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Why the NEA’s New Media Emphasis Spells Trouble for Traditional Docs

Why the NEA's New Media Emphasis Spells Trouble for Traditional Docs

With less money, more platforms and more projects, PBS is in trouble — again.

Slammed by National Endowment for the Arts funding cuts, no longer shielded from campaign ads, and threatened by the arrival of new media platforms (not to mention a Republican presidential candidate who shuns it), PBS — and the producers of its content — are experiencing particularly tough times.

On Wednesday, the NEA released its most recent round of funded projects. It also confirmed major cuts to such established PBS programs as Independent Lens and P.O.V. — home to some of the best lauded American nonfiction, from Oscar nominees “Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room,” “The Weather Underground” and “Waste Land” to this year’s “Hell and Back Again” — as well as shows like “American Masters” and “Art 21.”

Much to the chagrin of the independent documentary community, Independent Lens will see its funds slashed from $170,000 to $50,000, while P.O.V funding will drop from $250,000 to $100,000, and American Masters will receive just $50,000, compared with $400,000 last year.

“It’s a big chunk to replace and we’re looking at making some changes,” says P.O.V. executive director Simon Kilmurry, who notes the shift will impact their 2013 schedule. “Whether reducing licensing fees, or reducing our investments in marketing or digital work, we’re going to try to spread the pain as strategically as possible.”

While Kilmurry says they’ll maintain their number of broadcast spots, he says, “we’ll probably be paying a little less.”

Dennis Palmieri, a senior executive at ITVS, which produces Independent Lens, says the cuts are “not going to be crippling” and neither ITVS filmmakers, nor the number of their programs, will see any reduction in financing from the cuts. “But no cut is a good cut,” he adds.

Part of the major changes in the NEA’s PBS funding are a result of a shift of focus at the organization. Previously, public television and radio programs were funded through an NEA arm called Arts on Radio and Television; this year, to catch up with the new digital times, it’s been changed to Arts in Media, which now funds a much wider ranger of projects, including mobile apps, games, multimedia and transmedia projects. But because of this year’s federal budget, the division has less money to dole out: $3.55 million, compared with last year’s $4 million budget. And yet, the number of grantees was 78, up from 64 in 2011, out of 329 eligible applicants, more than double from last year’s 150 entrants.

“Unfortunately, when we decided to expand to Arts in Media, we didn’t have the appropriation from Congress at that point,” says Alice Myatt, a former PBS executive, and now the NEA’s director of media arts. “But no matter what, we think we must move forward.”

This year, for instance, the Arts in Media division will give support to several new media oriented groups, never supported by the NEA before, including Auricle Communications (for its multimedia “Re:Mix Media Project”), Games for Change (for its Facebook game “Half the Sky”), Global Lives (for an interactive web video installation called “The Global Lives Project”) and Let’s Breakthrough (for an interactive social change video game).

“The NEA’s responsibility is to ensure the American public has great art,” says Myatt, “and we know that art can be made and consumed very differently now than 10 years ago. There is a lot of the public that’s not watching television; they’re looking at content on the web and mobile phones, so it’s our obligation to make public media on every platform.”

Cognizant of the difficulties that the funding shift may cause for programs like P.O.V. and American Masters, Myatt adds, “We know it hurts. We know that this is very difficult, and it came down to very, very difficult choices.”

Documentary producer and director Gordon Quinn, who has seen his work broadcast on all three PBS documentary strands, says he’s worried about the health of the nonfiction series as well as traditional documentary filmmaking. “If long-form documentaries are going to survive, they need a viable place,” he says.

Many are concerned that this emphasis on funding new media platforms comes at the expense of supporting more conventional docs, when in fact, they argue, the two work together. As Quinn says, “When you’re talking about the web and phone apps, long form documentaries can be a way of drawing people into that world.”

Many of this year’s funded projects are, in fact, standard documentaries, with some opportunity for social, new media or outreach component, such as Women Make Movies’ “Mr. Soul! Ellis Haizlip and the Birth of Black Power TV,” or WNYC’s “Stories from the Jazz Loft,” but Myatt seems intent on challenging the community to embrace new strategies and platforms.

