Acting Director, Media Arts
Mary Smith became the acting director of Media Arts in January 2014. In this position, she manages the NEA's grantmaking for the field and the program's special initiatives, such as Film Forward.
Smith has more than 30 years of experience managing the federal grant programs for the media arts field. She has been a media arts specialist since the late 1980s and advises hundreds of applicants annually seeking funding for production projects, services to the field, film festivals, distribution activities, workshops, seminars, conferences, television and radio series, multimedia initiatives, and the archival field.
Over the years at the NEA, Smith has worked on various special projects such as the creation of Media Arts Regional Fellowships, the Media Arts Fund, the implementation of the Arts on Radio and Television and Arts in Media categories, and Film Forward. She has delivered presentations about the work of the Arts Endowment at conferences such as the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, the Sundance Film Festival, the National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture, Independent Film Week, Silver Docs, the Miami International Film Festival, South by Southwest, the Art House Convergence Project, and others. In addition, Smith has been a visiting lecturer at American University and Long Island University.
Smith received her journalism degree at the University of Colorado with a minor in film appreciation studies.