Grant proposal: ARTXV

Description

ARTXV is the first NFT collective for neurodivergent (autism, ADHD, BPD etc) artists (and coincidently the first collective supporting the disabled community).

Our mission

  1. Work to enable neurodivergent artists to get their art recognised and celebrated
  2. Challenge the outdated, traditional art world which is exclusionary, inaccessible and elitist
  3. Accelerate the economic independence of marginalised artists globally
  4. Onboard as many people within the disabled community onto Web3

We provide educational, commercial and community related support and opportunities for these individuals so that they can enter the space safely within a supportive, approachable community.

How it all started

ARTXV started with two sisters, Ava (me) and my older autistic, non-verbal sister Tara, who is an abstract artist. I tried and tried with no success to get her art recognised by the traditional art world, but was met with dismissal instead when they’d find out that she was autistic. It was clear that they weren’t taking disabled and neurodivergent artists seriously and I soon found out that this was an all too common story amongst our collective of artists.

So where could we find a new, forward thinking and creative community to share all these artists’ work? That’s when I was introduced to NFTs.

But why?

For our artists: disabled people make up the largest minority in the world(!!!) yet they are so incredibly underrepresented. They are also often economically disadvantaged due to the working world not being accessible to them. However they WANT to work, WANT to contribute to the world and Web3 and have so much capability to do that - they just need the appropriate support and tools. We want to support them in doing this and earning money from their art.

I also truly believe that Web3 will be absolutely massive for the neurodivergent and disabled community. Imagine all those physical and mental inaccessibilities when it comes to accessing venues, being a part of communities and experiencing culture - and imagine having that all at your doorstep with Web3.

For the Web3 community and the wider world: I consider these works of art as hidden gems. Imagine art from someone with different brain function and a completely different perspective of the world. These are works of art that are absolutely incredible and unique and something that the world has been missing out on.

Onboarding these artists is also important for the Web3 community’s efforts in inclusion and diversity. Inclusion isn’t just onboarding women, there is a HUGE community out there of disabled and neurodivergent people who want to be a part of this. I have faith in Web3 that we won’t leave them behind like so many other worlds have.

Solution (and progress)

We want ARTXV and its members to be a loud, bold, proud presence in the space and worldwide. We are challenging these outdated notions that neurodivergent artists can only get by through charity and showing the world that they can have a firm spot in the NFT space as successful artists. We also want to give these artists a voice and platform to show the world what neurodiversity really is and who they are (a rare opportunity for them).

I want to continue onboarding members of the neurodivergent and disabled community and revolutionise the space until it has the same % of them as in the real world (15%), however long that will take.

We have become the first NFT community to partner with Google, with a project coming out in March with Google Arts & Culture for our artists to tell their story. This will coincide with our first drop which has been selected amongst few others to take place on Coinbase’s upcoming NFT platform.

Team

I’m Ava, a computer science student from London, UK. Alongside my studies I juggle being the founder of ARTXV and a sister and carer to Tara (so a grant to expand the team would be of much relief!). Justin Padinske acts as our advisor who is also an advisor at Alchemist Accelerator, and I have recently met Noah Levine, a brilliant autistic student at Stanford who works in marketing for FloydNFT, who I am planning on adding to the team.

Grant request ($)

Amount requested: $10,000

Primary funding needs:
Video editing and promotional material for our Google Arts & Culture project
Marketing and community managers (which I will strive to hire at least 50% neurodivergent people)
Legal and business costs
Accessibility consultancy

Thank you…

… for reading and supporting us in whatever capacity. It was always important to me that as my own career progresses, Tara’s is not left behind. I feel lucky to be surrounded by people like her every day and would love for anyone reading to join us and be a part of our community and movement. <3

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Grant was given soft approval at townhall for 5K and the other 5K held in escrow for 30 days while KPIs are tracked. On chain proposal to follow.

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Grant has been approved and processed, and funds transfer has been executed:

Congrats again @ava on winning the MetaPod challenge! My understanding is that there is $10k reward for that challenge (partially funded by MC), with an additional $5k coming as a direct grant from MC.
Others correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is this changes the previous plan to reassess for $5k more after KPIs have been gathered.
In either case, will stay in touch to gather feedback and some KPIs in time.

