Shutterstock Launches Global Grant in Partnership with It Gets Better project to authentically empower and portray LGBTQ+ communities

Shutterstock Launches Global Grant in Partnership with It Gets Better project to authentically empower and portray LGBTQ_ communities

Shutterstock, Inc . (NYSE:SSTK ), a leading global creative platform offering full-service solutions, high-quality content and tools for brands, businesses and media companies, today announced a partnership with the It Gets Better project, a non-profit organization with a mission to animate, empower and connect young lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queers around the world.

The partnership between the It Gets Better project and Shutterstock aims to challenge the visual stereotypes of LGBTQ+ to better represent the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, while helping to educate media and advertising companies about the power of diverse photography — both in front of and behind the camera.

To affect significant changes in this area, Shutterstock has identified top searches for LGBTQ+ images and conducted a survey that was completed by members of the It Gets Better project community to determine whether these visual materials and search terms accurately represent their personal experiences. , as well as those of the LGBTQ+ community.

Key results include:
  • 40.1% of respondents did not feel represented as members of the LGBTQ+ community
  • When looking for representations of black LGBTQ+ people, the top three stories and images respondents would like to see shared include:
    • Day by day – 66.1% of respondents
    • Family raising – 52.4% of respondents
    • Positive/Exciting Moments – 51.9% of respondents
  • The top three places respondents would like to see greater LGBTQ+ representation include:
    • Family events – 70.4% of respondents
    • Casual group configurations – 64.6% of respondents
    • Workplaces – 64.2% of respondents
  • When asked how we can more authentically represent LGBTQ+ members and who in this community needs more representation, the top three answers were:
    • Trans bodies and the trans experience – 81.8%
    • Black LGBTQ+ people – 76.3%
    • Non-binary bodies and non-binary experience – 71.6%

In addition, a $10,000 grant was established to promote the representation of LGBTQ+ content and support LGBTQ+ content creators, highlighting their diverse experiences, perspectives and insights in a way that is authentically illustrated in their art.

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“For Shutterstock, providing inclusive and representative content from the diverse backgrounds, perspectives and opinions of communities around the world is critical to who we are,” said Meeckel Beecher, global director of Diversity, Justice and Inclusion at Shutterstock.

“We are excited to partner with the It Get Better project to support LGBTQ+ artists and help the media and advertising industries visualize stories that accurately represent and validate the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people.”

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Shutterstock, delivering important discoveries that will influence content decisions made by marketers and advertisers so that members of the LGBTQ+ community are authentically represented,” said Jimmy Ancheta-Tilley Jr. , development manager for the It Gets Better project.

“After listening to members of the LGBTQ+ community, we have identified areas where some stereotypes prevail, and we look forward to working with Shutterstock to support the community more inclusively.”

The $10,000 grant will be awarded in three prizes: a first prize of $5,000 , and the second and third prize receive $2,500 .

It is open to LGBTQ+ artists, including photographers, videographers, illustrators, 3D artists or writers. Applicants must submit a project proposal, examples of their work, and a short biography by September 3, 2021 at 5:00 pm EST to be considered for all three grants. Applicants must outline how their submitted projects can add to the narrative of the LGBTQ+ perspective.

Grant recipients will be selected by a diverse panel of expert judges with knowledge of the various grant genres that Shutterstock will offer. All artists selected for a grant will be able to license their work, either via Shutterstock, Shutterstock Editorial, Premium Beat or OFFSET.

The Create Fund, a $300,000 grant for artists, was created by Shutterstock in December 2020 to address content gaps and increase diversity and inclusion in its content library and contributor network.

At launch, the first three grants offered through The Create Fund included:

  • Create for the Climate: Raise awareness of global climate change by supporting artists who use their talents to portray climate change, environmental protests and our ever-changing landscape.
  • In support of Invisible Illness: promote artists who create stories and visual representations that break the stigma around mental health, portraying a more inclusive view of mental illness around the world.
  • Senior Creative Minds: supporting our community of senior creative minds — people over 50 who have had years to improve their art and who want to share their experiences and perspectives through creative means.

On International Women’s Day 2021, The Create Fund launched ” Through Your Eyes “, a $10,000 grant to defend female and non-binary content creators and their creative projects in photography, visual journalism, videography, illustration, 3D modeling and writing.

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