Ideas Beyond Formats is a paid publishing program and equity initiative geared towards supporting and amplifying the voice of BIPOC+ identifying artists age 21+. Through the program, we will aid in developing, publishing, and promoting a significant work by the artist (to be defined by the artist). The program includes a $2,000 honorarium and a $2,000 production budget, both to be managed by the artist. We plan on supporting one artist per year and plan to kick off the program in 2021.   

The Application 

The application for the project will be free and open to any BIPOC+ identifying person living in the United States of America, age 21+. We will be working with advisors to develop the application and administer the selection process. We’re currently working to launch the application mid 2021. Sign up to our mailing list below to receive updates on this and other Sonnenzimmer activities. 

The Advisors


Application Advisor

Aay Preston-Myint 

Aay Preston-Myint is an artist working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His practice employs both visual and collaborative strategies to investigate memory and kinship, often within the specific context of queer community and history.


Application Reviewer

Stephanie Graham 

Stephanie Graham is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Chicago. Her work draws on her fascination with subcultures, social class, relationships, and of course, being Black. She holds a BA in Cinematography and Photography from Columbia College Chicago and works in Film production in Chicago. Pre-COVID, you could find Steph on the dance floor, Post COVID you can find Steph in academic conversations regarding the Real Housewives franchise as it's her favorite show.


Application Reviewer

Fulla Abdul-Jabbar 

Fulla Abdul-Jabbar, is a writer, artist, and editor living in Brooklyn. She teaches in the Department of Writing at the Pratt Institute where she was awarded an AICAD Postgraduate Teaching Fellowship and is Editor and Curator at the Green Lantern Press. She has performed, screened, or exhibited nationally and internationally including at the Electronic Literature Organization, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the Brussels Independent Film Festival. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as DIAGRAM, Bombay Gin, Jellyfish Review, Passages North, and Prairie Schooner.


Application Reviewer

Mich Miller

Mich Miller (they/them) is a Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary artist who works in the mediums of painting, printmaking, design, and installation. Mich earned their BFA from the School of the Artist institute of Chicago in 2015 and is a current MFA candidate at Yale University in Painting & Printmaking. Through abstraction, they investigate the dynamics of gender and queerness through color, gradients, suggestive form, and a playful visual language. 

In 2018 they co-founded The Print Shop LA—a collaborative printmaking studio in Los Angeles, which offers a full range of independent publishing as well as opportunities for internship and artists-in-residence programs. Miller has exhibited work in both solo and group shows at various spaces nationally, including New Image Art Gallery, Neon Raspberry Art House, and All Star Press Chicago. Most recently, their work has included installations and murals for major media brands such as Pitchfork Music Festival, Vans Skateboarding, and Facebook.


The Details

Ideas Beyond Formats will take place over the course of 3–5 months (TBD by artist). Meeting remotely, Sonnenzimmer (Nadine Nakanishi and Nick Butcher) will aid in the conceptual development and logistic support of the project from start to finish, as well as promoting the project through Sonnenzimmer’s available channels.


Our Channels

2,300+ email subscribers / average of 1,000 opens per campaign

7,800+ Instagram followers

500+ unique visitors to our website each month

Funding this Program

On the currency side, this program will be funded by setting aside 10% of our sales and a percentage from our commissioned projects.* Why only 10%? This amount will allow us to maintain our current workload and keep the program sustainable. On the emotional labor side, we will be contributing 40 hours of advising (a semester-ish length) and 40–50 hours of administrative work. This equates to an additional $3,000.00 in ratio to our income. 
We are also be accepting donations toward the program. 

100% of your donation supports this initiative.


Financial Transparency 

Our (Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi) taxable income hovers around $36,000 each. Our budget for this project is $7,500, which roughly hovers around 10% of our taxable income. 


We need to raise $7,500 to initiate this project. This will cover the artist's honorarium ($2000), artist's production budget ($2000), application advisor ($500), and three application reviewers ($500 each), leaving a $500 buffer. We began setting aside money for this program in May of 2020 and so far have raised $3,189.37 (updated 12/31/2020). We will be updating this total monthly. 

Constructive criticism is valued and always welcome. Thank you for caring. 


We will be adapting and tweaking as things unfold and as things need to be amended. 


* Please see our T>E>A>M and Picas initiatives for more information.