Blog Rep. Mondaire Jones Announces Federal Grant for JBFC's Creative Culture

Posted August 11, 2021

The JBFC was pleased to welcome Congressman Mondaire Jones (NY-17) to our campus on Tuesday, Aug. 10 to announce the grant we received from the NEA. Here is his announcement from the event:



Jones held a press conference at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville to announce its $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (Footage can be found here)

Today, Congressman Mondaire Jones hosted a press conference in Pleasantville
to highlight a $20,000 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant for the Jacob Burns Film Center. Located in Pleasantville, the Jacob Burns Film Center is a nonprofit arts and education hub that has been bringing world-class cinematic and cultural events to the lower Hudson Valley for the past 20 years. The NEA Grant will be used to support the Center’s Creative Culture fellowship program for emerging filmmakers. 


At the press conference, Jones was joined by Sean Weiner, the Director of Programs at the Film Center’s Media Arts Lab, as well as two recipients of the Creative Culture fellowship: Leah Galant and Karina Dandashi.

“Today, I was honored to celebrate our investment in the arts and especially in the Jacob Burns Film Center,” said Congressman Jones. “From showcasing current American and foreign films to offering unique film series to educating the next generation of filmmakers, the Jacob Burns Film Center has been foundational to the arts and culture in New York’s 17th Congressional District and more than deserves this $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. With this grant, Jacob Burns can invest even further in its Creative Culture fellowship, and I look forward to seeing the incredible work this program creates. In Congress, I’ll continue to advocate for robust investment in the arts and in film, and for federal investment for fellowships like this throughout Westchester and Rockland.”

“We are deeply grateful to the NEA and Rep. Jones for their support of the Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) and our Creative Culture fellowship program for emerging filmmakers,” said Sean Weiner, Director of Programs, Media Arts Lab. “From the beginning in 2001, the JBFC’s mission has been to share stories and experiences from around the world. Creative Culture attracts emerging filmmakers with new, unique, and engaging stories, reinforcing the JBFC’s status as a creative hub and strengthening the filmmaking community.”

Mondaire Jones is the 34-year-old Congressman from New York’s 17th District, serving Westchester and Rockland Counties. He serves on the House Judiciary, Education and Labor, and Ethics Committees and is the first openly gay, Black member of Congress. A product of East Ramapo public schools, Mondaire was raised in Section 8 housing and on food stamps in the Village of Spring Valley by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to provide for their family. He later graduated from Stanford University, worked at the Department of Justice during the Obama Administration, and graduated from Harvard Law School. He is a co-founder of the nonprofit Rising Leaders, Inc. and has previously served on the NAACP’s National Board of Directors and on the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Most recently, Mondaire worked as a litigator in the Westchester County Law Department. In November, Mondaire was unanimously elected by his colleagues to be the Freshman Representative to Leadership, making him the youngest member of the Democratic House leadership team. In December, Jones was appointed a Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and became a Co-Chair of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus. Mondaire was born and raised in Rockland, and resides in Westchester.


Banner photo: (from left to right) Karina Dandashi, Leah Galant, Rep. Mondaire Jones, Sean Weiner
Photos: Lynda Shenkman

Photos of the Congressman’s event can be found here. 

The Jacob Burns Film Center is proud to receive generous support from:

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