1 February 2024

Contact: Wendy Levy, Executive Director

The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture announces ten grants to emerging filmmakers from across the US through the Power of Storytelling grant program. These $5,000 awards will enable early career mediamakers to write, shoot, edit and/or distribute their own creative short digital media projects. Grantees receive funding as well as mentorship from award-winning filmmakers and participate in a series of workshops throughout the year on budgeting, editing, impact producing, and distribution strategy. For many applicants, this is the first grant of their careers.  Congratulations to Aldo Merino, Daysia Leneé Hiller, Angelica Quinones, Deondre Marshall, Darian Jones, Gavin Soler, Hannah Patterson, James Pakootas, Maia Helvy, and Mekhi Burton.   

Six of the grantees (Deondre Marshall, Mekhi Burton, Gavin Soler, Aldo Merino, Anjelica Quinones, and Daysia Lenee Hiller) are alumni of the NBCUniversal Creative Impact Lab, a partnership between NBCUniversal and the Alliance for Media Arts + Culture.  Four grantees (Hannah Patterson, Maia Helvy, James Pakootas and Darian Jones) are Arts2Work-affiliated artists from Atlanta, Spokane and Baltimore. All of the grantees trained at community-based media centers that are members and partners of the Alliance. These include Wide Angle Youth Media (Baltimore), Venice Arts, Urgent, Inc (Miami), Reimagine (Atlanta) and New Age Warriors (Spokane).

The Power of Storytelling program is made possible through generous grants from NBCUniversal and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture is a nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating collaboration, innovation, strategic growth, and cultural impact for the media arts field.  Through the Arts2Work program, it helps provide opportunities for low-income creatives, BIPOC, women, young adults, disabled artists and veterans to get hired and learn on the job. Arts2Work is the winner of the MIT Solve Prize for Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the U.S. The organization’s National Board of Directors and Board of Advisors includes industry leaders from NBCUniversal, Microsoft, Raben Group, Google, Netflix, Getty Images, California College of the Arts, California Department of Education, and many others.   

NBCUniversal is committed to advancing access and equity in society. We accomplish this mission through employee volunteerism, storytelling and empowering the next generation of diverse content creators. The company partners with over 50 nonprofits across a broad range of sectors from health and human services to education to the creative arts to the media and technology. Over the past five years, the company has engaged over 30,000 employee volunteers and worked with over 18,000 students from under-resourced communities.