National Endowment for the Humanities: Media Projects – Production Grants
Media Projects Production Grants support film, television, and radio projects for general audiences that encourage active engagement 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. Projects must demonstrate the potential to attract a broad, general audience.
Production grants support the production and distribution of films, television programs, and radio programs that promise to engage a broad public audience. In addition, Chairman’s Special Awards (up to $1 million) are offered for projects of exceptional significance, audience reach, and complexity. A Chairman’s Special Award project should examine important humanities ideas in new ways and promise to reach extremely large audiences. These goals can often be accomplished through combining a variety of program formats, forming creative collaborations among diverse institutions, and significantly expanding the scope and reach of the project.
To be ready to apply for a Production grant, an applicant should have: 1) completed research on the subject, including archival work and preliminary interviews; 2) involved scholars in creating and interpreting the project’s content; 3) completed the project’s script(s) (for film or television projects) or detailed treatment(s) (for radio projects); and 3) designed plans for distribution, outreach, and partnerships. Production grants may be used for:
- Production and distribution of films, television programs, and radio programs
- Meeting with scholars
- Research and script refinement
- Outreach activities and public engagement
Amount: Grants typically range from $100,000 to $650,000. In rare circumstances, Chairman’s Special Awards of up to $1,000,000 are available for projects that will reach an exceptionally large audience.
Eligibility: Any U.S. nonprofit organization with IRS tax-exempt status is eligible, as are state and local governmental agencies and federally recognized Indian tribal governments. Independent producers who wish to apply for NEH funding must seek an eligible organization to sponsor the project and submit the application to NEH. Applicants are not required to obtain a development grant before applying for a production grant.
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