School of Visual Arts (SVA), in partnership with innovative advertising, design, and digital agency Deutsch NY, introduces Fund the Change, a new scholarship for future undergraduate students. 

Fund the Change will award two incoming freshmen students accepted to the BFA Design or BFA Advertising programs each a $10,000 per year renewable merit scholarship, totalling $40,000 each over the course of four years. 

The first of its kind, Fund the Change is not only a scholarship, but will provide year-round mentorship opportunities and paid summer internships at Deutsch NY. Eligible students must apply by February 1, 2021, and winners will be announced March 15, 2021.

Conceived by Deutsch NY to support creative undergraduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds, and inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Fund the Change aims to bring more diverse talent to the advertising industry. As of September 2020, the World Advertising Research Center (WARC) reports that less than 6% of the industry identifies as Black or African American. While Deutsch NY has a long history of offering paid internships to a diverse group of candidates, Fund the Change will further that mission by supporting the winning students through their entire college careers and creating long-term post-college opportunities to grow within the industry.

“Our mission is simple: to strengthen our industry by investing in future leaders who come from historically underrepresented backgrounds,” said Val DiFebo, CEO of Deutsch New York. “In the heart of our City, we knew SVA was the right partner for us. Together we will be a catalyst for our next generation of creative professionals by bridging the gap between the classroom and agency experience.”

“Understanding that experience helps on the path of opportunity, we’re looking to nourish our undergrads with guaranteed paid internships,” noted Dan Kelleher, Chief Creative Officer of Deutsch NY. “And more importantly, we’ll help establish a network of connections, provide mentorship, support opportunities, and continual feedback to help them get that first job, that next assignment, promotion or account.”

By recognizing the academic achievement and creative potential of students who, through their varied cultural perspectives and ideas, are poised to make an impact on the fields of design, marketing or advertising, Fund the Change will ultimately create a launchpad for aspiring industry professionals. As students progress through their college careers, the scholarship is designed to grow with them and set them up for success in the field after graduation. 

Above: Dan Kelleher and Gail Anderson.

"This scholarship is a dream come true for me, a first-generation BIPOC SVA alumnus and now a Chair at the College. Anything is possible when talent is supported and nurtured,” said Gail Anderson, chair of SVA’s BFA Design and Advertising programs. “Thanks to our friends at Deutsch, new doors will open for the next generation of creative professionals.”

The scholarship program is administered through the Visual Arts Foundation and funded by Deutsch NY. For information on diversity, equity and inclusion at SVA, visit here.