Foundation News

MCF Awards $8,000 in Grants from the William B. Pratt Endowment Fund to Support Montana Indigenous, Folk, Traditional, and Media Arts

June 28, 2021

The Montana Community Foundation, Inc. (MCF) announces $8,000 in grants made from the William B. Pratt Endowment Fund to support Montana Indigenous, folk, traditional, and media arts.

“We are pleased to award these grants to local organizations and artists bringing Montana’s Indigenous culture and history to life through art. It’s truly our honor being part of Mr. Pratt’s vision for Montana art and culture today and forever,” says Mary Rutherford, MCF President & CEO.

This year’s grant recipients include:

  • $2,000 to the Playwrights Network to support episode 3 of a four-part radio series called “Montanans at Work”. The episode is titled “Montanans as Play: Humor in Indian Country” and explores how humor plays an important role in American Indian cultures and identity.
  • $1,800 to the Fork Peck Community College to support the Buffalo Chasers Podcast.
  • $1,700 to Big Sky Film Festival to support the Native Filmmakers Initiative Film Club.
  • $1,500 to the Blackfeet Community College to support Piikani oral history through songs.
  • $1,000 to the Big Sky Film Festival to support the documentary “When They Were Here,” a documentary on the Missing and Murdered Women and Girls crisis in Montana.

William “Bill” Pratt, a former employee at MCF, established the William B. Pratt Endowment Fund at MCF in 2018 because of his life-long interest in Indigenous, folk, traditional, and media arts. Bill has experience as a musician working in the folk tradition, as a living history and production artisan in forged iron, and as a producer in community video production and documentary and industrial films. This is the second year of granting from the fund.

“I’m pleased we were able to increase the number and amount of grants made this year. It was also most gratifying to support a diversity of projects submitted by Native American communities throughout the state,” says Bill.“I applaud the experience, judgment, and insight of the eight volunteer panelists who reviewed and discussed the applications and made their funding recommendations to the Montana Community Foundation. Additionally, the hard work of the Foundation staff made the grants process run smoothly during a very difficult year for us all.”

Bill established the fund as a legacy gift, but hopes, through this grant process, he can see some of the impact of his legacy in Montana and on the arts community while he is living.

"We are sincerely grateful to receive this generous grant in support of our work to provide an entertaining and informative radio program in Montana," said Pamela Mencher, president of the Montana Playwrights Network.