Welcome to the MAP IT FORWARD Artist Program

It is with great delight that we bring you a new portal within the MAP IT FORWARD brand. Introducing the MAP IT FORWARD Artist Program.

This program was born out of my (Lee Safar) love for creation and the awareness of how rich our coffee community is with artists looking to combine different passions within their life.

For those who don’t know, I was a professional multi-genre songwriter and singer for 10 years. I owned my own record label called The House of Jote that later got re-named Red Feather Records. Right at the time I was getting ready to laugh a pretty amazing global co-write project in 2015 called ‘Love and Other Delusions’, I accidentally and unexpectedly created Elixir. At the time I had to make a very difficult decision for myself, my team and the other artists on my label. With their support I decided to walk away from the music business and created Elixir Specialty Coffee. The rest is pretty much history.

My story isn’t unique to the coffee industry. All over the world our cafes, roasteries and coffee farms are filled with artists of all different disciplines; painters, musicians, sculptures, weavers, anime drawers and so very much more.

Since the inception of MAP IT FORWARD I’ve been looking for a way to celebrate our cultural and artistic expressions as a community while finding a way to spread the word of the (other than coffee) talents that exist in our community.

It is my sincerest hope that the The MAP IT FORWARD Artist Program will do just that! Our first initiative is a quarterly themed competition. In a nutshell, every three months we’ll select a theme and invite artists from all over the world to submit artwork that expresses their interpretation of the theme. We’ll select five finalists and submit them to the community for voting. The winner will get paid USD$100 for their artwork, appear on the MAP IT FORWARD Podcast, and a $0.50 royalty for each piece of merchandise sold with their work on it will be given to a coffee supply chain initiative of the artists choosing.

Our first theme is “The Future of Coffee is…” and entries are open now till 11.59pm PT Feb 20th. Finalists will be announced at 5pm PT on Feb 24th via our website and socials (@imapitforward) where you’ll be able to vote for your favourites. The final winner will be announced at 5pm PT Monday, March 1st.

You can get full details here.

I can’t stress this enough, this competition is only for employees and employers within the coffee supply chain. Please don’t hit up your graphic designer and tell them to enter. Entrants will be required to validate they are employed within the coffee supply chain AND that the artwork is yours. If you are a graphic designer that works exclusively for a coffee company, you are however welcome to enter.

Please spread the news far and wide (especially to people who might be less likely to see it employees at the back end of the supply chain).

Thank you in advance to all the artists who submit artwork. I’m beyond thrilled to kick this off!

Peace Love and Peanut Butter

Lee Safar

p.s. blog posts will start coming regularly after this one on a number of subjects! If you’d like to become a writer for the MAP IT FORWARD blog, please contact us here.