ARRAY has consistently been a champion of highlighting marginalized voices in the arts, and the current unprecedented climate of the industry during the coronavirus pandemic has inspired the independent distribution company and resource collective founded by Ava DuVernay to go a step further.
The company’s nonprofit foundation ARRAY Alliance has now launched a $250,000 funding initiative called ARRAY Grants “for organizations and individuals dedicated to narrative change by people of color and women of all kinds.” This includes filmmakers, creators, journalists, arts advocates, regional film festivals and screening series, and the grant has established to support grassroots entities serving as a “cultural catalyst” for that very change.
“Establishing ARRAY Grants furthers ARRAY’s mission to support arts advocates around the country that are cultural necessities in their communities. With more content from creators of color and women being made, it’s crucial to support the organizations that nurture and nourish these voices,” Regina Miller, ARRAY Alliance Executive Director, said in a statement via a press release provided to The Root. “In just the last few weeks, we’ve all gained a new appreciation for the value of human connection and the simple comfort of being together, sharing stories, in a place that feels safe and welcoming. Every community deserves that.”
Per ARRAY’s press release:
Unrestricted ARRAY Grants of $10,000 have been awarded to the following 14 inaugural honorees that serve African-American, Latinx, Asian-American, Native-American, multiethnic and women-centric film communities: BronzeLens Film Festival, Cine Latino Film Festival, IllumiNative, Sankofa Film Society, Gary International Black Film Festival, UrbanWorld Festival, Cinema Sala, Lumbee Film Festival, Indigenous Film Festival, Black Femme Supremacy Film Festival, Visual Communications, ImageNation, Cinema Detroit and the Houston Museum of African American Culture. Additional ARRAY Grants were also presented to The Sarah Jones Film Foundation and to Wilson Morales of BlackFilm.com.
In addition to financial support, ARRAY convened 14 grantees for its inaugural skills-building summit, ARRAY Ascend, at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. ARRAY also awarded consultation grants and commissioned Bridge Philanthropy to provide ongoing strategic mentorship addressing the more urgent needs of the organizations.
The grant recipients are based on a nomination-only system where “an independent committee comprised of leaders from the philanthropic, entertainment and academic sectors draw on their expertise and networks to identify extraordinary candidates.”