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Swarovski Foundation launches sustainability grant for young creatives

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Selected grantees will receive financial support to further their practice in arts and fashion

The Swarovski Foundation has announced the launch of Swarovski Foundation Institute: Creatives for Our Future, a new global grant program designed with advisor the United Nations Office for Partnerships to identify and accelerate the next generation of creative leaders in sustainability.

SFI: Creatives for Our Future has a four-week open call to all creatives worldwide aged 18 to 25 from disciplines including fashion, design, art, architecture, science, technology and engineering – with no limit to creative medium. Successful applicants will have a keen interest in, demonstration of, or exemplary potential to use the creative process to accelerate awareness, technologies or solutions for sustainable development. The Swarovski Foundation aims to draw in a diverse pool of applicants from across the globe and bring new voices and perspectives to the creative process.

Selected grantees will receive financial support to further their practice. The funding is paired with an educational program in collaboration with top international institutions, tailored mentorship and industry networking connections with guidance from the Swarovski Foundation. Grantees will be provided support to develop the innovations and practices outlined in their applications and drive progress toward the Decade of Action to Deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The grantees will be invited to present in September 2021 around the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly.

Application and program details can be found on www.sfcreatives.org. Worldwide applications will be accepted from March 9th to April 9th, 2021. Successful grantees will be announced on April 21st to coincide with UN World Creativity and Innovation Day.

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Cultural Sector in Estonia gets 42m Euros aid

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The film sector will receive 5.3 million Euros, of which 3.3 million Euros is earmarked for cinemas and film distributors | Photo: Matheus Bertelli

The Estonian government has announced a supplementary budget, with 42 million Euros set to be allocated towards culture.

Earlier in March, the cultural sector submitted a proposal to the government on a crisis exit strategy, which was signed by 335 organisations from the cultural and creative industry. Representatives from music, arts, performing arts, museums, folk culture, literature, film and cinema emphasised in their joint proposal that culture has a significant impact on both the economy as well as the population’s mental health. The proposal included both short-term and long-term initiatives and an outline of the needed crisis package, which would help culture survive in the current situation and recover afterwards.

Half of the 42 million Euros supplementary aid package will go to cultural events organisers, including funds allocated to support cultural events organisers, the music sector, several museums and performing arts establishments.

The film sector will receive 5.3 million Euros, of which 3.3 million Euros is earmarked for cinemas and film distributors. The remaining 2 million Euros goes to film productions.

A separate fund of 6 million Euros, aimed at providing security for international cultural and sports events, is also part of the supplementary aid budget for the cultural sector.

Meanwhile, Estonia and several other countries across Europe remain in lockdown with cinemas as well as other cultural institutions closed at least until mid-April 2021.

Photo: Matheus Bertelli

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World Record Parachute Jump to Benefit Climate Refugees

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In 2017 Tomasz Kozlowski jumped 48 times in one day, raising funds for Polish sufferers of serious illness

Jump for the Planet, a record-breaking event will see Polish daredevil Tomasz Kozlowski attempt to break the current world record for the highest parachute jump previously held by Felix Baumgartner and Alan Eustace.

Seven years after it was last attempted, the psychologist and mountain rescue expert plans to break the record by freefalling from the stratosphere at a record height of 45km (148,000 feet), as part of the Jump for the Planet crusade raising funds and awareness for climate refugees.

According to Oxfam, natural disasters caused by climate change force people to abandon their homes at three times the rate of armed conflicts. The number of “climate refugees” is estimated at a quarter of a billion in the last decade.

The 2022 jump will be live-streamed globally from cameras on Kozlowski’s suit as he attempts to become the fastest non-powered man in history, exceeding terminal velocity and the speed of sound to reach over 1500 km/h (930 mph).

Jump for the Planet includes a series of charity activities raising funds to finance modular buildings that can be readily transported to places affected by cataclysms and assembled into homes, schools, dormitories and more. Eighty percent of each modular home is built from recycling abandoned sea containers and plastic waste and powered exclusively by renewable energy.

Jump for the Planet is supported by the Pho3nix Foundation, a non-profit organisation focussed on promoting physical activity as a way to improve children’s health and inspire them to follow their dreams.

