Leslie Fields-Cruz
May 5, 2022




By Leslie Fields-Cruz


Congratulations PitchBLACK Winners!

Pitch competitions are tough. It takes a lot of energy, focus and time to prepare a strong pitch, and an even greater amount of courage and commitment to stand before a panel of jurors and a group of nameless, faceless strangers to explain the project you seek funding for. In my mind, all 16 of the folks who participated in this year's PitchBLACK Forum are winners. True enough, only three projects walked away with the funding they sought, but all the projects pitched were worth funding and if we could, BPM would proudly fund them all. That said, I hope all our participants found the experience valuable and look forward to seeing their projects brought to fruition soon. Special congratulations to our winners:  Marlene McCurtis and Joy Silverman in the film category for their project, Wednesday's in Mississippi; and in the immersive category: Tamara Shogaolu for her project, 40 Acres, and Leonardo Souza for his project, Rabiola Open Skies.

We were also pleased to announce Blanca Burch as our 2022-23 Nonso Christian Ugbode Fellow. Blanca will use the fellowship to develop the AR components of her new interactive coloring book, The ABC's of Who I Can Be.

Our 2022 BPM Trailblazer Orlando Bagwell was on hand to receive numerous expressions of congratulations and appreciation from his peers and former colleagues including Keynote Speaker Dawn Porter.

If you didn't get a chance to join us last week, visit our website later this week for links to recordings of the sessions.  And if you'd like to contribute to the Tribute film we're putting together for Orlando, please make a point to upload your brief video to the Tribute site no later than midnight this Sunday (May 8). I am sure he will appreciate hearing from all of you.

BPM is deeply grateful to all who sponsored, contributed to, and attended this year's event, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Netflix, Gimlet Media, GBH/World, PBS, ITVS, and NYWIFT. Thanks, too, to the digital team at BlackHeart, namely Nick, Carlos, Austin, Tahji, and Deadria.  And to our PR team: Cheryl, Alimah, and Catalina. I am especially appreciative of the BPM team: Alisa, Aja, Carol, Cheryl, Chloe, DeLynda, Denise, Diane, Eboni, Kat, and Lisa.  You all are phenomenal and I couldn't be more proud of the work you do.


Black Public Media is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with further funding from the MacArthur Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Acton Family Giving.  For more information about underwriting and contributions, please contact Alisa Norris (Alisa@ blackpublicmedia.org). To donate, click here! In addition, you can donate to BPM through your Amazon purchases by going to smile.amazon.com/ch/31-1335950.

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