Dev Grant Spotlight — Ukraine Art Collective

This is the latest post in our series highlighting the builders and innovators creating new tools and services on the Filecoin network. Learn more about Filecoin Foundation’s Dev Grants program.

Ukraine Art Collective’s (UkraineArtCo) mission is to unite artists around the world to contribute their creative talents to support the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom. Founded in early March 2022, shortly after the start of the Russian invasion, the group deployed its fundraising platform using IPFS and Filecoin to create, mint, and sell NFTs. The NFTs are based on physical and digital art contributed by the art community, such as paintings, music, photography, mixed media, and more. Proceeds from sales of the NFTs on Rarible and OpenSea have been donated to Razom for Ukraine, a nonprofit providing critical humanitarian war relief.

“The team wanted to find a way to do more than individually donate money … to find a way to use our skills and knowledge to help the people of Ukraine. We also wanted to empower artists, who many times do not have financial means to contribute, to contribute their art,” said Mike Grushin, one of the group’s founders, who brought his NFT knowledge from his experience advising professional sports organizations about Web3 at NextLeague.com.

The UkraineArtCo recently received a Filecoin Foundation developer grant to continue to build its platform with the vision to white-label its solution, making it available to others who want to raise funds using NFTs. The organization uses Filecoin and IPFS to store, retrieve, and host digital assets.

UkraineArtCo’s near-term vision is to develop an NFT-enabled philanthropy platform. The platform will facilitate artist onboarding and let artists select which causes to support and how to handle proceed sharing.

Mariya Zeltsman, whose art is pictured above, was the first artist that UkraineArtCo launched, at NFT Miami. Born in Odessa, Masha’s art represents the feelings of families who are scattered due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and her goal is to bring awareness to what is happening through her NFT collection. You can find her art, which is part of UkraineArtCo’s current collections, on Metaversero and OpenSea.

Longer-term, the group is looking to establish blockchain-native nonprofit organizations with their own charitable programs, including the purchase of humanitarian-oriented goods and services that directly assist people, rather than directing proceeds to a third-party charitable organization.

“Artists should be aware of how Web3 and NFTs work, and how to leverage this emerging platform to expand the audience for their works, as well as to earn money from their creations,” said Yuliia Deriuhina, Head of Operations.

“It’s been great to see UkraineArtCo come to life and support people on the ground in Ukraine by leveraging new technologies, like blockchain and NFTs. We’re looking forward to empowering more artists to support more charitable programs in the future,” said Leon Flaksin, Project Lead.

To learn more about UkraineArtCo’s efforts, you can find them on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and Discord.

The Filecoin Dev Grants program helps advance projects and aims to award additional grants to boost development in the Filecoin ecosystem. Check out our other grant recipients and learn how you can apply for Open Grants and Microgrants.

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The Filecoin Foundation (FF) is an independent organization dedicated to developing Filecoin and related technologies. The Foundation does this by coordinating