Ozark Foothills FilmFest Receives Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that Ozark Foothills FilmFest, Inc. is one of 150 not-for-profit organizations to receive an NEA Challenge America Fast-Track grant. Ozark Foothills FilmFest is recommended for a $10,000 grant to support the 13th annual film festival, set for April 2-6, 2014 at various venues in Batesville, Arkansas.

The Challenge America Fast-Track category offers $10,000 matching grants to support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Challenge America Fast-Track grants support two major outcomes: public engagement with diverse and excellent art and livability, or the strengthening of communities through the arts. In this FY 2014 funding round, the NEA received 294 eligible Challenge America Fast-Track applications requesting $2.94 million in funding. The NEA will award 150 Challenge America Fast-Track grants totaling $1.5 million to organizations in 46 states, including 33 first-time NEA grantees, or 22 percent of all CAFT grantees in this round.

Ozark Foothills FilmFest co-founder and board president Bob Pest remarked, “Over the fourteen years of our existence, the National Endowment for the Arts has been highly supportive of our efforts to present an annual showcase of independent and non-commercial cinema in a small, rural community. The goal has always been to provide programming that is on a par with that of festivals that take place in much larger markets and the Endowment has been instrumental in making that happen. We sincerely appreciate both the funding and the vote of confidence that this award represents.”

“The NEA was founded on the principle that the arts belong to all the people of the United States,” said NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “We’re proud that Challenge America Fast-Track grants bring more opportunities for arts engagement to underserved communities.”

Ozark Foothills FilmFest, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization, formed in 2001 and dedicated to excellence and accessibility in the cinema arts. The organization presents the annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest each spring and the annual T Tauri Movie Camp–offering video production workshops for youth age 8 to 18–each July. For information visit www.ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org or www.ttauri.org.