It's the best of times and the worst of times for The Dallas Video Festival.
The good news: for the third consecutive year, the Festival received a special grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The $10,000 was awarded through the National Services category of the NEA's Media Arts program, which recognizes locally based media events that "have significant national impact and/or serve as a model for the field as a whole." Considering that the Dallas Video Festival's entire yearly budget is $75,000--and that the NEA recently stopped providing regional grant money to organizations geared toward helping local film and videomakers--the award, which comes straight from the agency's hub in Washington, D.C., stands as both high praise and sweet relief. "What this grant says is that we're doing something that has an effect beyond the city limits," says the organization's artistic director, Bart Weiss. "That's obviously something we're really proud of."
The bad news: in one week, the festival will have to leave the building that has served as its headquarters for the last four years, a small structure on Henry Street in Deep Ellum. Until now, the organization has occupied the structure rent-free. "It's been for sale for four years now," says managing director Susan Teagarden. "Basically, we were told by the owner that we could stay here until the building sold, and now it's been sold, so we're packing." Teagarden says the Festival has a few leads on a new location, but nothing solid just yet. Anybody who has suggestions is encouraged to call the Festival at 651-8888.
--Matt Zoller Seitz ([email protected])