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The Black Digital Art Collective: New Initiative Led By a16z’s Cultural Leadership Fund

Last Updated: December 1, 2022
The Black Digital Art Collective is on a mission to invest in and onboard Black artists to Web3 and the blockchain.

Andreessen Horowitz’s (a16z) Cultural Leadership Fund (CLF) has teamed up with organizations in the digital art and Web3 space to launch a new initiative supporting Black artists on the blockchain.

CLF welcomed Black@, Dope Black Art, Fairchain, and LOVE WATTS as founding members of The Black Digital Art Collective, a community of cultural leaders, Black creators, digital artists, and others working to invest in and support Black culture and art in Web3. The collective is set up like a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), meaning members have complete control over deciding the organization’s values and vision.

The Black Digital Art Collective has three main goals: to increase black artists’ and creators’ presence & influence in Web3, to educate Black communities on Web3, and to support current and future Black web3 creators and artists. The new organization plans to accomplish this by collecting Black art on the blockchain and helping Black artists transition their artwork into digital masterpieces.

CLF officially announced the Black Digital Art Collective on Tuesday in Miami at its premiere Art Basel event, “Forward: The Future of Black Digital Art.”

Black Digital Art Collective
Megan Holston-Alexander, a partner at a16z and leader of CLF. (Photo courtesy of Crooks Lane Media)

“CLF is all about creators, artistry, and entertainers, and there’s this really interesting marriage that has been happening between art and technology,” Megan Holston-Alexander, a partner at a16z and leader of CLF, told Boardroom in an exclusive interview. “Last year was the first time we activated at Basel, so we felt it was most important to put this new initiative on display here to ensure Black artists are being featured. It’s the perfect time for them to get their shine.”

Holston-Alexander said the collective has been a year and a half in the making. She feels that since Web3 is still in the early adoption phase, it’s more important now than ever to ensure Black artists have a seat at the table. At the event, the collective featured artwork from the first batch of artists it will be supporting.

Here are the art pieces and artists that were on display:

CLF selected Black@, Dope Black Art, Fairchain, and LOVE WATTS as cultural curators charged with finding and sourcing Black artists for the collective to work with.

“They went on the most amazing hunt to find art representative of the culture and the future that the collective is building,” Holston-Alexander said. “We’re really proud of this structure of having the community pick the art.”

Most of the work coming from these artists are already one-of-one NFTs, Holston-Alexander said, and the collective is helping ensure all of the artists have some of their art on the blockchain. The collective is still figuring out how it will operate, but CLF will continue funding and supporting it for a minimum of two to three years.

“That’s one of the beauties of decentralization is that it’s really up to the group,” she said. “We’re starting this as a collective, but over time, we’re hoping the group takes on a life of its own and becomes decentralized and has the format of a DAO with voting rights for members.”

Holston-Alexander hopes the Black Digital Art Collective functions as a gateway to help legitimize Web3 early on for the Black community. She said it’s essential to CLF to make sure the Black community doesn’t get left behind as this new technological wave emerges.

“We’re using art and NFTs as a hook to get more people interested in and involved with the space,” Holston-Alexander said. “The goal overall is to increase knowledge of Web3 and crypto.”

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About The Author
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham is Boardroom's resident tech and crypto reporter. Before joining 35V, she was a freelance reporter with bylines in AfroTech, HubSpot, The Plug, and Lifewire, to name a few. At Boardroom, Michelai covers Web3, NFTs, crypto, tech, and gaming. Off the clock, you can find her producing her crime podcast, The Point of No Return.