Shine The Light Scholarship


Applications Open: March 1, 2021
Applications Close: May 28, 2020


SMBW is committed to the education of emerging design talent. Over the past 30 years, the firm has focused on connecting with the academic community to mentor, collaborate, and support student work through internships and externships, open studios, critiques, mentoring, teaching, and scholarship opportunities.  We hope to inspire and support the next generation of black creative leaders through the award of this scholarship.

Shine the Light was born from the desire to celebrate contemporary black RVA creators in the Arts and Design fields while encouraging young emerging talent to pursue a professional career path in design.  This series of creator conversations is a platform to share their work, stories, challenges, and social activism. 


Black students enrolled in a U.S. not-for-profit educational institution, who will be enrolled in an accredited Architecture or Interior Design program in the Fall of 2021 are eligible to apply*.


2 scholarships of $3,000 each will be awarded; one each to an Interior Design and an Architecture student.


Applicants* for the scholarship must follow the submission requirements no later than 11:59 PM EST on May 28th, 2021. Email your submission to Scholarship awards will be announced in June 2021.


One pdf package that includes the following:

  1. Application, please download here.
  2. Essay Response to the following question, 500 words max.

How does a designer, and the work they create, have the potential to create positive community impact?

*Current employees, recent former employees, and interns of SMBW, as well as their immediate family members, and those who SMBW deems to present conflicts of interest, are ineligible for scholarship award.