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IAO Announces Accelerator Awardees

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Due to a tie in the scores, IAO is awarding the IAO Accelerator to two initiatives in 2021: Blackperfumers.com and Scratch’n’Sniff Open Database.

The Institute for Art and Olfaction (IAO) has announced the awardees for the 2021 IAO Accelerator program.

The IAO Accelerator is designed to assist initiatives and individuals whose work is devoted to inclusive practices that are reflective of the global and historical diversity in perfume and scent practices.

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In its inaugural year, awardees were selected by judges Rubia Chaudri, Julianne Lee, Minetta Rogers, Lakenda Wallace and Saskia Wilson-Brown. Together, the judges assessed the submitted projects based on factors such as the benefit to the applicant, the benefit to the community, project feasibility, project originality and project urgency.

The awardees will be provided with a start-up stipend of $1,000.00 each, as well as business, legal and technical assistance from individuals identified by the awardees and the IAO as being potentially helpful to their specific needs.

Awardees

Due to a tie in the scores, IAO is awarding the IAO Accelerator to two initiatives in 2021.

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Led by Elle in New Orleans, Blackperfumers.com seeks to promote Black perfumers as an expected presence rather than as an anomaly in niche and mainstream perfume outlets and platforms around the world. Further goals include to inspire STEM educators to introduce perfumery to Black youth in schools as a potential career choice where they can explore arts, design and science, and to make the contributions from the global Black diaspora in the evolution of contemporary fragrance more visible to perfume wearers and perfume producers.

Led by Jas Brooks in Chicago, the Scratch’n’Sniff Open Database project aims to create a public database of scratch and sniff books. It’s meant to provide information for researchers, authors and parents interested in purchasing and analyzing existing books or producing their own work, as well as take into consideration olfactory engagement for blind or visually impaired persons (BVIP)—much like tactile graphics, but for smell.