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Knight Foundation awards Philadelphia arts groups $780,000

Bearded Ladies Cabaret and the BlackStar Film Festival will receive more than $200,000 apiece.

Bearded Ladies Cabaret received one of two $200,000 grants, along with the BlackStar Film Festival.
Bearded Ladies Cabaret received one of two $200,000 grants, along with the BlackStar Film Festival.Read moreJohanna Austin

Six popular Philadelphia cultural organizations, including the Bearded Ladies Cabaret and the BlackStar Film Festival, will receive grants totaling $780,000 from the Knight Foundation, the foundation reported Thursday.

The funds will be used to build new audiences and to help make art accessible during the pandemic and beyond.

Bearded Ladies will receive $250,000 to implement a new programming approach to multidisciplinary cabaret performance. Funds will be used to establish an advisory council to assist artists with artistic planning and development.

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BlackStar will receive $225,000 for multiyear support of its film festival, staffing, and new professional development efforts, specifically for the Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab and upcoming Filmmaker Seminar. The lab will provide equipment, space, crew, mentorship, funding, and feedback to four local artists or collectives through a 12- to 18-month fellowship. The seminar will consist of a three-day course, starting in spring 2021, for approximately 150 artists of color working in film.

Other grants include: $100,000 for the Philadelphia Film Society outdoor drive-in theater and $75,000 for the Asian Arts Initiative to create a digital broadcast studio within AAI’s black box theater, along with a pilot series of online programs.

Philadelphia Photo Arts Center will receive $70,000 in general operating support, allowing for an upgrade to digital systems and diversification and expansion of its digital audiences.

The Head and the Hand, a nonprofit publishing company and writers’ workshop, will receive $60,000 to expand services to Philadelphia writers through free and affordable workshops, literary programming, professional editorial development services, and publishing and selling services.