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Chicago Filmmakers Receives $25k Grant From National Endowment For The Arts

firehouse-33Andersonville’s own Chicago Filmmakers will receive its largest grant in recent memory from the National Endowment for the Arts this year.

It’s among more 41 projects in Illinois that, in total, will receive $2,024,900 in the NEA’s second major grant announcement of its 50th anniversary year, according to the NEA’s website.

“I’m excited to not only receive the grant, but I am also pleased that it is the largest NEA grant we have received for a long time,” Brenda Webb, executive director of the Chicago Filmmakers, said on Wednesday. “Typically, our funding is at the $15,000-$20,000 level. This year’s grant was for $25,000.”

The organization’s annual operating budget is currently $675,000 — not including its capital budget. The Chicago Filmmakers recently purchased a firehouse and are in the process of renovating it.

Chicago Filmmakers is a not-for-profit media arts organization that fosters the creation, appreciation, and understanding of film and video as media for artistic and personal expression, as well as media of important social and community impact, according to the organization’s website.

Its mission is two-fold: To serve independent film and digital video artists by supporting the creation and dissemination of new media arts works, and to serve Chicago audiences by screening artistically innovative, socially relevant, and diverse films and videos.

Chicago Filmmakers is located at 5243 N. Clark St. Its website says that, among other goals, it seeks to empower lesbian-, gay-, bisexual-, transgender- and queer-identified, gender non-conforming and allied youth.

Webb said funds were received in support of the not-for-profit’s filmmaker services and public education programs, which include workshops and classes in various aspects of film and digital media production; free public seminars and panel discussions; professional development services for filmmakers, such as free consulting and learning circles as well as networking events with industry guest speakers; Digital Moviemaking Summer Camps for Youth (ages 10-16); Teen Digital Filmmaking Workshops; and free digital film workshops for LGBTQ and allied youth.

13230121_805067809628685_4060537344372276756_nShe said the Chicago Filmmakers has received NEA grants each year since she started working there in 1978, and also presumably earlier before she worked at the organization.

“Suffice it to say, we have a long history of NEA funding,” Webb said.

The grant’s application deadline was in July 2015. Webb said she is not certain when the Chicago Filmmakers will receive the money.

“That depends on when I submit my request,” she said. “The NEA requires that you submit grant request forms that reimburse expenditures that have already been outlaid, as well as an allowance for anticipated expenses.”


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