and painter; Shan Vincent De Paul, world creator; Lydia Pourmand, motion graphics, 3D design and illustration designer; Will Selviz, multi-dimensional designer and design technologist; Reena Mistry, co-creator of Humble Raja, visual artist and illustrator; and Whitney Horne, Indigenous owner and operator of WOOSHDU HEEN STUDIO in Teslin, Yukon.
The 4-month pilot will run from June to September and conclude with an opportunity for these creators to display their work this fall at Elevate's physical NFT Art Gallery, presented by Interac, which will feature NFT pieces sourced from Canadian and global artists.
"The NFT space opens up a new, accessible asset class for collectors and, for the first time ever, a viable financial model for artists. It is no accident that this space has the largest concentration of full-time artists in the world," says Anand Venkateswaran, mentor for the residency program, who is the Co-Founder and CEO of eDAO, a barge for Web2 brands, IP, and fans to launch at scale on Web3.
Barriers to diversity and inclusion continue to plague the traditional art world. Artists from underrepresented communities face barriers to entry as 92% of arts professionals in Canada are Caucasian, less than 4% are Indigenous, and visible minorities represent a little more than 4%, according to a survey by Canadian Art magazine. The numbers aren't much better across the border, as 85% of artists whose work is housed in 18 major U.S. museums are white and 87% are male, according to a recent survey published in Fast Company. However, there's light at the end of the tunnel, as NFT art presents an innovative way for underrepresented creators to break into the largely homogenous art world and gain exposure, says Forbes.
"By sponsoring the creation of accessible ecosystem programs that directly support and shine a spotlight on the journeys of underrepresented creators, TD is proud to help drive purpose-driven innovation and inclusion in Canada's evolving arts and technology landscape. With the launch of Elevate's NFT Residency Program, artists can gain the resources, relationships, and experience to dive into the digital art world and the opportunities it has to offer," explains Franklin Garrigues, Vice President of External Ecosystems at TD Bank Group.
To learn more about this fully-funded program and meet the creators, visit https://elevate.ca/nft-residency/.
What is an NFT? An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is an asset that exists in the digital world. Each NFT that is created is a unique and original asset. Once an NFT is created, it is owned exclusively by the creator or collector. Proof of ownership can be traced at all times through underlying technology. NFTs come in a range of digital media, including artwork, memes, and video clips, to name a few. Need a cheat sheet? If you've still got questions, you'll find a cheat sheet for NFTs on the Elevate blog.
NFT assets for use: NFT Art by Shan Vincent de Paul
Elevate is a Canadian non-profit that builds and unites world-class innovators through tech training courses, entrepreneurship programs, and industry-leading events at the intersection of technology, arts, and social innovation. Elevate has hosted global icons such as Michelle Obama, Martha Stewart, Eric Schmidt, and Al Gore on the Elevate Main Stage, each of whom has inspired millions of people. Through strategic partnerships, an affiliation with the UN, and a roster of powerhouse speakers, Elevate inspires and invites its community to co-create a more equitable and sustainable future. Learn more at Elevate.ca.
About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the fifth largest bank in North America by assets and serves more than 26 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in The Charles Schwab Internal Corporation; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 15 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.8 trillion in assets on April 30, 2022. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.