Esteem Award winner Black Alphabet Film Festival receives $20k NEA grant. 

Photo from 2022 Esteem Awards pictured left to right Renauda Riddle, co-owner of Nobody’s Darling, Michelle Brown, Zahara Bassett, M. Shelly Conner, Adam McMath of Black Alphabet NFP and Shakur Silas.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced Esteem Award winner, Black Alphabet NFP, has been approved to receive a Grant for Arts Projects award of $20,000. This grant is one of 1,251 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling nearly $28.8 million, announced by the NEA as part of its first round of the fiscal year 2023 grants.

NEA was established in Congress in 1965; it is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of arts and arts education in communities across the United States and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts.

Chicago-based Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) is the world’s oldest Black LGBTQ+-focused film festival. Since 2013 the organization has strived to amplify black LGBTQ+ voices and experiences through the arts. The NEA grant will allow the BAFF to expand its national footprint. “We are delighted to receive our first federal grant. 2023 is Black Alphabet NFP’s 10th year, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our work than by gaining support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and our federal Government,” said Black Alphabet NFP Executive Director Adam L. McMath.

To learn more about the Black Alphabet Film Festival, visit