Milwaukee Film was recently awarded a $25,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to assist with the rollout of the organization’s new Focus Finder accelerator program.

As part of Milwaukee Film’s mission to elevate diverse voices in film, Focus Finder is a storytelling accelerator designed to build a small cohort of emerging local filmmakers from underrepresented communities. The program will combine the best parts of mentorship and fellowship in order to strengthen emerging voices in Milwaukee’s film industry pipeline.

“The NEA’s support will allow us to continue to amplify the voices and strengthen the careers of local filmmakers,” said Cara Ogburn, associate artistic director for Milwaukee Film. “We’re very excited to be able to continue strengthening the connections and networks of the creative community within Milwaukee and to the larger industry nationally.”

Applications for the Focus Finder program are open until July 21. Participants who are approved will receive both financial and professional support for two years as they work on a major storytelling project. In addition, the Focus Finder program will provide filmmakers with personalized access to technical and industry training through external partners, mentorships, and additional resources tailored to their needs.

The NEA is an independent federal agency whose work supports and provides people with the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. The grant is one of 1,015 awarded nationwide in this category as part of Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020.

“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We celebrate organizations like Milwaukee Film for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”

© Photo

Lee Matz