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Ragtag Cinema receives money for community outreach program

Rona Navales

Ragtag Programming for Film and Media Art was rewarded $28,225 from the Missouri Arts Council earlier this month.  

  Each year the money from the Missouri Arts Council is split between Ragtag’s two programs. Half goes to programs managed by Ragtag Cinema, and the other half goes to programs relating to Ragtag and the True False Film Festival.

On the cinema side, the money is predominantly used for Community Outreach Programming.  Ragtag works with other organizations such as Missouri Contemporary Ballet to provide these free events.

“Every month we partner with two other fellow non-profits in the community and work with them to bring a film to our theater that is relevant to their mission and helps to further their mission in the community,” said Tracy Lane, Executive Director of Ragtag Programming for Film and Media Art.  “And we don’t charge any rent or any fees for that service we utilize those MAC funds to cover the costs of those events.”

The community service programs typically has 24 programs a year. But the number varies based on the amount from MAC grants.

The half of the funds that goes toward The True False Film Festival is for Ragtag’s mentorship program.

“Each year we select 10 to 12 up-and-coming documentary filmmakers that we feel have great promise to become really great filmmakers and we pair them up with ten or twelve seasoned filmmakers people who have already established that level that we see in these young filmmakers,” Lane said.  “And there’s an all day workshop that takes place during True False, and so that group of people spends an entire day working together and building relationships that will help forge the careers of those young filmmakers.”

According to Lane, Ragtag received the largest award money in its category because it was ranked number one in the Media Arts category.  They scored higher than film organizations in Kansas City and St. Louis due to the educational aspect of their program. 

“We’re providing opportunities for young people to further their careers is a very important component to what we do,” Lane said.  “And I think that’s something the Missouri Arts Council greatly wants to support; creating new artists, and new careers.”

According to Lane, without the grant funds, these specialized programs would not exist.  The funds are utilized to maintain their mission to enrich the culture of the community and film communities globally.

“I think it’s important for the community to understand that that we are a nonprofit organization and although we share this building with some great for-profit businesses that are wonderful partners and sort of enhance the environment in which Ragtag is housed they are separate businesses and it is grants and donations and membership support that fund what we do,” Lane said.

In addition, Lane explains that it is important that legislators know how important the Missouri Arts Council is to the community. 

“I hope that the state will continue to fund the council so that the council can continue to fund our program and other community programs,” Lane said.

According to Ragtag’s Membership Coordinator, Lindsay Yungbluth, funding also comes from memebership, donations, and supporters like their six underwriters.  They have 1,300 members, 300 of which are students.  One of the current goals is to get more students to become members.

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