[Grant Application] After Paradise xyz

Project name
After Paradise

Description (Brief intro of your project in 1-2 sentences)
We are an art curation and NFT consulting agency founded and led by women. With a track record of successful event planning in both Chicago and Johannesburg, our agency brings creativity and expertise to the forefront.

Our vision encompasses ongoing event organization, coupled with artist education about blockchain potential. We aspire to foster artistic opportunities, while championing equity in the realm of web3. Our overarching mission is to establish a reputation for pioneering events that honor diversity and creativity, while empowering artists, facilitating expert collaboration, and igniting inspiration among attendees.

Within the realm of web3, a concerning disparity persists in the sales achievements between men and women. Astonishingly, data from Bloomberg indicates that women accounted for a mere 5% of NFT sales between February 2020 and November 2021. Likewise, ArtTactic’s 2021 report highlights that women constituted just 16% of the NFT art market. Furthermore, the accessibility of blockchain technology and resources remains limited in numerous regions, hindering artists’ participation. Illustratively, our recent events held on August 9 and August 19, 2023, in Johannesburg, underscore this challenge as we educated and onboarded 20 women on blockchain fundamentals, NFT minting, crypto wallet security, and even facilitated their inaugural art exhibition.

We have developed a purpose-driven initiative aimed at cultivating equity within web3, complemented by our comprehensive education and onboarding efforts in the realms of crypto and DeFi. As part of our mission, we actively engage with communities that may be new to web3 and blockchain, offering guidance, resources, and opportunities. By empowering individuals in these communities, we aspire to facilitate financial autonomy, broaden horizons, expand networks, and encourage innovation and exploration.

Describe the project in detail including…
How does the project relate to blockchain or web3?
How are you encouraging other women/minorities to be part of your community?

We’ve recently concluded our South African Women’s Month event, which took place from August 9th to August 19th at Usurpa Gallery. This event was a collaborative effort with fantastic partners Samsung South Africa, along with sponsorship from African Technopreneurs and MetaCreations. Our upcoming venture involves preparing for Miami Art Week/Art Basel Miami in partnership with Dozie Arts. This exciting fusion of art and music goes beyond the traditional, delving into digital and NFT art. Our mission is to offer artists, regardless of their background or exposure, a chance to display their work during arguably, the most important art event of the year. We’re all about embracing both new talents and established figures in the art scene. Additionally, we’re making art prints available for purchase to help these creators further promote their work and generate income.

On top of that, we’ve been in discussions with Sherie from the Kenyan NFT Community about replicating the success of our Johannesburg event. This envisioned event serves as an educational platform to empower artists and anyone interested in the world of web3. Receiving this grant would significantly lighten the burden of securing sponsorships for us. Our previous event taught us the challenges of obtaining sponsorships, and we’re determined to turn things around through proactive efforts.

In the context of blockchain and web3, our project acts as a dynamic bridge connecting artists with revolutionary technologies. Our focus is on providing artists, especially women and minorities, genuine opportunities in the ever-evolving landscape of digital art and NFTs. Through events, learning experiences, and opportunities, we’re creating a welcoming, empowering, and exhilarating environment.

Validation / Traction / Progress so far
Our initial event (Chicago 2022) garnered an impressive total of 8.3 ETH in sales and gained recognition by being featured on CNN:

Recently, we successfully concluded a multi-week Women’s Month event at Usurpa Gallery in Johannesburg, which received substantial media coverage including mentions on SABC News, SAFM Radio Station, and Newzroom Afrika. During this event, three pieces were sold.

starts @ 27:20^

Furthermore, we’re excited to share that we’re engaged in discussions with various organizations within web3 and the art industry. This involves the potential of curating and organizing upcoming events at Miami Art Week, in Dubai and in Tokyo

These achievements demonstrate our steady progress and growing traction in the field, underscoring our commitment to fostering meaningful connections between art, technology, and diverse communities.

