BRENDA ARTS is the definitive Afrocentric film program for POC youth. 

BRENDA ARTS is a film program geared for POC youth and involves film history, theory, media literacy, and production. Currently being piloted by Black charter school in Portland and launching in December,  BRENDA ARTS' goal is to create an outlet for a new Black cinematic expression and boost the voices of marginalized groups. Juxtaposed to the white supremacy built into traditional film school and film industry at large, BRENDA offers a strong alternative. The program is a nine week course that covers all aspects of a legitimate film production. 4th and 5th grade students will be trained in cinematography, costume/sound design, directing, and editing of their own subversive horror films.  Horror shorts will be the focus due to the genre being designed to demean African Americans since its inception. 


Created by critically acclaimed filmmaker Spencer Garland, the program comes out of personal devotion to the art. The program is named after his late mother Brenda who encouraged him to pursue art and also taught art in schools. BRENDA ARTS was born out of Garland's alienating experience during film school. He witnessed a lack of POC inclusion and the elevation of films which emphasized white mundanity. Garland strives to instill filmmaking with meaning, purpose, and a sense of urgency. 


The school which hosts the program has been the target of racialized/economic attacks since its inception which limits the ability to function without generous donations from outside sources. Funding will go towards procuring iPads for the students to use as cameras, software, business insurance, props, crafting materials, film equipment, and marketing. BRENDA ARTS aims to expand passed one school and become affiliated with school districts around Portland, Oregon and beyond!

More information can be found at

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Spencer Garland 
Portland, OR
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