Update: as of April 2019, The Liberty Foundation is no longer active. Unfortunately we weren’t able to secure enough funding to launch our pilot cost of living grant program. For future updates, please follow @libertyfndn on Twitter.

Through my time organizing XOXO and Build I’ve been lucky enough to meet countless exceptionally talented and hard-working independent creators in many different fields. However, a lot of these artists are struggling with the same problem. Many are unable to break the cycle of burying their own goals below part-time or full-time work, living project to project without the benefit of breathing room to assess and develop their careers.

This project aims to break that cycle.

The Liberty Foundation supports artists who work on the internet by giving them the tools they need to grow their practice into an independent business.

The Foundation will begin by offering a number of fellowship awards. Under the guidance of our advisory board, we will be prioritizing awarding our fellowships to a diverse and representative group of artists working in contemporary fields such as film, music, podcasts and audio storytelling, writing, comics, tabletop and board games, and video games.

Our fellows will each receive a $60,000 cost of living grant and support for health insurance costs for one year. These grants will not be project-based, but rather aimed at giving creators a chance to step back and make decisions based on curiosity and long-term growth rather than dire and immediate need.

The second aspect of the Foundation supports this goal by providing an extensive coaching and support program to help artists maintain momentum, focus on their work, and grow it into a sustainable business. This will involve workshops and tutorials focused on business development, marketing, financial planning, and legal support.

Our goal is to give as many artists as possible the resources they need to build an independent career. With that in mind, we will publish all the resources we produce, making them freely available in our online library for future creators to access. Our ultimate aim is to help remove barriers for any artist who could be making a sustainable career out of their work.

Applications will open later this year. If you’re interested in learning more, follow us on Twitter, or sign up for our mailing list.

Thanks to MailChimp, Intercom, and our private benefactors for their support. If you’d like to help, or you’re interested in becoming a benefactor, email [email protected].

Andy McMillan