National Endowment for the Humanities: Media Projects – Development Grants
The Media Projects program supports film, television, and radio projects that engage public audiences with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways. All projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship in disciplines such as history, art history, film studies, literature, drama, religious studies, philosophy, or anthropology. Projects must also demonstrate an approach that is thoughtful, balanced, and analytical (rather than celebratory). The approach to the subject matter must go beyond the mere presentation of factual information to explore its larger significance and stimulate critical thinking. NEH is a national funding agency, so the projects that we support must demonstrate the potential to attract a broad general audience.
Development Grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production. Grants should result in a script (for a film or television project) or a detailed treatment (for a radio or podcast project) and may also yield a plan for outreach and public engagement.
To be ready to apply for a Development Grant, applicants must already have settled on a subject, an approach, and a project team. In particular, applicants should have:
- Selected a humanities subject and assessed the major scholarship related to it
- Reached out to scholars and experts who work in the relevant subject area(s)
- Consulted with the humanities team (that is, the scholars and experts who work in the relevant subject area) to clarify the interpretive ideas that the project will consider
- Formed a media team to see the project through its development period
- Considered how the content will appeal to public audiences and will convey what they should learn from the project
- Chosen the project’s format(s)
- Identified the resources (such as archival materials and potential interviewees)
Media Projects: Development Grants may be used for:
- Continued 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: Awards for development typically range from $40,000 to $75,000, depending on the complexity of the project, and are usually made for a period of six to twelve months.
Eligibility: U.S. nonprofit organizations with IRS 501(c)(3) status is eligible; state and local governmental agencies; and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.
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