NEW: Define American Launches Inclusive Guide for Arts Funders to Support Immigrant, Migrant, and Undocumented Artists

“Creativity is Boundless” is a roadmap for artist support organizations to make fellowships, grants, and residency programs more accessible to all, regardless of immigration status.

LOS ANGELES, April 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Define American is launching Creativity is Boundless: An Inclusive Guide, a new resource with practical recommendations for artist support organizations and grantmaking programs to make funding opportunities more inclusive and accessible to all, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

“Storytellers inform our perspectives and have the power to create meaningful change through art; more than ever, we need storytellers from immigrant backgrounds to do just that,” said Define American Founder and President Jose Antonio Vargas. “The Inclusive Guide shows that there is an opportunity for the artist support community to intentionally and fully include artists and storytellers who have been long overlooked because of their immigration status.”

Creative industries––from theatre to film to art fairs––are more interested than ever in correcting the systemic marginalization of underrepresented communities, who have far less access to both paid and unpaid opportunities due to unnecessary eligibility requirements. The Inclusive Guide outlines recommendations to solve for those challenges.

“Immigrant artists have always brought critically important perspectives to the American art landscape,” said Bethany Wearden, Director of Storyteller Support and Advocacy at Define American. “This resource was developed from the lens of impacted people to ensure their perspectives are included in the creative and public discourse.”

The Inclusive Guide draws from the firsthand perspectives of directly impacted artists and is co-authored by creatives from the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective and the UNDOCU+Collective.

“For immigrant artists like me, grant and residence opportunities are a lifeline for our careers – but the language for requirements and applications tends to be confusing, hard to navigate and can be a demoralizing process,” said Nicole Solis-Sison, a co-writer and alumnus of the Define American Fellowship.

Last month, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis released new data showing that the arts ecosystem is a crucial contributor to a healthy society and economy. The analysis shows that the total economic value added by arts and cultural industries grew by 13.7 percent between 2020 and 2021, more than double the increase of the total U.S. economy, which grew by 5.9 percent in the same period.

About Define American: Define American is a narrative change organization that uses the power of storytelling to humanize conversations about immigrants. We conduct original, cutting-edge research to identify narratives that inspire people to action. Our advocacy within entertainment, digital media, and the arts is creating an America where everyone belongs. Define American was founded in 2011 by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas and has been named one of the world’s most innovative companies by Fast Company. For more information about our programmatic work, visit

Mynellies Negrón | [email protected] | (703) 585-6727
Leezia Dhalla | [email protected]

SOURCE Define American

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