Sunday, December 19, 2010

Exciting MAPA Announcement!

Dear MAP-Animaniacs!

Thank you all for making the inaugural year of the Midwest Association of Professional Animators so successful.

In our first year alone, we successfully hosted a 5 month professional lecture series, built relationships between artists and employers in the local market, increased awareness of local productions and threw an amazing art show with our Cell-a-Bration.
I think you will find that 2011 holds even more surprises! 
  1. We have already begun planning our first Adobe Boot Camp, tentatively scheduled for January 29 at Stageport.
  2. The first draft of our 501(c) application has been drawn up and should be finished in the next few months, which will allow us to raise funds and help more local artists.
  3. We have a very successful blog that has attracted more than 7,000 visits in the last two months of 2010.
  4. Our submission form for our first animated film festival is nearly complete.
  5. And we have already scheduled our next Cell-a-Bration for Labor Day weekend, 2011.
In the light of all our success, I have a very special announcement to make.
MAPA was recently approached by the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City to participate in an exciting venture detailed below.

The Robert Altman Emerging Filmmakers Fund

This fund will allow local filmmakers, within several counties including and surrounding Kansas City, to apply for assistance in getting their short film productions off the ground. Similar to the way the Charlotte Street Foundation has invested more than $675,000 over the past 13 years to individual artists, this new annual fund will leverage institutional and corporate support in the form of donations and grants. The first year goal is to provide up to 10 local filmmakers grants between $1,000 and $5,000 in film budgets.

The fund is the brainchild Justin Gardner, Social Media Manager for AMC Theaters and member of the Greater Kansas City Film Commission. Through his guidance, it has grown into a partnership between ArtsKC, AMC Theaters, the Film Commission and now MAPA.

All fiduciary responsibility and awards governance for this exciting venture will be handled by ArtsKC and overseen by Paul Tyler, Fund Grants Director. With his more than 16 years of experiences in providing artists with funding, we know the program will thrive under his expert direction.

The Film Commission plans to launch the Robert Altman Emerging Filmmakers Fund in 2011 in coordination with the Kansas City Film Festival ( The Arts Council will select a panel of judges to re-convene every year. Candidates can apply online, either through the Film Commission website, (, or through the Arts Council website, ( The independent review panel will provide objective judging and an impartial evaluation of entries, apart from the Film Commission Board, to avoid any conflicts of interest.

The Fund has already received initial support of $1,000 from local filmmaker and fund founder Justin Gardner. The first year funding goal of $35,000 will be raised corporate gifts, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

So what does this mean for MAPA?

As explained to us, the fund is primarily for local filmmakers who have submitted short works to ANY film festival, not just the KC Film Fest. That means it would also include applicants to the animated festival we are working so hard to build.

Until MAPA becomes a legal non-profit later this year, we cannot begin fundraising directly for our organization. We can, however, kick off our fundraising efforts for this program beneath the umbrella of the Arts Council. All proceeds raised to support the fund would be managed by ArtsKC. In return, we would be able to attach our organization name and support to the program, fixing us into what could become a long-term benefit for local artists. Furthermore, it would provide a safe “training-ground” for our own fundraising programs.

So what is next?

For those of you interested in participating, I would like to propose hosting a fundraising event for early to mid-Spring in support of this fund. Anyone who gets involved would be working directly with me and the Arts Council to make this dream a reality, not to mention building more relationships within the local art and film communities.

If you are interested, please contact me directly at 816-267-0719 or by email at

Thank you so much for making MAPA such a success and I look forward to another great year!

Dylan Dietz
Midwest Association of Professional Animators

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