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Media arts organization receives grant from NEA


Black Public Media (BPM), a Harlem, NY-based media arts organization, has been awarded an Arts Works grant of $40,000 by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

The allocation, one of more than $80 million in NEA approved grants as part of its second major funding announcement for 2018, will assist the development of BPM’s public television series “AfroPOP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange.”

Art Works is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The variety and quality of these project speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said Jane Chu, NEA chairperson. “Through the work of organizations such as Black Public Media in New York, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”

Over the past decade, “Afro Pop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange” has brought to television stories about people of African descent around the world. Produced by BPM and distributed by American Public Television, AfroPop is the nation’s only public television series of documentaries on contemporary life, art and culture across the African Diaspora. Hosts of the series have included Idris Elba, Anika Noni Rose, Gabourey Sidibe, Wyatt Cenac, Anthony Mackie, Yaya DaCosta, Jussie Smollett, Nikki Beharie and Nicholas L. Ashe.

“NEA’s support for the AfroPop series reinforces our belief that authentic stories about the African Diaspora are important to keeping the American public informed and engaged about diversity of the African-American and global African experience,” said Leslie Fields-Cruz, BPM executive director.