On a conference call last week explaining the NEA’s grant changes, Myatt said, “Just because you think of yourself as a TV or radio station, we’re asking you to think broader, to challenge yourself… We would like you to think about exploring transmedia, to take something from television into a game or mobile app… We are asking you to stretch.”

But Kartemquin Films’ Tim Horsburgh wonders what happens when such elements “aren’t relevant to a project?” he says. “I have some concern that people are being dazzled by the lights and forgetting the foundations. We should be amplifying what is already great documentary work.”

P.O.V.’s Kilmurry concurs. “I think there’s a role for all of it,” he says. “All of our films have some kind of special digital features, and we’ve even done some online-only projects, but I actually think the long form is still extremely important. There are some stories that lend themselves to digital approaches, but there are some that you need to spend some time building something rich and textured and nuanced.”

“Novels aren’t going out of fashion,” adds Kilmurry. “So there has to be a place for long-form documentary.”

See the list of funded projects on the next page:


Acadiana Arts Council, Inc.
Lafayette, LA $20,000
To support the production of a television series intended for national broadcast. Named for the 12-year-old radio program, “Louisiana Crossroads,” the television series will feature the indigenous music and cultural influences of southwest Louisiana. The six, one-hour programs include concert footage, interviews, and images that convey the nature of the people and place.

American Documentary, Inc. (aka P.O.V.)
Brooklyn, NY $100,000
To support the selection, acquisition, packaging, and promotion of films for broadcast on the public television series P.O.V. (Point of View). As the longest-running PBS series devoted exclusively to independent, nonfiction film, P.O.V. brings documentary artworks to national audiences. An additional 20-50 million people access the series through online partnerships, community outreach, education activities, field work, and national media campaigns.

American Institute of Graphic Arts
New York, NY $100,000
To support a series of educational videos about accomplished designers. Created in honor of the centennial year of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the series, 100 Years of Design, will feature 52 short video portraits reflecting the evolution of American culture over the last century. The videos will be distributed online and as podcasts.

API Arts and Outreach, Inc.
New York, NY $25,000
To support research and pre-production costs for “Manga High,” a documentary film about youth participating in the Comic Book Project. Founded by Michael Bitz, a professor of education at Columbia University, the Comic Book Project teaches students to express themselves through graphic storytelling. Research and pre-production activities will include creating a website.

Appalshop, Inc.
Whitesburg, KY $75,000
To support the “Thousand Kites” radio series and web platform for The Prison Poetry Workshop. Each one-hour radio program will focus on poetry composed by prisoners in jails across the country and will feature interviews, commentary, workshop recordings, and readings. Once completed, the radio series will be broadcast on approximately 80 stations.

Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ $50,000
To support the creation and presentation of an interactive performance and art work installation. The project is being developed at the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering at Arizona State University and is led by artist Grisha Coleman with a team of artists and media and technology developers. The 75-minute work, “ActionStation #2-The Desert,” will go on a three-year tour with five locations per year that may include the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit and the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Art 21, Inc.
New York, NY $100,000
To support the seventh season of the public television series “Art21–Art in the Twenty-First Century.” Through four, one-hour programs, the series will introduce a broad audience to diverse contemporary visual art and artists. The series will include an interactive website. Also, episodes will be streamed at PBS.org as well as on other online platforms. More than 350 public screenings are planned at museums, libraries, and other venues.

Arts Engine, Inc. (aka Media That Matters Film Festival)
New York, NY $10,000
To support the Media That Matters Film Festival and outreach campaign. The 12th film festival will premiere in New York City and feature 12 short films, curated from a selection of 500 entries. The festival will travel to approximately 80 communities across the United States. After its initial New York screening, the films with accompanying materials will be available online for free and for purchase as a DVD.

Auricle Communications (aka Free Music Archive)
Jersey City, NJ $75,000
To support the Re:Mix Media Project, a new series of programs planned by the Free Music Archive that aims to engage audiences in the appreciation, discussion, and creation of music and arts in the digital environment. Three programs will use the Free Music Archive’s interactive platform to create multimedia arts works and/or provide access to those art works.