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Hey @wackerow and thank you! I’m not too sure tbh, that’s the first I’ve heard of it. Could someone else confirm?

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@Yalor @Jeremy :point_up_2: I may have misheard, could either of you confirm or correct this?

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I am still happy to revisit the second portion of the funding after some KPI’s come in, I don’t see why we would pull the second portion if that’s what is being suggested.

I think we need to see some traction and some tech, which I’m sure will be coming down the pipeline soon. For now hopefully there’s enough funding and momentum to get Buidlin :building_construction:

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Hi everyone! Hope you’re all doing well :grinning: I’ve been a little MIA and busy finishing off my degree (I ended up writing my thesis on DAOs including MetaCartel and MolochDAO which will be published soon so I’d love to share that with anyone who’s interested)

As for ARTXV, I wanted to give an update and see if we could revisit the remaining 5k which was dependent on our future growth. Here’s what we’ve been up to since:

  • I realised that whilst NFTs are cool, bringing digital and Web3 literacy and providing a community for the disabled community is what has been the most impactful. Educating a community and allowing them to feel empowered enough to do their own thing in this space and explore without their hands needing to be held is where true freedom is at. So we’ve reshifted ARTXV a bit to become a hub focused on empowerment and increasing representation in Web3 - whether that’s through NFTs, education, community or support - whatever actually helps the disabled community get more comfortable and confident in the space.

  • That doesn’t mean that NFTs won’t still be a part of ARTXV. Our 15 artists now act as our ambassadors and will still have their work on sale. We launched right bang in the middle of the bear market and definitely took an L lol but we did give a couple of thousand dollars worth to our artists who said it changed their lives and allowed them to survive during these times.

  • ARTXV is turning into a non-profit! The pressure people put on me to start taking VC money etc was slowly straying from the true mission of the community. Being a non-profit will allow us to run ARTXV whilst not worrying about sales and will maintain the true mission of our community.

Some recent wins:

  • We featured across Times Square with NFT.NYC
  • We featured in TEDx’s (TED Talk) first ever NFT exhibition in Berlin. Here’s the exhibition on Spatial
  • I’ll be speaking at NFT.London!
  • We got a shoutout from Dua Lipa and her lifestyle newsletter Service95 (one of our artists is an absolute mega fan and died lol) See here and here
  • We’re working with one of the most prominent disability orgs, Diversability, to host a Web3 conference and introduce even more of the community to the space
  • We expanded and had two summer interns working with us and the artists!
  • We’ve supported and guided other disabled themed collectives and founders, Web3 and diversity researchers, academic institutions and even more disabled people entering the space in a safe and welcoming way
  • We’re continuing to find ourselves in news outlets for ‘top 10 diversity Web3 orgs’ which is always encouraging for us :slight_smile: see here, here, here and here

A few other orgs are starting to pop up but at this point we are still the only major disability focused org in Web3 supporting the community to enter the space. NFTs are fun but I think the road ahead has work that is going to be really important to ensure that the disabled community don’t get left behind again.

The 5k would continue to go towards continued business costs as we move to a non-profit structure and start expanding the team.

Lastly, I want to say a huge thank you for everything that MetaCartel has done for me and ARTXV. I don’t take for granted everything that the community and individuals within it have done to support us since we started :heart:

Some quotes from our artists and community members:

“The art world is by nature full of extraordinary things. It is a shame that so many neurodiverse artists, often with unique interpretations, experiences and talent of the world around them have struggled to find a home within it. ARTXV have built one." - Caleb Lewis

“ARTXV means community and support. Prior, my differences weren’t accepted within the art community. Now they are celebrated.” - J. Quinn

“Being a part of ARTXV means a lot, it’s hard to explain in words. But what I can say is I don’t feel alone, I don’t feel quiet. I’m surrounded by a bunch of amazing artists and all of them are so talented. And I don’t have to be quiet about my art and my disability anymore.” - Caroline McGehee

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