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In 2003, 588 hopeful applicants sought cash from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for various projects. Sometimes they got what they wanted.
NAME: Albert Jenkins
GRANT APPLIED FOR: Small Projects Program; city offers up to $1,000 “to make grant funds more accessible for small-scale arts projects.”
MONEY NEEDED FOR: support of an independent film, Waiting to Inhale
BACKGROUND: Though he provided no details about any previous experience making films, in his application Jenkins said he was a “huge fan of comedy” and called himself an “independent film maker.” According to paperwork he submitted, in 1998 he founded “Whitestone Entertainment, Inc. an independent rap label.” He recorded “three full length singles and five snippets,” one of which, he claimed, “stayed on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart for 23 weeks and Hot R&B Singles Chart for 14 weeks.” An accompanying Billboard clip confirmed that “Rock ‘Em” “peaked at No. 4 on the Hot Rap Singles chart” but not how long it charted.
PLAN: According to his application, Jenkins’ film is “an urban comedy on substance abuse.” He noted that “[v]arious scenes in this picture will be shot outside on the streets in Washington, D.C. Therefore, we will need the assistance of the D.C. MPD to block these areas off.” He estimates those costs to come in at around “$44 per hour/ 4 hour minimum [per] day” over a period of “15 to 20 days.”
AMOUNT ASKED FOR: unspecified
UPSHOT: Vince Cook, a comedian whom Jenkins asked to take part in the filming, says that the film was never finished. “We never got going on it,” he says. “I don’t think Albert knew what he was doing.” —Mike Kanin