Bay Area Video Coalition, Inc.
San Francisco, CA $100,000
To support the Factory Hybrid Filmmaking Project, a pilot program for young filmmakers. The project will test strategies to develop, distribute, and engage audiences for filmmakers who are producing traditional digital and web-native short films. Also, filmmakers will learn to reach traditional audiences via film festival screenings, conferences, and through television broadcasts as well as reaching audiences across social networks.

Center for Asian American Media
San Francisco, CA $75,000
To support the project, Memories to “Light: Asian American Home Movies.” The Center for Asian American Media will request home movie footage from the Asian American community and create an interactive website and curate national touring exhibitions from the collected footage.Thematic programming will engage issues of immigration, assimilation, and personal journeys.

Center for Independent Documentary, Inc. (aka True Support for True Films)
Sharon, MA $20,000
To support the second phase of the interactive website, Our Mother Tongues, and its related community outreach activities. The website will expand to include thematic modules, podcasts, story circles, video updates of the documentary film “We Still Live Here,” and additional educational materials.

Cincinnati Opera Association
Cincinnati, OH $30,000
To support the production of a documentary film by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, chronicling the creation of an American work of opera. The Opera Fusion: New Works program offers an environment where a composer/librettist team can focus on their new work using resources from Cincinnati Opera and students from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. The film is intended for national broadcasting and film screenings.

Columbia College Chicago
Chicago, IL $50,000
To support Expanded Artists’ Books: Envisioning the Future of the Book. The Center for the Book and Paper Arts working with the Arts and Media Department will develop an app to create virtual artists’ books to be experienced via mobile devices and tablets.The apps will explore mechanisms for manipulation, interactivity, and feedback via features such as location monitoring.

Craft in America, Inc.
Los Angeles, CA $75,000
To support the development and launch of short videos featuring craft artists on the Craft in America YouTube Channel. The videos, one to be uploaded every week, will feature artists from across the United States working in metal, glass, fiber, ceramics, and wood. A database searchable by craft, artist, and medium will also be created along with educator guides.

Digital Innovations Group Inc. (aka Weblab)
New York, NY $50,000
To support research, development, production, and post-production for the fourth episode in the six-part series, “To Tell the Truth.” That episode, “Seeing is Believing: Observational Cinema Strikes Back (1948-68)” will focus on the post-WWII documentary boom, the birth of “observational cinema,” and its influence on early television. The complete series will offer a comprehensive history of documentary film, with each episode covering a different era. “To Tell the Truth” is intended for national broadcast on PBS.

Electronic Arts Intermix, Inc.
New York, NY $50,000
To support the Digital Resources Initiative, a two-part project. The Educational Streaming Initiative will make the collection of more than 3,500 media art works by videomakers such as Nam June Paik and Woody Vasulka available through a subscription-based service. The Digital Resources Initiative will provide online access to a repository of artist information.

Filmmakers Collaborative, Inc.
Waltham, MA $20,000
To support a national engagement initiative for the release of the feature length documentary “Joe Papp in Five Acts.” Engagement plans will include a website, social media tools, and an education initiative designed to reinvigorate a nationwide discussion about the value of the arts in everyday life.

Flea Theater, Inc.
New York, NY $100,000
To support the production of a new play using interactive technology. The project, entitled Virtual Theater Collaborative, will apply video game technology to professional theater productions to create a new medium for the performing arts. The project will allow audiences to experience the play differently with options of participating in the story as any of the characters, as production personnel, or from a traditional vantage point in front of the action.

Free History Project
Berkeley, CA $20,000
To support production and post-production costs for “The Imagination of Jeremy Blake,” an experimental non-fiction film about the young New York artist. Blake’s “time-based paintings” that combine handmade art, photographs, film clips, sound effects, and pop imagery brought him fame in the late 1990s. It is intended for national broadcast on PBS as well as distribution in theaters and classrooms.

From the Top, Inc.
Boston, MA $30,000
To support the production of the public radio series “From the Top.” The weekly, hour-long radio program features performances by young classical musicians ages eight to 18. “From the Top” is distributed by National Public Radio to 226 stations nationwide and reaches a weekly audience of 600,000.

