The timing of the BANF grant was ideal, providing the necessary support to sustain and expand VCSA’s existing programs. This includes the highly anticipated Viet Cultural Fest, which serves as a platform to showcase the remarkable heritage and talent of Vietnamese American artists.
An average of 45,000 people flee persecution, war-torn nations, and natural disasters yearly. Houston welcomes 30 of every 1,000 refugees that the United Nations resettles, making it an essential hub for immigrants worldwide.
As a performer, Stacy was aware of the universal power of music and dance to communicate a story that could resonate with audiences of all backgrounds. This understanding led to the creation of Nia’s Daughters Movement Collective, an agency that employs creative dance to convey narratives of beauty and bravery.
With Houston being the epicenter of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, it didn’t take much for students, non-binary people, community leaders, academics, survivors of domestic violence, and recent immigrants to Houston to come together to perform the song during the Women’s March of 2020 on the doorstep of City Hall.
Having been created to fill the void of limited programming and support for LGBTQ+ communities of color and their allies, the T.R.U.T.H. Project has made possible a safe space for individuals to express themselves and seek guidance and support that often proves to be life-transforming or even lifesaving.
When looking to the future, Houston Freedmen’s Town Conservancy has a clear goal and a path: Have Freedmen’s Town be recognized as a heritage district that changes how we think about emancipation and becomes the center of the Story of Freedom.
After reading a Houston Arts Alliance Newsletter, Rathna became familiar with the BANF grant and how applying was a straightforward and uncomplicated process. So far, the award has impacted her personal and professional life. She mentioned, “It felt so good to receive such a sizable grant for the first time!”
Amir explains that the BANF application process was thoughtfully designed as a catalyst to help a group like theirs succeed, unlike other application processes that they had encountered that work more like barriers to exclude BIPOC community members.