Includes $10,000 awarded to Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota

In its first 50 years, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funder in the nation to do so. Today, the NEA announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016, including an Art Works award of $10,000 to Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota (IFP MN) to tour the screening program Cinema Lounge to Duluth, St. Cloud, Minneapolis, and Moorhead, MN.

The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The arts are part of our everyday lives – no matter who you are or where you live – they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from IFP MN offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

In response to the NEA’s announcement, IFP MN Executive Director Andrew Peterson said, “NEA support is important to any arts organization—and something we take great pride in receiving. In touring our Cinema Lounge showcase of Minnesota-made short films, media artists across the state will be able to connect with each other by sharing work that is making an impact from coast-to-coast.”

IFP MN will tour a program of Minnesota-made short films to areas with strong filmmaking communities and equally strong presenting partners. Work from media artists based in the Twin Cities, Duluth, Moorhead, and St. Cloud will be included in an 80 minute touring program to each city. Artists will attend the screenings to discuss their work. The mission of IFP MN is to advance a vibrant and diverse community of independent film and media artists through education, funding, opportunities for showcasing their work, and networking. IFP MN envisions a world where expression through images is encouraged and valued. It is the goal of IFP MN to lead the way in supporting the independent filmmaker by creating a healthy and viable filmmaking community in Minnesota.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEAFall15. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to