Games for Change
New York, NY $75,000
To support the development, production, and hosting for a game for Facebook based on the book “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. “Half the Sky,” the book, documents the true stories of women around the world who ultimately overcome tremendous obstacles. In the game, players will be responsible for the safety and well-being of their own village by focusing on economic factors, physical security, health, and education.

Global Lives Project Inc
Mountain View, CA $40,000
To support the development and national distribution of an interactive web platform and video installation of the Global Lives Project. The project is a volunteer-driven, artist collective that videotapes 24 continuous hours in the lives of individuals around the world. The web platform will allow visitors to view footage and interact with the content. The traveling installation consists of 10 screens accompanied by a touchscreen tablet that enables attendees to synchronize images from the footage.

Global Village Media, Inc. (aka formerly ICP)
New York, NY $50,000
To support production and post-production costs for a filmed version of Liz Lerman’s 50-minute dance, “A Matter of Origins.” Lerman’s dance is inspired by physics and combines art and science with HD technology to tell the true story of Edith Warner hosting Manhattan Project scientists at her desert tea house. Once completed, the film will air as part of the PBS ARTS block of programming.

Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, Inc
San Francisco, CA $100,000
To support the development and implementation of a series of data-driven art works intended for the public. The National Data Canvas Project will produce interactive, visualized displays created from, and responsive to, digital information. There will be a national tour and within each city, data-sets that relate to location will be visualized and made into art that directly connects with the local public.

Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association, Inc. (aka WETA)
Arlington, VA $50,000
To support WETA’s production of a series of arts news reports. A dedicated Arts Unit will produce as many as 15 in-depth arts segments as part of the public television program, PBS NewsHour. The series website offers a blog along with extensive online daily print and video coverage.

Hutchins Consort
Encinitas, CA $10,000
To support research and development costs for a documentary film about Carleen Hutchins, a scientist who created a new set of eight violins in the 1960s. The instruments, variations on the violin itself, were an innovation in both the scientific and music communities. The film will explore this topic as well as the challenges Hutchins faced as a woman in the scientific community.

Independent Production Fund, Inc.
New York, NY $30,000
To support the research, development, and partial production for a public television program and related multi-media activities. The Art Instinct: Science and Sight will examine recent discoveries revealing how the biology of human visual perception interacts with creativity in the creation and perception of visual art. In addition to the television program, the project will include an interactive website, social media, mobile applications for phones and tablets, and a civic engagement campaign.

Independent Television Service, Inc.
San Francisco, CA $50,000
To support the selection, acquisition, and packaging of films for the public television series Independent Lens. This weekly PBS series provides the public with access to innovative, dramatic, animated, and documentary works by independent filmmakers. In addition to broadcast, films are offered online through Hulu, Snag Films, and YouTube along with streaming on Independent Lens’s website.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Inc.
Becket, MA $65,000
To support the expansion of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive. The online video exhibit currently gives access to more than 100 dance performances drawn from the Jacob’s Pillow archive. Other project activities include developing an interactive dance company guessing game and creating a mobile version for smartphones and tablets.

Kings Majestic Corporation (aka 651 ARTS)
Brooklyn, NY $50,000
To support the research, development, and production costs of FLY: Five First Ladies of Dance, a documentary by filmmaker Alla Kovgan. The subjects of the feature-length film will be the veteran Black female dancers and choreographers Bebe Miller, Germaine Acogny, Dianne McIntyre, Jawole Zollar, and Carmen de Lavallade. Also, the structure of the project will allow short film portraits to be distributed individually or together on different platforms such as broadcast, film screenings, DVDs, iTunes and video-on-demand.

L.A. Theatre Works
Venice, CA $20,000
To support the production and distribution of The Play’s the Thing, a radio theater series intended for broadcast on satellite and public radio stations nationwide. The 52-week series will include new radio plays as well as selections from L.A. Theatre Works’ extensive audio drama collection. In addition to broadcast, programs are made available through Internet streaming, podcasts, and on HD radio.

La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, Inc.
New York, NY $40,000
To support Culturehub, an incubator for creativity focused on the intersection of art and technology. Founded in 2009, Culturehub is an immersive video-conferencing system that provides interactive experiences allowing participants in one place to create work with collaborators at another site. This material will be live-streamed online and archived on the Culturehub website.

