SDF Receives South Arts Resilience Fund Grant to Upgrade Technology and Create NEW VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING

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The Southern Documentary Fund today announced receipt of a grant from The South Arts Resilience Fund in the amount of $30,000. With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the fund aims to build the long-term resiliency of our arts organization amidst the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. SDF will fulfill these aims principally by upgrading our technology systems to deliver new virtual programming to our Southern documentary media community.

“We are so thrilled to receive this vital support from South Arts. Updating our technology will allow us to continue to broaden our reach into all 12 Southern states that we serve. Today’s unprecedented times compel us to be more isolated than usual. The South Arts grant funds will be used to create virtual programs and offer services that will be accessible to people throughout the South. We are excited about the enhanced possibilities to build community and to improve our resiliency,” said Peter Gilbert, Interim Executive Director, SDF.

This initiative will empower SDF to provide high-quality virtual experiences for our Southern media makers, including our Educational Forums, Fresh Docs film screenings and Maker Mentoring Sessions. These opportunities will connect our makers with industry experts, seasoned film directors, and documentary producers. Importantly, the funds will enable SDF to expand its capacity to understand the challenges our makers experience during this COVID-19 pandemic. Our slogan is “nothing about us without us” and we rededicate ourselves to this commitment each time the stories of one of our makers makes its way into the world.

SDF is a nonprofit arts organization that cultivates documentary film and media made in or about the American South. It is our mission to empower Southern makers to tell Southern stories through Southern eyes and experience. We prioritize underrepresented voices, especially those with long connections to the American South, including black American descendants of US slavery and Native American populations. Inspired by our core belief that media has the power to change lives and communities, we aim to provide makers with diverse resources, including grants, fiscal sponsorship, mentorship programs, continuing education and training–all with the intent of lowering barriers to entry for Southern makers.

Through the South Arts Resilience Fund, significant grants have been made available to small and mid-sized arts organizations with a history of visionary leadership and impact. This fund is one of several support mechanisms created by South Arts in an effort to be responsive to the needs of arts organizations across the region. South Arts continues to seek additional funds to further build the South Arts Resilience Fund and its grant-making capabilities as the pandemic and its effects continue to evolve. #ArtsResilienceFund.