Sponsored Projects

BlackStar celebrates and provides platforms for the work of Black, Brown and Indigenous artists. Our Sponsored Projects program provides a supportive infrastructure through fiscal sponsorship to projects working at the intersection of art and social justice. Our Sponsored Projects program is inspired by our peers at Allied Media Projects.

Fiscal sponsorship is a legal relationship through which a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization sponsors an individual or group that requires the benefits of the tax-exempt and legal status of the sponsoring organization to realize a project. Artists often need this tax-exempt status to apply for grants (since most foundations require it to distribute funding) or to fundraise from individuals who prefer to be able to claim their financial contributions as deductions on their taxes. 

BlackStar offers two types of sponsorship: comprehensive and grant-specific. The details and requirements to be eligible for consideration for both types of agreements are listed below. Overall, all projects sponsored by BlackStar must be artist-driven projects by an individual, team or collective. You are not required to have a LLC, sole proprietorship or any other type of incorporation. The project must align with BlackStar’s mission, vision and values. Interested projects must apply to be accepted as a sponsored project. A committee of BlackStar’s board of directors will review applications to assess the project’s alignment with our mission as well as to maintain a manageable total count of projects for our staff to be able to support. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We ask that artists apply at least two months prior to their need to ensure enough time for our process.


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Comprehensive Sponsorship

Our comprehensive fiscal sponsorship offers a bundle of administrative support options as well as full legal and fiduciary responsibility for the project. The individual, team or collective still retains all creative control and intellectual property rights, manages their own budgeting and spending decisions, as well as all planning, communications and other aspects of the implementation of the project.

  • BlackStar will provide:
BlackStar will provide:
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Bill payments
  • Tax-free purchases
  • Receiving contributed funds 
  • Monthly distribution of donor tax letters 
  • Contract management
  • General liability insurance and insurance management
  • Filing with IRS and all tax compliance

For fundraising done through a crowdfunding platform or an event with ticket sales, if you would like to offer tax deduction to your supporters you will be responsible for submitting the names and contact information to BlackStar for donor acknowledgement letters. Otherwise, all checks, wire transfers or online contributions must go directly to BlackStar with a note on which project it is supporting.

The fee for comprehensive fiscal sponsorship is 12% of your project funds. Projects also agree to submit four brief programmatic updates annually to BlackStar.


  • For BlackStar to consider your project, it must:
For BlackStar to consider your project, it must:

✓ Align with BlackStar’s mission, vision and values

Not have any full time personnel (however contracted labor and paying artists is allowed and encouraged)

✓ Be an artist-led project

✓ Priority is given to projects that work at the intersection of art and social change

✓ Be based in the United States and its occupied lands including American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands



Grant Specific Sponsorship

Our grant specific fiscal sponsorship offers funding specific support to artist-led projects by an individual, team or collective. BlackStar accepts grants and tax-exempt donations on behalf of the project and then distributes those funds to the project. The individual, team or collective is responsible for their own accounting and bookkeeping for those funds. We do not assume any legal or fiduciary responsibility for the project.

  • BlackStar will provide:
BlackStar will provide:
  • Receiving contributed funds
  • Disbursing contributed funds to the project
  • Annual distribution of donor tax letters

This sponsorship does not offer tax-deductible status for external contributions through a crowdfunding platform or fundraising events.

The fee for grant specific fiscal sponsorship is 5% of your grant or gift amounts.


  • For BlackStar to consider your project, it must:
For BlackStar to consider your project, it must:

✓ Align with BlackStar’s mission, vision and values

Not have any full time personnel (however contracted labor and paying artists is allowed and encouraged)

✓ Be an artist-led project

✓ Priority is given to projects that work at the intersection of art and social change

✓ Be based in the United States and its occupied lands including American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands


There is no deadline, applications are received on a rolling basis. The application can be found here. Applicants will be notified within two months of their submission.



Current and Past Projects


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Art for Philadelphia

Art for Philadelphia




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Rashid Zakat

Hold It Down

Rashid Zakat

Hold It Down