Latino Public Broadcasting
Burbank, CA $20,000
To support post-production costs for Mariachi High, an hour-long documentary about a year in the life of students in the top-ranked Mariachi ensemble in South Texas. The film will examine growing up Mexican American and the positive influence playing Mariachi music has on these students. Once completed, Mariachi High will be offered to PBS for national broadcast and screened at festivals, high schools, and community organizations.

Let’s Breakthrough, Inc.
New York, NY $75,000
To support the development of an interactive video game for social change. The video game will use various art forms and pop culture conventions (animations, music, documentary videos, graphic art) to engage general audiences with a particular focus on youth in a creative exploration of democracy, diversity, and social change. The game will be playable both online and as a mobile app.

Living Archives, Inc.
New York, NY $20,000
To support production and post-production costs for Dad Strangelove, a personal documentary by Nile Southern about his father, the author and screenwriter Terry Southern. Southern’s influence on art and culture can be seen in films such as Easy Rider, Dr. Strangelove, and A Clockwork Orange, and with the novels Candy and The Magic Christian. It is intended for national broadcast, exhibition at film festivals, and classroom use.

Los Angeles Philharmonic Association
Los Angeles, CA $30,000
To support production and post-production costs for LA Phil Live. There will be three, two-hour programs produced. Each LA Phil Live broadcast also features behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage, a post-concert question-and-answer session with music director Gustavo Dudamel, and interviews with LA Philharmonic musicians and guest artists.

MacDowell Colony, Inc.
Peterborough, NH $40,000
To support the creation and launch of MacDowell To Go (Mac2Go), an interactive web platform and mobile application. Mac2Go will connect audiences across the United States to artists in the MacDowell studios and serve as a resource for arts presenters and public art sites. The Mac2Go website and app will have four sections; an interactive map, featured artist tab, artist blog, and a mission and history section.

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, Inc. (aka MASS MoCA)
North Adams, MA $10,000
To support production and post -production for Work in Progress, a series of short documentaries featuring selected projects from Mass MoCA’s visual and performing arts residency program. The documentary will include interviews with artists and show the works of art in various stages of progress and completion. Each documentary will be available for free on the Mass MoCA website as well as on Vimeo and YouTube.

Metropolitan Opera Association, Inc. (aka The Metropolitan Opera)
New York, NY $50,000
To support production and post-production costs associated with the national telecasts of Great Performances at the Met. Captured in high-definition video, the productions will be broadcast on 360 PBS stations. The 2012-13 series will present as many as 12 telecasts of fully-staged operas.

Minnesota Public Radio, Inc. (aka Minnesota Public Radio|American Public Media)
St. Paul, MN $20,000
To support the production, acquisition, and national radio broadcast of classical music programming. In 2012-13, the programs such as Performance Today, SymphonyCast, and Pipedreams will reach a cumulative audience of as many as two million listeners each week. Other programs include live radio specials featuring a partnership between American Public Media, WQXR (New York) and Carnegie Hall.

Mozilla Foundation
Mountain View, CA $100,000
To support Open(Art) a program to commission artists and technologists to collaborate in the creation and exhibition of artwork on the web. Open(Art), a joint venture between Mozilla and Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in New York City, is an invitational competition for teams of artists and technologists. Up to three teams will be provided with access to Eyebeam resources, a stipend, and six months to bring the commissioned work to a point where it can be exhibited online for public comment.

National Black Programming Consortium
New York, NY $50,000
To support the acquisition, packaging, and distribution of a curated film series about arts and culture in the African Diaspora. In its fourth year on public television, AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, will reach national audiences through American Public Television syndication. The series is aired on 333 stations in 40 states. Traffic to the website averages 50,000 page views per month.

National Public Radio, Inc.
Washington, DC $40,000
To support the production and distribution of a multimedia arts project that explores Latin alternative music and culture. National Public Radio’s Alt.Latino is a weekly, 30-minute multilingual podcast program, a website, and blog about Latino alternative along with traditional Latin American songs. Plans for the project include a radio program for NPR member stations, a 24/7 music channel, and live events.

