VSCO Voices
VSCO Voices



About —

What is VSCO Voices?

VSCO Voices is a six month grant program run by VSCO and Access Ventures. The program supports creators with the funding and mentorship needed to empower marginalized communities in the United States through art.

Who is VSCO?

VSCO is a creative channel. We build creative tools, spaces, and connections driven by self-expression. Our mission is to help everyone fall in love with their own creativity.

Who is Access Ventures?

Access Ventures builds more inclusive economies through mission-aligned investments that help communities flourish. As a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation, Access Ventures works with organizations of all sizes, from startups to enterprises in the private, public, and social sectors. They provide capital to the best solutions and organizations with the most significant potential for impact.

Why did VSCO and Access Ventures team up?

Both Access Ventures and VSCO believe in the power of providing creators with the support needed to spread diverse perspective. The cultivation of conceptually rich and beautiful art is essential to the health and development of communities in the US.


Application —

How do I apply?

You can access the application online at vscovoices.co starting on Monday, January 7th.

What is this year’s grant theme?

This year’s grant theme is Style, a universal concept that extends beyond the clothing we wear. Style is voice, attitude, body art, movement, expression. It’s who we are. It’s our story. It has the power to shift important cultural conversations.

When is the application deadline?

The VSCO Voices 2019 application closes on Monday, February 18th.

What are the eligibility requirements for applying?

To qualify for the grant, you must be a VSCO community member (this means that you have a VSCO profile), a US resident, and at least 18 years of age.

What type of mediums are allowed?

All art mediums are allowed as long as your work can be documented for a final presentation.

What kind of projects does VSCO Voices fund?

VSCO Voices funds projects by individuals across art disciplines. Projects must be completed within six months, must convey a vision that is distinctive, and must have potential to drive lasting impact.    

Why do I need to be a US resident to apply?

Applicants of VSCO Voices must be a US resident to qualify for this grant due to funding restrictions.

I am a student with a visa, can I apply?

Anyone residing in the US is eligible to apply.

Does the community I describe in my project proposal need to be in the US?

Because the grant recipient must be based in the US due to funding restrictions and because it's important that they're able to engage closely with the community, the community described in your proposal must also be based in the US.

Can I apply with an additional person, team, or collective?

VSCO Voices is reserved for individual projects. The grant does not fund teams or collectives. 

Can I apply for another project during this period?

While participating in VSCO Voices, we ask that you do not apply for another grant program.

If my project is rejected, can I find out why?

Due to the volume of applicants, we will not be able to provide individual feedback.

Does my work have to be new?

Your VSCO Voices project must contain new work or work that has not received previous funding.

When are the grant recipients announced?

Grant recipients will be announced publicly via VSCO social channels on April 15th.

Can I apply for more than one project a year?

We will only review one application per applicant each year.

Can I apply for a multi-year project?

All projects will last for six months and must be completed by the official end date.

Can I re-apply for a grant next year if I do not receive one?

You can apply for a grant in upcoming years if you did not receive one this year.


Selection —

Who will be reviewing the applications and how will grant recipients be selected?

The VSCO team will review all applications alongside Access Ventures. When reviewing your application, we’ll be looking for project proposals that speak to this year's theme, and that clearly convey thoughtfulness, passion, as well as commitment to the community described.

How many people will be accepted into the program?

Five creators will be selected for this year's program.


Projects —

How long will the project last?

This year's VSCO Voices program will begin in April and end in November. 

Will I be required to travel during the program?

You will need to travel to participate in VSCO Voices. Orientation will be held at VSCO HQ in Oakland, CA. The midpoint check in will be held at the Access Ventures office in Louisville, KY. Travel costs will not come out of the allocated grant money. Access Ventures will cover those costs separately. 

Will I be required to check in during the project?

Throughout the program, you will be required to update VSCO and Access Ventures through regular virtual check ins. This time will be used to discuss the progress of your project.

Will I be required to participate in interviews?

You will be asked to participate in VSCO featured content. In addition to content collaborations, there may be press opportunities. All coordination will be managed through VSCO.

Will I have a point of contact throughout the project?

You will have a dedicated VSCO point of contact, as well as a mentor throughout the program.

How will the grant program conclude?

The program will officially conclude once all grant recipients have presented their final work at the closing ceremony.


Funding —

When will recipients receive the grant money?

The grant recipient will receive $20,000 for the purpose of developing, producing, and distributing their project. The grant will be paid in two installments of $10,000 each, by direct deposit to the grant recipient. Grant recipients will receive the first installment once Access Ventures receives a signed copy of the Agreement along with a completed W-9 Form and the second installment during the month of the midpoint program gathering.

Are there restrictions on how the grant money can be used?

Grant recipients can use their grant money for permits and rentals, supplies and equipment, and travel related to project production. Recipients will not be able to use the grant money for deficits or expenses incurred before or after the project period, for programs or events that have already taken place, for scholarships, for fundraising, for loans, or for travel not related to the project.

Will costs for accommodation and travel to California or Kentucky come out of the grant money?

Costs for travel and accommodation for orientation, the midpoint check in, and closing ceremony will not come out of your $20,000 grant. Access Ventures will cover those costs separately. 

If the grant is $20,000, why do I need to outline funding requirements in my application?

We ask that you outline needed funding in your application to ensure that the grant covers all project costs.

Can I raise outside additional funds for my VSCO Voices project?

All funding for VSCO Voices must come from the grant program.

Is it possible to partner with VSCO Voices to support the program?

We are seeking partners who are passionate about financially supporting creators who empower marginalized communities in the US. Please email us at vscovoices@vsco.co for more information about what it means to become a partner.



If I have more questions about VSCO Voices, who can I talk to?

If you have questions about VSCO Voices that are not addressed in this Q + A, please reach out to us at vscovoices@vsco.co