October 1, 2023
BLACK PUBLIC MEDIA
By Leslie Fields-Cruz
As I write this Dispatch, I am enjoying the last little bit of my vacation. The fall is off to an exciting start! I and my BPM colleagues extend our deep appreciation to all who attended our D.C. mixer a couple of weeks ago. It was fun reconnecting with folks we haven’t seen in a while, and to meet new people who’ve come into our community since the pandemic turned everything upside down. Everytime we host one of these events, I am reminded how important it is to periodically gather our creatives, funders, board members, and industry partners in the same physical space. Virtual communication is great, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction. We hope to make that mixer a recurring event, so stay tuned for an invitation to it again next September.
Scenes from the DC Mixer
Words of Gratitude
I personally want to thank the BPM board members, who convened in the nation’s capital last month so that they could both participate in the mixer and meet the next day to plan for the year ahead. Bidding farewell to our outgoing chair, Darryl Ford-Williams, was bittersweet. Her nine years of board service have left us stronger and more resilient. But we are thrilled to officially welcome Deniese Davis, founder and CEO of Reform Media Group, as our new board chair.
I also want to congratulate all who responded to our Open Call for climate stories. We are excited by the volume and quality of projects that were submitted and look forward to sorting through the submissions to select the award recipients. You can expect an announcement about that toward the end of this year.
Finally, I want to commend all film industry parties who were involved in this summer’s writers and director’s disputes. Negotiations of this type are never easy and seldom conclude without pain being felt on all sides. Hopefully, the recent agreement between the writers and the industry will win the members’ approval next week. Of course, the dust has not quite settled yet, and it won’t until SAG-AFTRA and the industry find their way back to the negotiation table for an agreement that is fair and equitable. Once that is resolved, the industry can begin a new future, one I hope we can all enjoy.
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BPM is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with further funding from the MacArthur Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts. BPM is the only nonprofit that offers training, funding and distribution for projects solely about the Black experience. We welcome foundations, corporations and individuals to help with our work. For more information about underwriting and contributions, contact Alisa Norris (email@example.com).