National Public Radio, Inc.
Washington, DC $70,000
To support the website NPR Music. The website offers all genres of music and provides content to NPR and public radio member stations, including live performances, studio sessions, first listens to new albums, interviews, reviews, and blogs. The website receives 1.5 million page views per week and the NPR Music iPhone app gets more than 750,000 page views per week.

Newark Public Radio, Inc. (aka WBGO Jazz 88)
Newark, NJ $20,000
To support the production of JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, a weekly radio series of jazz concerts. Concerts are brought to the listening public from locations including the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Village Vanguard in New York, the Detroit Jazz Festival, and the Newport Jazz Festival. The series is aired on 97 NPR-affiliate stations in the United States, to global audiences through NPR Worldwide, and on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Odysseus Group
New York City, NY $100,000
To support Power Poetry, a project geared towards youth writing and sharing their poems with each other. Based on To Be Heard, a film that tells the story of three Bronx high school students who change their lives through their own poetry, Power Poetry is a website that will encourage young people to express themselves through spoken and written words via texting. Outreach activities include partnerships with spoken word groups and community and youth organizations.

On the Boards
Seattle, WA $90,000
To support the production of evening -length performance films for online viewing. On the Boards plans to film, edit, produce, and present online 18 to 24 new films of contemporary performance works. The subscription-based On the Boards website has received more than 30,000 unique site visits and more than 8,000 people have created user accounts.

Oxford American Literary Project (aka The Oxford American)
Little Rock, AR $20,000
To support production of So Lost, a series of online video episodes and related outreach. The series is accessible through Oxford American Literary Project’s website and YouTube and will allow the public to encounter the side roads, backrooms, cellars, and psyche of the modern South. So Lost currently reaches 25,000 unique visitors every month.

Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York, Inc. (aka The New York Philharmonic)
New York, NY $20,000
To support the production of national radio broadcasts of performances by the New York Philharmonic during its 2012-13 season. WFMT Radio Network distributes The New York Philharmonic This Week to 336 radio stations throughout the country. Visitors to the Philharmonic’s website can listen to programs via audio streaming and can access material on the featured music and artists.

PRX, Inc.
Cambridge, MA $50,000
To support Public Radio Remix, a 24/7 channel on XM Radio, which is also available as an Internet stream, and to support expansion of the channel onto mobile platforms. To date, Public Radio Remix has aired more than 1,200 programs from independent radio producers including broadcasts from the Third Coast International Audio Festival, works from the Kitchen Sisters’ archive, and contemporary pieces by Youth Radio and Radio Rookies.

Public Broadcasting Service
Arlington, VA $50,000
To support the development and creation of two mobile applications for PBSArts 2.0, a multi-year, multi-platform initiative. The first app, Art 101, will provide short video clips that teach skills or explain specific aspects of the arts to a general public. Several ideas are under consideration for the second app including PBSArts Local, a device powered by PBS stations guiding users to local arts experiences.

Public Radio International, Inc.
Minneapolis, MN $50,000
To support the production and distribution of Studio 360. The series of weekly arts and culture radio programs are designed to illuminate the role of the arts in society. Studio 360’s host is journalist and novelist Kurt Andersen, who is joined through interviews and commentaries by on-air guests.

Public Radio International, Inc.
Minneapolis, MN $20,000
To support the production of The Global Hit segments on the weekday news and information radio program The World. The daily feature showcases world music for American audiences, offering listeners a unique perspective on other cultures through the medium of music. More than 300 U.S. stations air The World and the program’s website draws more than 80,000 unique visitors each month.

Push Push Theater Company
Decatur, GA $75,000
To support the development of the process used to create, produce, market, and distribute the GRFX (graphics) Series, a cross-platform narrative film project. The GRFX Series is about the fictional firm Dresher’s Publishing. The series will be designed to exist simultaneously on network television, DVD, and the web. PushPush will work with artists both here and abroad to produce each hour-long episode. The development process includes workshops, storyboarding, webisode production, and testing on various platforms.