Kozlowski is no stranger to breaking records. In 2014, he recorded the highest parachute jump in Europe (10,735 meters). After the resulting publicity, he realized he could go for more than just records.

“I decided that if I jump again, if I do something difficult and extreme, I will use it to support people,” he says.

In 2017, he jumped 48 times in one day, raising funds for Polish sufferers of serious illness. In 2018, Kozlowski successfully jumped 100 times in one day, raising enough to purchase over 100 specialized wheelchairs for children in need.

Kozlowski’s latest charity was borne out of fears for his children’s future. “In 20-30 years, the climate will be completely changed. We don’t know what we’re doing to our planet.”

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Vimeo and Mailchimp Presents partner to launch new “Stories in Place” Collection

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Stories in Place was developed with the central idea that video connects us

Vimeo, in partnership with Mailchimp Presents, unveiled a new Stories in Place collection— a grant-funded video series that chronicles small businesses from around the world as they navigate the current business environment. The latest collection features the work of seven Black filmmakers who captured the behind-the-counter stories of their favorite Black-owned businesses.

First launched in April 2020, the Stories in Place program empowers creative professionals to use video to tell the real stories about small businesses and the incredible people behind them. Vimeo and Mailchimp Presents joined forces to award grants to the participating filmmakers and featured businesses for their contributions to the collection. The platforms will also leverage their combined global reach to promote the video series across the web and spotlight each of the businesses.

“Stories in Place was developed with the central idea that video connects us; it’s the most powerful medium we have today for human expression. We’ve brought together two essential pillars of the Vimeo community— creatives and small businesses— and provided them with a platform to tell important, inspiring stories about life during this historic moment,” said Harris Beber, CMO, Vimeo. “In the shadow of a global pandemic and ongoing racial injustice, the new Stories in Place collection shows the spectrum of experiences across Black small business owners and their communities. We couldn’t be prouder to partner with Mailchimp Presents in sharing these seven stories with the world.”

“In a year where so many businesses, and Black-owned businesses in particular, are fighting for survival, the opportunity to support filmmakers telling stories of those businesses feels especially meaningful,” said Sarita Alami, Head of Programming, Mailchimp Presents. “Vimeo was the perfect partner to bring these seven powerful stories of Black entrepreneurship–shot during the most uncertain of times–to life.”

Together, these videos make up Stories in Place:

“Zionly Manna” by Curtis Essel — Blending archival and 16mm footage with an intimate one-on-one interview, this dynamic film profiles Jahson Peat, owner of ‘Zionly Manna Vegan Restaurant’ based in Peckham Rye, South London.

“Mitchell’s the Bowl” by Troy Browne — On the brink of the family business being passed down to the next generation, Claudette Mitchell reflects on her father’s legacy bringing West Indian food to Nottingham and providing for his family.

“Rebyrth Wellness” by Cydney Tucker — This is the story of Atlanta-based Doula Imani Byers working to save the lives of Black mothers in their journey from pregnancy to motherhood.

“Mosaic on a Stick” by Travis Wood — Inspired by colorful mosaic artwork, this mixed media piece follows the story of multiracial artist Lori Greene, owner of the mosaic studio and community art space “Mosaic On A Stick” in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“Harriett’s Bookshop” by Raishad M. Hardnett, Aidan M. Un  Just weeks before the pandemic hit, Jeannine Cook opened Harriett’s Bookshop in Philadelphia as a way to celebrate women authors, activists, and artists. Since then, her work has taken on a larger role in the fight for sovereignty and protection for Black women.

“STUDIO-SOLE®” by Amandla Baraka — After being struck by COVID like many other small businesses, RaShaad and his parents found a way to bring life to the city of Newark, New Jersey, through their Sneaker consignment shop, Studio Sole.

“Kanyoko Boutique” by Ng’endo Mukii — Njeri Mereka is a smooth-talking, hymn-singing, 67 year old grandmother who runs Kanyoko Boutique in Nairobi, Kenya, a business she unintentionally started from the trunk of her 1990 Toyota Corolla.

The new Stories in Place collection can be viewed here: vimeo.com/storiesinplace.

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