Shutterstock Launches Global Grant On International Women’s Day To Empower Female And Non-Binary Creators


Shutterstock, Inc recently announced the launch of “Through Their Eyes,” a $10,000 grant to champion underrepresented female and non-binary creators, and their creative projects across photography, visual journalism, videography, illustration, 3D modeling, and writing. 

Launching on International Women’s Day, the grant was established to celebrate and embolden the diverse perspectives of female and non-binary artists, by highlighting their visual stories, and providing a glimpse into their thoughts, experiences and perceptions of the world as portrayed in their art. Moving away from stereotypical content and towards more inclusive works, “Through Their Eyes” focuses on the female gaze at a time when women and non-binary artists are increasingly taking hold over their own narratives.    

“Shutterstock is powered by storytelling from its diverse global contributor community, and with “Though Their Eyes,” we aspire to empower and elevate women and non-binary people in the arts,” said Kristen Sanger, Senior Director of Contributor Marketing at Shutterstock. “Diversity, authenticity and representation are themes that echo the collective spirit at Shutterstock, and the “Through Their Eyes” grant enables these talented female and non-binary artists to create and exhibit visually stunning content that is both relevant, and reflective of their experiences.”

The $10,000 grant will be awarded in three prizes: a first prize of $5,000, with second and third prize each receiving $2,500. 

Female and non-binary artists including photographers, videographers, illustrators, 3D artists or writers are open and encouraged to apply. Applicants must submit a project proposal, examples of their work, and a short biography by 5 p.m. EST on April 22, 2021 to be considered for the three grants. Applicants are encouraged to outline how their submitted projects will add to the narrative of the female and non-binary perspective. Grant recipients will be selected by a diverse panel of expert judges who are knowledgeable in the various genres of grants Shutterstock will be offering. All artists selected for a grant will be provided an outlet to license their work, either via Shutterstock, Shutterstock Editorial, Premium Beat or OFFSET.

The Create Fund, a $300,000 artist grant, was established by Shutterstock in December 2020, to fill content gaps and further diversity and inclusion within its content library and contributor network. 

At launch, the first three grants offered through The Create Fund included:

Create for Climate: Drawing awareness to global climate change by supporting artists who use their talents to depict climate change, environmental protests, and our changing landscape.

Support Invisible Illness: Promoting artists who create visual stories and representations that break the stigma around mental health, portraying a more inclusive view of mental illness around the world.

● The Senior Creatives: Supporting our community of senior creatives—those over 50 who have had years to hone their craft and want to share their experiences and perspectives through creative means.

In addition to launching the “Through Their Eyes” grant, we are thrilled to announce the recipients of these three grants:

● Create For Climate: João Esteves, Portugal 

“My goal with this project is to create a short-documentary film at this pivotal moment, to feel the pulse of the Fridays for Future movement and other climate activists in Portugal.”

● Supporting Invisible Illness: Aaliyah-Janay Williams, U.S.A

“Through film, I intend to show the emotional and mental toll that self-exploration can have, especially when an individual is unlearning habits, behaviours, and patterns that do not serve them.”

● The Senior Creatives: Erkin Bolzhurov, Kyrgyzstan

Erkin’s son Bektur has cerebral palsy, and Erkin began to document his life and the lives of others with disabilities through photography.

“I want to show their lives, and relationships with their relatives.”

To learn more about the “Through Their Eyes” grant, visit