Radio Diaries, Inc.
New York, NY $20,000
To support production of America’s Lost Stories radio programs and companion website. The four new programs will be audio diaries and first-person documentaries that weave together home recordings, contemporary and archival interviews, and historical news audio. The website will bring each story to life with primary sources, interactive materials, and a discussion board.

Radio Foundation, Inc. (aka RadioArt)
New York, NY $10,000
To support the production for radio and audio media of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Produced by Larry Josephson, The Complete Ulysses will be a reading of the entire novel by a company of actors including Alec Baldwin, John Lithgow, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Bob Dishy, along with Caraid O’Brien as Molly Bloom. In addition to airing on more than 250 public radio stations, distribution channels include Sirius/XM, satellite radio, Internet radio, iPhone, other smartphone apps, and on CD.

Red Hot Organization
New York, NY $80,000
To support Red Hot + Bach. This multi-media production will be devoted to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Components will include music recordings, video documentaries, and related content available online and on mobile devices. The mobile app will have geo-locating services to find a Bach concert in the user’s region, a Bach trivia game, and the ability to do a Bach mashup.

Robert Morris University
Moon Township, PA $20,000
To support production and post-productions costs for Inheritors of Burden, a documentary film exploring the traditions of flamenco arts in the United States. The 90-minute film will include interviews with and performances by singers, guitarists, and dancers throughout the country. Once completed Inheritors of Burden is expected to run a year at film festivals nationwide and then be distributed to art houses and via television broadcast in the United States and Spain.

Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis
St. Louis, MO $30,000
To support the creation of the website Shake38. The Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis had invited community members to create work inspired by William Shakespeare within a 38-hour time frame with performances held around the city. Those events inspired the idea to create Shake38. In partnership with other theater organizations, the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis will invite people from around the world to post their own Shakespeare-inspired works on the site, to share resources, form collaborations, and develop their own Shake38 events.

Spelman College (aka Museum of Fine Art)
Atlanta, GA $100,000
To support HERadventure, a multi-episode, augmented reality computer game. Targeted to young women ages 18-25, HERadventure’s story focuses on a young female superhero sent to Earth to save her own planet from devastation because of climate change. The game will be designed to be accessible online, on mobile platforms, Facebook, and Twitter.

StoryCorps, Inc.
Brooklyn, NY $40,000
To support production of StoryCorps radio segments for weekly broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition. A collaboration with the Library of Congress and public radio stations, StoryCorps is a nationwide project aimed at inspiring Americans to record one another’s stories in sound. The two-minute segments are heard by nearly 14 million daily listeners on 700 NPR stations.

Storyville Center for the Spoken Word (aka The Moth)
New York, NY $20,000
To support the production and distribution of the radio series The Moth Radio Hour. The series showcases the art of storytelling through first-person accounts recorded before live audiences. Distributed by Public Radio Exchange, the series is heard on 239 stations. The podcast receives an average of 1.3 million downloads each month, and videos of stories are uploaded to YouTube every week. The storytellers will perform more than 180 live shows across the country in 2012-13.

Symphony Space, Inc.
New York, NY $20,000
To support the production and recording costs of public radio series Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story, and distribution of related CDs. Selected Shorts features leading stage and screen actors reading both classic and new short fiction by established and emerging authors of diverse cultures. The program is broadcast on approximately 150 public radio stations and garners more than 300,000 podcast downloads.

Theater Mu, Inc. (aka Mu Performing Arts)
Saint Paul, MN $20,000
To support development and production costs for MU-TV, a series of webisodes created by Asian American playwrights. Stories designed specifically for the Internet will be drawn from contemporary Asian American experiences and brought to life by actors from Theater Mu and other companies. Webisodes, each six to 10 minutes long, may consist of a monologue, a spoken word performance, or a dramatic scene.

Triple Canopy (aka Canopy Canopy Canopy, Inc.)
Brooklyn, NY $10,000
To support development and promotion costs of an online magazine. Each bimonthly, electronic issue will contain an interdisciplinary selection of nine artistic and literary projects: artworks that employ interactive tools to engage readers and viewers, critical essays and nonfiction projects produced for a general audience, and multi-media essays and narrative nonfiction. During production of each issue, contributors will be encouraged to work with staff to develop a public program.

