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American Documentary launches mental health fund for BIPOC artists

American Documentary, the non-profit organization behind PBS strand ‘POV,’ is launching a new Artist Mental Health Fund to support the independent documentary community. This pilot fund will provide support for the mental ...
June 15, 2020

American Documentary, the non-profit organization behind PBS strand ‘POV,’ is launching a new Artist Mental Health Fund to support the independent documentary community.

This pilot fund will provide support for the mental health of Black artists, as well as Indigenous peoples and artists of color (BIPOC) who are working as directors, producers and interactive creators.

Applications will be accepted beginning today (June 15) and the application period will close on Saturday (June 20) at 11:59 p.m. ET/PT.

These grants are a direct response to overall concerns about mental health in the documentary field, particularly as filmmakers of color are disproportionately vulnerable to lack of work and health risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the toll of systemic racism and police brutality.

AmDoc stated the creation of the Artist Mental Health Fund was informed by conversations with mental health practitioners, filmmakers and interactive creators, as well as learnings shared from the D-Word community and at the International Documentary Association’s (IDA) Getting Real ’18 conference.

“In recent years there has been such a growing conversation regarding the mental health needs of Black people, Indigenous folks and people of color. Our newest fund will give grants to support vital resources such as counseling and prescribed medications to nurture the health and creativity of artists from non-white communities,” said Asad Muhammad, VP of impact and engagement strategy at ‘POV’, in a statement. “This Mental Health Fund is created to particularly support these artists who are on the frontlines of telling stories with integrity while experiencing the most barriers to their own care and livelihoods.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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