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National Endowment for the Humanities: Media Projects – Development Grants

Deadline: January 8, 2020

The Media Projects – Development Grants program supports the collaboration of media producers and scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare documentary film, television, radio, and podcast projects that engage public audiences with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways. Awards should result in a script (for documentary film or television programs) or a detailed treatment (for radio programs or podcasts) and may also yield a plan for outreach and public engagement. All projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship. Projects must also demonstrate an approach that is thoughtful, balanced, and analytical. The approach to the subject matter must go beyond the mere presentation of factual information to explore its larger significance and stimulate reflection.

Media projects that promote a deeper understanding of American history and culture and advance civic education are encouraged, as are media projects that examine international themes and subjects in the humanities. Film and television development projects may be a single film or a series addressing significant figures, events, or ideas. Programs may be intended for regional or national distribution, via traditional carriage or online distribution. This Media Projects: Development Grants program does not fund development of single short films. Proposed films must be longer than thirty minutes. Series of multiple films may be any length. Radio and podcast development projects may involve single programs, limited series, or segments within an ongoing series. They may be intended for regional or national distribution.

Projects are encouraged that engage public audiences through multiple formats. Proposed projects might include the development of supplementary components to a film, television, radio, or podcast project: for example, book/film discussion programs, supplementary educational websites, or museum exhibitions. Applicants must have clear central ideas and a solid command of the major humanities scholarship on their subject, and they must have consulted with a team of scholarly advisers to work out the intellectual issues that the program will explore. The scholars must represent major fields relevant to the subject matter, have a strong record of research and scholarship in the humanities, and offer diverse perspectives and approaches. All projects applying to the Media Projects program should:

  • Build on sound humanities scholarship
  • Deepen public understanding of significant humanities questions
  • Approach a subject analytically, presenting a variety of perspectives
  • Involve humanities scholars in all phases of development and production
  • Involve appropriate media professionals
  • Employ appealing and accessible program formats that will actively engage the general public in learning

Media Projects – Development Grants may support activities such as:

  • Meetings with scholars
  • Research and preliminary interviews (including scholarly research and development of humanities themes)
  • Preparation of program treatments and/or scripts
  • Production of a work-in-progress or trailer
  • Creation of partnerships for outreach activities and public engagement

Amount: Five awards of up to $75,000 each will be made for a project period of 6-12 months.

Eligibility: U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, state and local governmental agencies, federally recognized Native American tribal governments, and accredited public and 501(c)(3) institutions of higher education.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=322037

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