This year, OZY is celebrating our history of recognizing and supporting budding talent through our OZY Genius Award, highlighting 10 past OGA winners – those who have previously received grants of up to $10,000 to help them pursue and start achieving their dreams. These rising stars include Amanda Gormanwinner of the 2017 OZY Genius Award, who lifted the world with her powerful poem during the 2021 United States presidential inauguration.

Non-fungible tokens will be a central part of OZY’s enhanced OGA program, given its unique ability to spotlight grantees and their meaningful work, as well as further engage an interested community. This year’s program will partner with select sponsors and fashion collectibles that showcase past recipients, using NFTs for social good.

It’s one thing to hit an NFT, but it’s another to attach meaningful, meaningful artwork that itself serves its purpose. For this special Genius Class of 2022, OZY has teamed up with the inspiring and gifted Sophie Victor (formerly known as Sophie Dawson), a brooklyn based visual artist who has told the stories of those who have overcome injustice for over a decade. Victor’s work has been exhibited in some of the country’s best known fine art museums. His work is currently exhibited at the Bishop Gallery in brooklyn, which helps aspiring and established artists be catalysts for positive change. The NFT Collection will feature Victor’s rendition of selected OGA winners and is expected to be hit and kicked off by July 2022.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to join OZY in supporting other underrepresented creators through my art and passion,” said Victor. “From our perspective, we couldn’t have found a better artist, so committed to promoting social justice and important causes,” added OZY’s editor, Beverly Watson. “Sophia embodies how creators can impact their gift and talent. That’s why we’re so excited to partner with her and use new and important technology to build community and advance the mission of the OGA.”

Bishop Gallery co-owner Stevenson Dunn, Jr shared his excitement and said, “It’s a perfect partnership. and prompting conversations about change and development.”

With these new NFTs, collectors can potentially bank an awesome “rookie” card from Gorman or one of our other previous OGA winners. Further, the Offering will not be a one-time event. Royalty proceeds can be generated from both the initial offering and further downstream, as collectors continue to fund the program with each transaction. Indeed, OZY plans to establish a foundation to continue these specific goal-oriented efforts, administer the planned NFT auctions, and ensure continued alignment with the social good that has become a hallmark of OZY’s OGAs.

In the tradition of and following MacArthur Genius grants, artist residency programs, and startup incubator efforts, OZY also seeks to mentor, cultivate, and discover emerging stars in a wide range of fields. With NFTs, OZY not only adds more community spirit to those budding geniuses launching novels, movies, apps, startups, and more, but lasting community engagement. And, thanks to Victor’s incredible artistry and eye – along with sponsorships and self-executing smart contracts – OZY hopes to create an engine to power the creators of tomorrow – today.

Launched in 2013, OZY has built a diverse and unique voice in the media, including 5 newsletters, 12 TV shows, 9 podcasts and 4 festivals. In 2020, OZY won an Emmy Award for their breakthrough television program, Black Women OWN the Conversation.


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