Nightingale Cinema is a DIY micro-cinema space in Chicago, Illinois screening experimental and underground films and video art. In June, we were proud to launch a new project called Nightingale-in-Residence, which is an artist's studio residency program for filmmakers, photographers, media artists, and writers. Our first resident artist was Chicago artist Joelle Mercedes, who we set up with bi-weekly studio visits with local Chicago artists, as well as gave them tutorials on camera operation, access to a studio space, and an exhibition of their work at the close of the residency.

At Nightingale Cinema, our team of eight volunteer artist-curators operates the venue, creating unique and engaging film and video programming that is otherwise unseen in Chicago. Since May 2021, we have hosted a monthly outdoor programming series at Hyde Park Art Center to bring experimental cinema to Chicago's community safely during the pandemic, alongside managing the Nightingale-in-Residence program.

For the first edition of the residency, Joelle paid us $250 a month in return for the gear rental, space rental, and to pay the artist studio visitors. We are excited to find funding opportunities to make the Nightingale-in-Residence program free for Chicago-land artists, and with a $1000 Awesome Grant, we could completely fund a three-month residency for another artist in the fall. This will directly assist Chicago artists who are lacking funding for studio space and equipment.

We have been thrilled to expand our methods of assisting up-and-coming artists with the Nightingale-in-Residence program, but unfortunately, without funding, the program will not be able to continue sustainably. This Awesome Grant will not only give a Chicago artist an incredible residency experience for three months, but it will bring diverse voices from our community into discussion with each other through the studio visits, and promote a local artist's work in the final exhibition.

Funded by Chicago, IL (September 2021)