Ragtag Receives Works Grant
COLUMBIA - National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced Wednesday that Ragtag Programming for Film and Media Art is one of 788 not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant for 2013.
Ragtag Programming has been recommended for a $25,000 grant to support its educational outreach program. The 788 Art Works grants total $24.81 million and support 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.
Chairman Landesman said, "the arts should be a part of everyday life. Whether it's seeing a performance, visiting a gallery, participating in an art class, or simply taking a walk around a neighborhood enhanced by public art, these grants are ensuring that across the nation, the public is able to experience how art works."
The Educational Outreach Program is led by Polina Malikin. There are many facets to the program which generate thousands of free and discounted tickets for special screenings and events throughout the year at the cinema and during the festival to students as well as their teachers and/or parents.
To date, over 100 visits have occurred, ranging from workshops to critiques at Hickman, Rock Bridge and Douglass High Schools, as well as Stephens College, University of Missouri, and Columbia College.
Ragtag Cinema has launched a student membership program that aims to engage large student population, providing them with discounted tickets and special free events. NEA funds will help offset the costs for free student-only events. In addition, special free screenings are held at Ragtag Cinema for students in the T/F Film Clubs at Hickman and Rockbridge High Schools. These events help students deepen their appreciation of nonfiction film, provide facilitated discussions, and make them more comfortable with foreign language films, documentary films and other arthouse film genres.
A program launched last fall in which 12 students from the local high schools were selected by faculty members to participate in a behind the scenes educational program during the months leading up to the 2012 True/False Film Fest. These students were able to work with nearly every member of the True/False team to learn about the many aspects of festival production. During the fest, these students also were able to attend panels, workshops and screenings and to interact directly with many of the directors who travelled to Columbia for T/F.
NEA funds will allow expansion with CATV (Columbia's community access television station) to bolster the "Film Boot Camp" which piloted in 2010. Annually, Eight high school students and two teachers are selected to participate and given free membership and training at CATV. All the participants learn basic video production, create shorts for the festival, and are granted a full year's access to CATV equipment and resources.
In 2013 the festival will create leadership and volunteer opportunities that are specifically tailored for local youth, especially for students who cannot afford to buy a pass or work during normal volunteer shifts. These positions will provide special professional development, and behind the scenes access to festival management, staff and filmmakers.
The NEA received 1,624 eligible applications under the Art Works category for this round of funding, requesting more than $78 million in funding. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.