A still from Queen Kidjo, a Black Public Media documentary. Provided

By Cheryl L. Duncan

NEW YORK 鈥 The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has named (BPM) as the recipient of a $25,000 Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) award to bring public media and immersive content to an array of U.S. venues that serve diverse audiences.聽

鈥淭he NEA is delighted to announce this grant to Black Public Media, which is helping contribute to the strength and well-being of the arts sector and local community,鈥 said National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. 鈥淲e are pleased to be able to support this community and help create an environment where all people have the opportunity to live artful lives.鈥澛

鈥淭his funding will allow Black Public Media to share compelling films and immersive content on issues that are front and center for communities across the nation,鈥 said Leslie Fields-Cruz, executive director of BPM.聽 聽

With the funding, BPM 鈥 a Harlem-based national media arts nonprofit that funds and distributes content about the Black experience 鈥 will launch a community engagement series in June featuring documentary and immersive (VR/XR) media content, with events running through September. The group will partner with an array of cultural organizations around the country to offer public screenings of BPM-supported documentaries, including those from its signature national television and streaming series AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange. BPM will also present VR/XR pop-up activations 鈥 events that connect the community with immersive media 鈥 showcasing BPM-funded content and other projects from Black story tellers. The aim of the initiative is to bring public media documentaries and immersive media content directly to underserved audiences, expanding the awareness of vital stories that impact Black communities and highlighting the use of emerging media for storytelling.

Black Public Media supports the development of visionary content creators and distributes stories about the global Black experience to inspire a more equitable and inclusive future. The Harlem-based national nonprofit has invested more than $17 million toward iconic documentaries about the Black experience and, in recent years, has increased its investment in emerging media projects. BPM-funded and supported projects have garnered considerable industry recognition, including five Emmys, two Anthem Awards, nine Peabodys, 14 Emmy nominations and one Oscar nomination.聽

To learn more about Black Public Media, visit or follow it on , , and .

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