Cucalorus selected as a recipient of the South Arts Resilience Fund


The Cucalorus Film Foundation has been selected as one of 34 small to midsize arts organizations to receive a $30,000 grant from the South Arts Resilience Fund with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The South Arts Resilience fund is supporting new, region-specific activities to build the long-term resiliency of arts organizations battling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We applaud all that you do to support the arts ecosystem and are pleased to assist your organization on this path,” Suzette Surkamer, President & CEO of South Arts stated in a congratulatory letter to Cucalorus.  

Cucalorus Film Foundation leaders found themselves reimagining their work after in-person events and educational programs were no longer allowed to move forward when restrictions on gatherings began in March. Managing Director Rachel Taylor stated, “The South Arts Resilience Fund is helping us create safe screening environments to continue our support of independent artists, bringing media literacy to our youth, and creating an economic mark for Wilmington, NC.”

More than 20 years in the making, Cucalorus has since grown into one of the largest film festivals in the South. Festival programs focus on dance, music videos, emerging artists, social justice, works-in-progress, and international cinema. Cucalorus education and outreach programs include Global Perspectives, Works-in-Progress Lab, Latino Lens, Media Literacy, and Racial Rewind. “This generous grant is contributing to the continuation of these programs, allowing us to adapt the way we share content in the midst of this year’s financial and logistical challenges,” Taylor said. The grant will also fund work with equity consultants, as Cucalorus continues to develop more diverse and inclusive practices. 

Through the South Arts Resilience Fund, significant grants have been made available to organizations with a history of visionary leadership and impact, and Cucalorus is honored to be a recipient. This fund is one of several support mechanisms created by South Arts in an effort to be responsive to the needs of arts organizations across the region. South Arts continues to seek additional funds to further build the South Arts Resilience Fund and its grant-making capabilities as the pandemic and its effects continue to evolve.

The Cucalorus Film Festival is funded, in part, by a grant from South Arts with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and sponsored by the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, University of North Carolina Wilmington, National Endowment for the Arts, and North Carolina Arts Council.