Non-profit

Black Trans Femmes in the Arts

Website:

www.btfacollective.org

Location:

New York, NY

Formation:

2019

Project of:

Arts Business Collaborative

Executive Director:

Jorday Jay

Black Trans Femmes in the Arts (BTFA) is a left-of-center project of the Arts Business Collaborative. [1] Founded by NYU alumnus Jordyn Jay in 2019, BTFA sponsors arts projects led by “black trans femmes,” or African-American, female-presenting transgender people, and operates events which feature African-American transgender women as performers. [2]

Since 2020, BTFA has hosted “The List,” a list of African-American transgender women performers, on its website. In past interviews, founder and executive director Jordyn Jay has claimed that the List was an “homage” to the marketplace Backpage, the former CEO of which pleaded guilty to prostitution-related offenses, and similar sex-trade advertising sources. [3][4] BTFA has received financial support from corporations and national brands, including fast-fashion company Fashion Nova, and has been mentioned in publications, including Teen Vogue. [5]

Founding

Black Trans Femmes in the Arts (BTFA) was founded during a meeting held at New York University (NYU) in 2019 by Jordyn Jay, a transgender woman and professional left-of-center activist. [6] The organization began by hosting open-mic nights for African-American transgender women to perform and building a social media presence. [7]

BTFA’s social media following grew in the summer of 2020, as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests spread following the death of George Floyd. [8] In addition to its social media activism, BTFA sponsors public programming and performances that feature African American transgender women. [9]

Programs

Black Trans Femmes in the Arts operates by offering grants for self-identified “black trans femmes” looking for artistic funding for projects in the New York City metropolitan area. [10] Grant amounts depend on the number of self-identified African-American transgender women who hold leadership roles in the proposed project. For each additional African-American transgender woman placed in a leadership role, the project can receive an additional $5,000, up to $25,000. [11]

In addition to its grantmaking program, BTFA has released music and videos, which it distributes online through its website. [12] On July 22, 2021, New York Pride announced the launch of “The List,” a list of African American transgender women working as artists and performers. [13] The list is hosted on the BTFA website. [14] In an interview, BTFA founder Jordyn Jay stated that the list was in part an “homage” to online sex trade marketplaces, like Backpage. [15]

Leadership

Jordyn Jay is the founder of BTFA and works as the organization’s executive director. [16] Jay became interested in founding BTFA while working on a project surveying the health of transgender women in New York City. [17]

Financial Information

BTFA is not an independent organization. It is currently sponsored by the Arts Business Collaborative, a left-of-center activist organization that supplies capital and other support to a wide variety of organizations in the early stages of development. [18] Many of these organizations support left-of-center policies, and the Arts Business Collaborative states that one of its primary goals is to provoke social change. [19] The majority of these clients are based in New York City. [20]

Because BTFA is not an independent nonprofit organization, it is not required to openly file financial statements. Arts Business Collaborative, which is required to publicly accessible forms with the IRS, does not state how much money is dedicated to each separate organization sponsored by the collaborative. [21]

BTFA has reportedly received donations from corporate sponsors. [22] In July 2021, fashion brand Fashion Nova announced a major donation to BTFA. While it did not disclose the exact size of the donation, the donation is said to have been over $25,000. [23] In June 2020 the organization was included on a list of organizations published by Harper’s Bazaar, encouraging readers to donate. [24] Teen Vogue also included BTFA on its June 2020 list of organization to which to donate in order to support the George Floyd protests. [25]

