Sky Candy’s Scholarship Fund
We’ve turned our Youth Scholarship Fund into a JEDI Fund and we want to talk about what that means.
Our Youth Scholarship Fund was established in 2017 in order to help low-income youth and teens be able to afford circus and aerial classes and camps at Sky Candy. Since then, we have given out almost $8,000 in funds to economically disadvantaged students, including many enrolled in the foster care system.
Our 2019 fundraiser, Sky Candy Live at the Umlauf Gala, was a huge success. We raised thousands of dollars for our audacious 20/20 for 2020 plan – giving 20% of our youth students full or partial scholarships. Unfortunately, we had to delay dispersal of funds in much of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic was terrible in many ways, but it also afforded us time and space to think about who we were and who we wanted to be. As both a company and a community organization, we realized that we had been thinking too small. One of the ways we decided to strive further and do more was with our scholarship fund.
While enabling youth and teen students to take classes is still a large part of the fund, we also want to help financially marginalized adults be able to as well.
What It Is
JEDI stands for Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion. While we can’t find the actual creator/s of this acronym to give credit where it is due, it (and DEI) have been used over the past few years to denote programs and initiatives that are attempting to correct for historic exclusions, abuses, and oversights of marginalized communities.
The mission of Sky Candy’s JEDI Fund is to promote these principles in our programming and in our community creation practices. The fund offers financial support to members of our community from marginalized backgrounds who may not otherwise be able to afford to make aerial arts a part of their lives.
Why We’re Doing It
We believe that a safe and supportive environment for learning aerial arts can foster personal growth for participants and can also create positive change in our community. Additionally, we believe that dismantling systems of oppression and discrimination deserve the active attention and focus of all individuals and organizations.
We want to work together to help address historic injustices and create a better world. Helping to democratize access to aerial arts and physical activity is part of that.
How You Can Participate
If you’re an adult who would like to apply for funds to take classes at Sky Candy, please fill out this questionnaire. However, if you’re applying on behalf of a youth or teen, please fill out this form instead. Applications are checked on Mondays, and you should hear back on yours after the Monday following your submission. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any help filling out your application.
To find out more about JEDI principles, and how to apply them to yourself or your organization, check out UNC’s JEDI Toolkit. It is full of self-reflective exercises and educational resources on microaggressions, implicit bias, and other ways to identify blind spots, find and correct discriminatory practices, and just generally do better.
You can give directly to our fund using the “Donate” button below, but if you need your donation to be tax-deductible, you should donate to it through Austin Creative Alliance.
As a for-profit company, donations directly to us cannot be deducted from an individual’s or organization’s tax burden. However, since we are also a sponsored project of local arts nonprofit ACA, donations through them can be. For more info on how to do so, click here.
If you have any further questions about our program, how to apply for or donate funds, or to donate directly through other means than Paypal, email our JEDI Fund coordinator Jennie Guillot. Otherwise, just use the button below to donate now!