Demand Funding for Black Art Students at UCSB

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We, a student-led coalition dedicated to spurring progressive change in the UCSB Art Department want a Black Focus Grant. Our request is to secure $10,000 for each Black art student supporting both majors and minors indefinitely. In the 2019- 2020 school year, there were only 14 out of 206 undergraduate art majors and only 5 out of 154 art minors who identify as Black—that is the most there have been in the past ten years. Because of this, we believe it is in the best interest of the Art Department to make a real long-lasting investment in its Black student population by putting pressure on the the larger academic framework of the UC system to truly support Black life.

Demographic data collected from the UCSB art department in the last ten years (2010 - 2020) reveals a massive disparity in year-average undergraduate enrollment between Black artists and their white counterparts. We have calculated that, on average, Black students make up only 3.17% of all art undergraduates, while white students make up 36.32%

Factors such as economic hardship, microaggressions, and shortcomings in the department’s path towards inclusive practices have all contributed to this low enrollment rates. UCSB must do better to provide support to Black artists currently on our campus, while also laying the groundwork to encourage future enrollment of Black majors and minors. 

This is our chance to invite people of color into our spaces, and embrace them. By funding Black artists, the university can provide a fuller, more dynamic perspective to the art world, and provide needed change to the Art Department. Black artists reform whitewashed realms in which students are inundated with histories that often center European art and we must now reconsider and re-evealuate such pedagogies. Black artists bring new ideas towards everyone, and cultivate Black audiences creating a more inclusive, equal & diverse learning environemtn.

Please sign the petition to support the Black Focus Grant and supprt black artists at the UCSB Art Department!