At WeTransfer we’ve been enabling art since the very beginning of the company, from about the time we transferred our first lucky file. Our core business is founded on the idea of transfer, or flow, of the unimpeded movement of ideas necessary to create art. But we’ve always been aware its creation depends on support. Good art takes time, but it also takes money. With that in mind, we’re beyond proud to unveil a new initiative, WeTransfers The Supporting Act foundation.
The aim of the foundation is to transfer funds to young creators, designers, filmmakers, writers, and artists, in order to help them clear the barriers they face. We know these barriers well. We’ve been knocked down by a few. We know the importance of substantial and meaningful assistance, and we’re ready to start with €1,000,000 and 1% of revenue to support arts education.
Creativity is not just about vague encouragement. Money brings about transformation. Ongoing support means we’ll be able to assist as many young artists as possible. Way back in 2010 we began directly supporting artists by giving away 30% of our media (you know, the fullscreen ads you see on WeTransfer), which helped the careers of many, including a certain robotic musical duo named Daft Punk.
Over the next seven years, we supported hundreds of artists through grants and media. That list included many musicians, from GhostPoet to Hudson Mohawke. A partnership with Central Saint Martins followed. We gave out bursaries to those in need of financial aid. Education became such an important issue for us that we decided to found our own place of learning, the University of the Underground.
A vibrant and fair art scene depends on arts education. We’re preparing to award fellowships and bursaries ranging from €2,500 to €10,000 to help the next generation of artists study at home or abroad. WeTransfer will allocate up to one hundred bursaries a year with a total annual contribution of €500,000.
And what about the artists out of school who need fuel to light the fire? We’ve been giving away one-off grants since 2009, but now is the time to formalize the process. Our scheme is necessarily ambitious. We want to aid in the creation of great art, not the cheap stuff. We’ll be offering up to €250,000 to creators upon the completion of a successful application. We’re not looking for navel-gazing. We want to get behind work that pushes our society forward. We adhere to B Corp values, so we’re keen to support work that embraces sustainability, responsibility, and inclusivity – the good stuff in life. We want artwork that will occupy a vital place in a progressive society.
We know what it takes to fund brilliant ideas. We know about the alchemy that occurs when the right amount of money makes contact with a genuine artistic sensibility. The WeTransfer Foundation is a step towards ensuring these gestures are made permanent. That’s our offer. But we’ll need your help. This is a call to those who are ready to interpret the state of our world.
After this year (and what a year it’s been), it’s crucial we help new voices achieve their creative potential. I’m sure you’ll agree. It’s the only way forward.
Thank you for helping to make this happen. Really without you the friends, family, and customers of the company this would not be possible.