CHICAGO, IL — Mezcla Media Collective, a 501(c)(3) organization which works to elevate over 650 women and non-binary independent filmmakers of color in Chicago, was selected for a $15,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support arts projects of its members. Mezcla Media Collective will be among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding.
“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as Mezcla Media Collective re-engage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”
“The raw talent and skills of femme filmmakers of color in Chicago inspire us daily to continue advocating for their voices, which have too long gone ignored. After just 3 years, we built a community of 600+ individuals; This grant will allow us to intentionally serve these womxn of color in film and their projects while we sustain our new organization,” Colette Ghunim, Mezcla Founder.
This grant will help fund general operations and capacity building of the organization.
Mezcla also recently launched an official new Membership Platform, with exclusive member benefits and resources. The timely launch comes as Mezcla embraces its exponential growth over the past three years and explores innovative strategies to elevate the stories coming out of their community. In less than two months since the launch, over 60 members already signed up from throughout the Chicagoland area.
Benefits of membership include: private script table reads, monthly meetups (i.e. screenwriters’ meetups, etc.), free access to quarterly workshops, film festival and rental house discounts, the opportunity to serve as a mentor in Mezcla’s University Mentorship Program, and a Membership Resource Portal exclusive to members.
For more information on the projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
About Mezcla Media Collective Founded in November 2017, Mezcla serves as a hub for 600+ women and non-binary independent filmmakers of color in Chicago. Its mission is to advance the careers, enhance the skills, and build camaraderie among its members.
In its short three-year history, Mezcla is proud to have provided programming, access, and opportunities for over 650 members including securing 35+ production jobs, hosting 16+ member events and meetups, fostering 11+ organizational partnerships with industry-leading companies, facilitating 15+ hires, funding one independent film and more.
Mezcla Media Collective strives to ensure that women of color filmmakers realize their full potential as storytellers and agents of change. By fostering safe spaces, Mezcla has become a community of lifelong learners, doers, and makers that jumpstart creativity and are a sounding board of new ideas and prototypes. Mezcla Media Collective works in close collaboration with partners in the industry: Skill Scout, Kartemquin Films, OTV, Chicago Media Project, Chicago Film Office, , Banner, Keslow Camera, EvolveHer, and IFA Chicago. For more information visit www.mezclamediacollective.org.