Grant #372

DeSoto Arts Institute

November 11, 2019

Just Because You Live In Northwest Mississippi Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Go Hollywood

Who wants to learn how to make movies? In Southaven, Mississippi, film students are as young as 7 and as old as — well, let’s just say they qualify for AARP. And they’re surprisingly diverse, including aspiring auteurs who identify as Black, Indian, Asian, and Native American. They’re all welcome at the DeSoto Arts Institute, which supports, trains, educates and mentors the next generation of youth (and the young in spirit) in filmmaking and technology. The DAI Film Program’s primary goal is to produce short films that enable students to rotate through the various jobs it takes to do the work from start to finish. This includes coming up with a story, writing, directing, location scouting, production, editing, graphics, color grading, advertising, and so on. This gives students a chance to discover their strengths while gaining real experience that might lead to jobs in the film industry one day.

We love that DAI prides itself on providing a professional working studio environment that actively demonstrates ethics, honesty, generosity, commitment, and respect.

DAI is fortunate to have over 6,000 square feet of studio space that locals remember as Lollipop’s skating rink. But Lollipop’s took a licking through the years, so DAI needs to fix the place up some more. This grant will help DAI improve the space to make it safer and better suited to the filmmaking process. Just in time, too, because DAI is setting out to make its first feature film. Learn more here. Lights! Camera! DeSoto!

Follow along with DeSoto Arts Institute on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Category: Art, Children, Film, Media, Youth



Starting May 16, 2022, we’re pausing accepting new applications. We will post here when we re-open the floodgates! Please do not submit any applications until we announce we are accepting them. We will not review them.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@AF_WB), Facebook (@AwesomeWithoutBorders), and here on our fab website for updates on our weekly grant announcements. You can also join our quarterly newsletter:

We’ll be back soon!

Team Awesome Without Borders