New York City Artist Corp Grants Information Workshop – Be Ready for Cycles 2 and 3!!


Join Firelight Media and Black Public Media (BPM) along with other NYC arts organizations are partnering with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), with support from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) as well as Queens Theatre (QT) on the City Artist Corps Grants program. City Artist Corps Grants will distribute one-time $5,000 grants to more than 3,000 working NYC artists – including filmmakers – who will engage the public with arts activities across New York City’s five boroughs beginning this July.

Firelight Media, BPM and NYWIFT recognize the damaging impact COVID-19 has had on the city’s artists. We’re making sure NYC’s media makers know about this opportunity to apply for and use the City Artist Corps Grant resources to share their work. This webinar will include a brief overview of the City Artist Corps Grants program, specific information for media makers who seek to apply for the grant, and a live Q&A. Hosted by Michon Boston, project manager, with introductory remarks by Marcia Smith, president of Firelight Media and Leslie Fields-Cruz, Executive Director of Black Public Media. Be ready to submit!

Cycle 2 Deadline is July 20.

Learn more about City Artist Corps Grants and apply here:

Workshop Date: Tuesday, July 13th, 2021 at 1:00pm 
How to View the Workshop: Please see the Zoom link in the confirmation email
Cost: Free



Leslie Fields-Cruz, Executive Director of Black Public Media (BPM), started at BPM, then known as the National Black Programming Consortium, in 2001 managing grant making activities that supported the production and development of documentary programs for PBS. She was promoted to director of programming in 2005 and oversaw the distribution of funded programs to public television. Frustrated with the lack of content that spoke to the diversity of experiences within the African diaspora, Leslie curated the first season of BPM’s award-winning series AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange. Now in its 11th season AfroPoP is still the only national public television series focused solely on stories about the global Black experience. In the fall of 2014, Leslie became BPM’s third executive director. Though she keeps the pulse on the development of program content and its distribution across public media platforms, she is focused on growing BPM’s resources to enable it to support more stories about the Black experience. Leslie serves on the board of directors for NYWIFT and New Era Creative Space (NECS), a local community arts center in Peekskill, NY.

Marcia Smith is president and co-founder of Firelight Media, which produces documentary films, provides artistic and financial support to emerging filmmakers of color, and builds impact campaigns to connect documentaries to audiences and social justice advocates. Under her leadership, Firelight Media was honored with a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Firelight Media’s flagship Documentary Lab program has supported more than 80 emerging filmmakers over the past decade, who have premiered at festivals such as Sundance, and gone on to earn numerous festival, Peabody, and Emmy awards. She has written several films alongside documentarian Stanley Nelson including: Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities; Through the Fire: The Legacy of Barack Obama; Freedom Riders; Jonestown: The Life and Death of the Peoples Temple; Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind; and The Murder of Emmett Till. Marcia received a Primetime Emmy nomination and won the Writers’ Guild Award for best nonfiction writing for her work on The Murder of Emmett Till, and was honored with a 2016 Muse Award from New York Women in Film & Television, as well as the 2019 Luminary Award from BlackStar Film Festival. Marcia will also serve as the writer for Firelight’s upcoming 4-hour documentary series, Creating The New World, on the transatlantic slave trade. Marcia is a member of AMPAS, currently sits on the Peabody Board of Directors – East Coast, and is a member of the Board for Martha’s Vineyard Film Society.

Michon Boston is founder and principal of Michon Boston Group Ltd., providing consulting and strategic planning to film, media makers, and organizations on impact campaigns to reach and inspire their target audiences. Michon has worked in television programming for PBS and was director of programs for DC Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She’s also a freelance journalist and a published/produced playwright. Michon’s articles are published in The New York Times, Washington City Paper, The Washington Post Magazine. 



As leader of Black Public Media’s marketing and engagement team, Cheryl D. Fields uses a full set of strategic communications, journalism, leadership, and creative storytelling skills to build support for BPM’s programs and mission. She was part of the leadership team behind BPM’s groundbreaking Be Heard social media campaign, which helped boost Black voter turnout in the 2020 U.S. presidential election; and has played a key role in promoting other BPM programs including AfroPoP, PitchBLACK, and the Black Media Story Summits. In 2013, she served as a consultant to the Peabody Award-winning documentary 180 Days, which highlights some of the challenges African-American students face in Washington D.C.’s public schools. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Cheryl holds a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California and is a former media management fellow of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

July 13 @ 1:00pm
1:00 pm — 2:00 pm (1h)

This program will take place virtually as a webinar via Zoom. Please register in advance, and all registrants will receive a link to attend the webinar the day of the event.

We encourage you to download Zoom in advance.

Free event.


Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.