Share a brief description of the project’s team members (person by person)

After Paradise was founded by Nigerian-American multidisciplinary artist and curator, Abieyuwa Eigbobo. Known for her experimentation with technology, Abieyuwa uses her art to explore the experience of being a Black woman in contemporary society. She works with a variety of applications and media including, but not limited to, photography, digital and analog video, and 3D modeling. Abieyuwa recently curated the “Paradise” exhibition, an exhibition featuring 22 Black women in celebration of Women’s History Month. The exhibition was showcased on the CNN International segment “Inside Africa” and was held at imnnotArt Gallery in Chicago. Abieyuwa is an active member of Accelerate Art, Friends With Benefits, and formerly contributed to the operations team of the African NFT Community.

In addition to being the social media manager for After Paradise, Mpho Jacobs is a painter and digital artist from South Africa. She began pursuing art as a practice in 2017 and in 2021, expanded into digital art. Mpho’s artworks utilize realism with symbolic motifs to show her emotional experiences and amplify subjects that she grew up not seeing regularly within art, namely black people. Mpho has participated in several exhibitions including a show at the Creative Arts College: Art in the Park exhibition (May 2019) and the Tatham Art Gallery Matric Exhibition (May 2021) in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Mpho was also part of the PUNKISM exhibition curated by IHAM NFT Gallery in Paris, France (April, 2022) and the digital residency for the 1MA Collective titled, “Forging the Future” in Dakar, Senegal (June, 2022). Recently, Mpho’s work was curated by the African NFT Community as a featured artist for NFT Now’s “The Gateway” exhibition during Art Basel Miami (November, 2022).

Ayesha Kazim (b. 1999) is a photographer and digital artist working between New York

City, Cape Town, & London. Within her practice, she utilizes analog and digital mediums, AI, and collage techniques to create work that explores portraiture through an intimate, otherworldly lens. Ayesha’s work has been featured in the New York Times and W Magazine, and she has worked with companies including Airbnb, Dior, and Adobe.

Ayesha’s role within the African NFT Community involves curating shows, onboarding artists, and assisting in the development of the DAO’s goals and responsibilities. Ayesha also works with other communities within the web3 space including Cyber Baat and ObscuraDAO. She has had the opportunity to curate shows in Miami and Dubai and possesses experience related to archiving, project management, and creative production.

Grant Amount Requested
Amount in USD

What it will be used for?
Please provide a specific line item budget to show how you will use the funds.

The funds will be allocated as follows:

  • Minting and Listing Fees for Newly Onboarded Artists: $1,000
  • Venue Rental: $2,000 (if needed)
  • Vault (Monthly Business Expenses - domain, Google Workspace, etc.; Emergency Funds; Compensation for Team): $2,000
    These funds will serve the following purposes:

Minting and Listing Fees for Newly Onboarded Artists: The allocated $1,000 will cover the expenses incurred when introducing new artists to the blockchain, helping them create and list their NFTs.
Venue Rental: The $2,000 will be utilized for securing suitable event venues, ensuring the optimal environment for our gatherings and exhibitions. (If partnership with a gallery is not possible)
Vault: The final portion, $2,000, will contribute to our operational costs, which include maintaining essential services like domains and Google Workspace. A portion of this will be reserved as emergency funds to address unexpected needs or challenges. Moreover, a part of this budget will go towards compensating our dedicated team members who contribute to the success of our events and initiatives.

By supporting these specific line items, the funding will not only sustain our ongoing operations but also extend meaningful opportunities to artists by easing their entry into the blockchain world. This, in turn, helps bridge the accessibility gap that many face when trying to engage with crypto-related activities.

Attach any additional documents/resources about the project if you have any.
Please enable public view access if it’s currently on a private drive

As we’ve just concluded our event in Johannesburg, our future event plans are currently in the works. However, you can explore the details of our recent Johannesburg event in the attached pitch deck: Johannesburg Event Pitch Deck

In addition, here are links to social media posts showcasing the success and engagement of our event:
Instagram Posts:

Twitter Posts:

How did you hear about MGD’s Funding program?
Google & Twitter