We’re launching our next act

Supporting the next generation of creatives

How’s your relationship with art these days? Maybe you’re posting art, reposting, creating, or thinking about what you’ll create when this pandemic is all over. You might be tired of experiencing art through a screen. Maybe you’re getting hungry for your old relationship with various art forms – the bustling galleries, sweaty gigs, and trips to a cinema where you can hear someone else’s laughter.

If you’re like us, the pandemic has reaffirmed the central role of art in your life. 

At WeTransfer we’ve been enabling the creative arts 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 proud to unveil a new initiative, WeTransfer’s Supporting Act Foundation. 

The Foundation will award funds to young creators, designers, filmmakers, writers, and artists with creator grants, to help them clear some of the barriers they face. We know those barriers well. We’ve been knocked down by a few. We know the importance of substantial and meaningful assistance, particularly in light of the hit the creative industries have taken following Covid-19, particularly affecting those at the start of their careers and from underrepresented groups. We’re ready to start with a €1m fund to support arts education and creator grants. 

Creativity is not just about vague encouragement. Money can bring about transformation. The support we are pledging today will mean we’ll be able to assist as many young artists and creators as possible. This isn’t a pipe dream. We’re not newbies. Way back in 2010 we began directly supporting artists by giving away 30% of our media, the wallpapers or full-screen backdrops that have become so synonymous with WeTransfer and 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 to help the next generation of artists study at home or abroad. Starting next year, our goal is to make these bursaries available by contributing 1% of WeTransfer’s revenue to The Supporting Act. This means we’re committed to the mission of the Foundation not just for this year, or for next year, but for the long term.

We know what it takes to fund and nurture brilliant ideas. We know about the alchemy that occurs to enable genuine artistic sensibility to flourish. WeTransfer’s Supporting Act Foundation is a step towards ensuring this continues to happen, now and for the future. 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 2020, it’s crucial we help new voices achieve their creative potential. I’m sure you’ll agree. It’s the only way forward.

Artwork by Jean Jullien