References

  1. “Clients.” Arts Business Collaborative. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.artsbusinesscollaborative.org/clients. ^
  2. “Productions Eligibility and Application.” BTFA Collective. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.btfacollective.org/apply. ^
  3. Golden. “BTFA Collective Founder Jordyn Jay Imagines New Presents and Futures.” SVGE Magazine. SVGE Magazine, February 5, 2021. https://www.svgemagazine.com/culture-posts/jordyn-jay-interview. ^
  4. Jackman, Tom. “Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer Pleads Guilty in Three States, Agrees to Testify against Other Website Officials.” The Washington Post. WP Company, April 1, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2018/04/13/backpage-ceo-carl-ferrer-pleads-guilty-in-three-states-agrees-to-testify-against-other-website-officials/. ^
  5. Foster, Fred. “Fashion Nova’s Huge Contribution to Support Black Trans Femme Artists.” BOB fm, July 30, 2021. https://www.bobfm.co.uk/fashion-novas-huge-contribution-to-support-black-trans-femme-artists/. ^
  6. Sprayregen, Molly. “The Founder of ‘Black Trans Femmes in the Arts’ on Celebrating Trans Joy.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, July 24, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mollysprayregen/2020/07/24/the-founder-of-black-trans-femmes-in-the-arts-on-celebrating-trans-joy/?sh=4a850ef14fe7. ^
  7. Sprayregen, Molly. “The Founder of ‘Black Trans Femmes in the Arts’ on Celebrating Trans Joy.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, July 24, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mollysprayregen/2020/07/24/the-founder-of-black-trans-femmes-in-the-arts-on-celebrating-trans-joy/?sh=4a850ef14fe7. ^
  8. Sprayregen, Molly. “The Founder of ‘Black Trans Femmes in the Arts’ on Celebrating Trans Joy.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, July 24, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mollysprayregen/2020/07/24/the-founder-of-black-trans-femmes-in-the-arts-on-celebrating-trans-joy/?sh=4a850ef14fe7. ^
  9. “Programs.” BTFA Collective. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.btfacollective.org/programs. ^
  10. “Productions Eligibility and Application.” BTFA Collective. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.btfacollective.org/apply. ^
  11. “Productions Eligibility and Application.” BTFA Collective. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.btfacollective.org/apply. ^
  12. “BTFA Productions.” BTFA Collective. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.btfacollective.org/btfa-productions. ^
  13. New York City Pride. Twitter. Twitter, July 22, 2021. https://twitter.com/NYCPride/status/1418259495185223685. ^
  14. “The List.” BTFA Collective. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.btfacollective.org/artiststhe-list. ^
  15. Golden. “BTFA Collective Founder Jordyn Jay Imagines New Presents and Futures.” SVGE Magazine. SVGE Magazine, February 5, 2021. https://www.svgemagazine.com/culture-posts/jordyn-jay-interview. ^
  16. “Team.” BTFA Collective. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.btfacollective.org/team. ^
  17. Golden. “BTFA Collective Founder Jordyn Jay Imagines New Presents and Futures.” SVGE Magazine. SVGE Magazine, February 5, 2021. https://www.svgemagazine.com/culture-posts/jordyn-jay-interview. ^
  18. “About Us.” BTFA Collective. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.btfacollective.org/about-us. ^
  19. “About.” Arts Business Collaborative. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.artsbusinesscollaborative.org/about-us. ^
  20. “Clients.” Arts Business Collaborative. Accessed August 3, 2021. https://www.artsbusinesscollaborative.org/clients. ^
  21. “Arts Business Collaborative.” Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, Form 990, 2019. ^
  22. Sprayregen, Molly. “The Founder of ‘Black Trans Femmes in the Arts’ on Celebrating Trans Joy.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, July 24, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mollysprayregen/2020/07/24/the-founder-of-black-trans-femmes-in-the-arts-on-celebrating-trans-joy/?sh=4a850ef14fe7. ^
  23. Foster, Fred. “Fashion Nova’s Huge Contribution to Support Black Trans Femme Artists.” BOB fm, July 30, 2021. https://www.bobfm.co.uk/fashion-novas-huge-contribution-to-support-black-trans-femme-artists/. ^
  24. Sanchez, Chelsey. “Where to Donate to Support Black Trans Lives.” Harper’s BAZAAR. Harper’s BAZAAR, June 22, 2020. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/politics/a32870451/how-to-help-black-trans-lives-donate/. ^
  25. Elizabeth, De, and Jewel Wicker. “How to Support the Protesters Demanding Justice for George Floyd.” Teen Vogue, May 30, 2020. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/george-floyd-protests-how-to-help-bail-funds. ^
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Black Trans Femmes in the Arts


New York, NY