Lifting As We Climb

Our “Artpreneur Program” has prepared dozens of BIPOC artist-entrepreneurs to influence effective change in  today’s marketplace.

Lifting as we climb

Lean how RFC is giving back even as we grow.

     Since its inception in 2020, Reel Families for Change has sought to do one thing: achieve workplace justice for working families in the screen industry. For us, that means — and has always meant — all families.

      Here at RFC, we know that we cannot achieve just for everyone without first acknowledging and addressing the needs of our most vulnerable (and often forgotten) populations.

      In 2022, we took action on toward this goal of addressing by the underrepresented, multi-marginalized demographics in our industry; with an express focus on those in the organization’s surrounding region. On June 16, 2022 we opened our doors to Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) artists in the Mid-Atlantic region seeking to professionalize their expertise into a lucrative business.       

    Historically, entrepreneurship has been a proven pathway to social mobility and financial freedom.  However, when it comes to BIPOC-owned businesses, the number can be bleak.  With more than 35% of BIPOC-owned businesses closing within the first 18 months. And with arts-based businesses, these numbers are all the more staggering, as many traditional avenues for capital, credit, and personnel resources are not available or applicable to creative entrepreneurs. 

       These issues are then exacerbated when the arts-based business owner IS also a BIPOC entrepreneur.  

         While many programs exist that aim to increase accessibility for arts-based business owners and BIPOC entrepreneurs, RFC set out to do something a bit different.  It has been our experience, when working toward equitability and opportunity access, that increasing access to traditional resources and support vehicles is actually just increasing the number of people being set up for failure or exposed to harm.  Implanting more people into a system that does not understand their processes, their client base, or their unconventional cash-flow cycles is not the answer.  

       Some would suggest that by increasing the number of people in the space who otherwise had not been there, we can also increase the number of people who can look at the problem and help fix it.  This is only true if they are also provided the resources and power to actually influence change. And that’s where our program differs. 

       RFC’s BIPOC Artpreneur Training Program is a FREE ten-week intensive accelerator for BIPOC creative entrepreneurs in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Beyond offering access to educational resources and capital, the program exists to bridge networking gaps which can be a major prohibitor of BIPOC professionals’ success.  Program attendees, or Fellows, are connected with mentors who can aid them in outlining decisions related to their businesses, support with negotiations, and even help them navigate their local political landscape to inform policymaking around creative economy and infrastructure that benefit them. 

      To date, alums have converted their businesses into lucrative, viable economic generators. They’ve increased sales/revenue, secured government awards, and are negotiating vendor contracts with major corporations. In the case of Delaware specifically, where RFC is chartered, several former Fellows are taking part in a policy development initiative to bring more equitable creative placemaking practices to the First State.

        Thank to help from partners and funders like the Delaware Community Foundation, the Delaware Division of the ArtsWomen in Film and Video-DC, and BTG Multimedia Group, the program is achieving its goal for regional impact.

        Want a sneak peak into the program? Listen in to our limited edition speaker series. Hear from the program’s founder, mentors, and instructors as they offer insights to success for this critical worker demographic in our industry.
Limited Series Access

       Interested in applying? Visit the Artpreneur Programs Page.

       Looking to give back as a mentor, client partner, or donor? Get in touch with us. Email partnerships@reelfamilies.org today and help us lift as we climb.  

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