Tulane University (aka Adminstrators of the Tulane Educational Fund)
New Orleans, LA $20,000
To support the production and national distribution of American Routes, a weekly radio series devoted to the roots of popular music and popular roots music. Folklorist Nick Spitzer hosts the two-hour, weekend program, in which he combines recordings with in-studio performances, field recordings, and interviews. Public Radio International distributes the series to 268 public radio stations, reaching 375 cities and towns.

University of Akron Main Campus
Akron, OH $20,000
To support the development of the Synesthetic Augmented Reality Application (SARA).The application will allow users to translate visual images taken with their mobile devices into sonic compositions. Once developed, the application will be available through iTunes and the Android store, and will be presented at new media festivals.

University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA $40,000
To support production costs for a video game based on the writings of Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond. The player will inhabit an open, three-dimensional game world which will simulate the geography and environment of Walden Woods. Once developed, the game will be available online.

Van Cliburn Foundation, Inc.
Fort Worth, TX $20,000
To support a documentary, radio broadcasts, and other multi-media activities surrounding the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The daily lives of the 30 competing pianists will be streamed online during the competition. Performance Today will present radio segments of performances and interviews. A CD recording featuring the three finalists will be produced and a television documentary will chronicle events. Once completed, it will be offered to PBS for national broadcast.

Wisdom of the Elders, Inc.
Portland, OR $20,000
To support the production and national distribution of the Wisdom of the Elders radio program. The series features the voices of traditional Native American elders, storytellers, musicians, cultural leaders, educators, and scientists from tribal communities in Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Wisdom of the Elders is broadcast on 52 Native American radio stations and community and college stations.

WNET.ORG (aka WNET, Thirteen)
New York, NY $50,000
To support the development and production of the television series American Masters for PBS broadcast. Definitive documentary profiles of major cultural figures will be made available in 2013-14 to millions of viewers in all 50 states. In 2011, most programs, as well as outakes and interviews, were streamed for free, on-demand.

WNET.ORG (aka WNET, Thirteen)
New York, NY $75,000
To support production costs and other related activities for the first season of The Electric Animation Festival. Each of the 13, one-hour episodes will include animated works from the United States and abroad. A companion website will allow users to see the films, read essays by the animators, and upload their own work.

WNET.ORG (aka WNET, Thirteen)
New York, NY $50,000
To support the development and production of performing arts specials for the television series Great Performances for broadcast on PBS. In 2013-14 several new American productions will be developed for Great Performances. The website provides information about the artists, works presented, links to video clips, artist interviews, a searchable database, and for some programs, turnkey lesson plans.

WNYC Radio
New York, NY $50,000
To support production costs for the documentary film Stories from the Jazz Loft. During the years 1957 to 1965, photographer W. Eugene Smith documented the activities in his Sixth Avenue loft in New York City, taking more than 45,000 pictures of the scenes on the street and in his apartment. Once completed, the film will be broadcast on network and cable television, exhibited at film festivals, and made available via web streaming and on DVD.

Women in Film & Video, Inc.
Washington, DC $20,000
To support post-production and national outreach for the documentary Essakane Film. Focused on the 2011 Festival au Desert, an annual concert showcasing Taureg and other world music, the film will follow festival director Manny Ansar from Bamako to Timbuktu, where the festival takes place. Once completed, the film will be offered at film festivals, screened at educational and community centers, broadcast on international television, and distributed through a streaming or video-on-demand outlet.

Women Make Movies, Inc.
New York, NY $20,000
To support production and post-productions costs for a documentary on Ellis Haizlip. Mr. Soul! Ellis Haizlip and the Birth of Black Power TV Stories from the Jazz Loft. will tell the biographical story of Ellis Haizlip who was the producer and host of the groundbreaking television series Soul which aired on public television from 1968 to 1973. Once completed, the film will be distributed theatrically and offered to PBS for national broadcast.

World Music Productions, Inc. (aka Afropop Worldwide)
Brooklyn, NY $20,000
To support the production and distribution of the weekly public radio program Afropop Worldwide. The series showcases the contemporary musical cultures of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas, and is distributed by Public Radio International to more than 100 radio stations in the United States. The website offers feature stories and a database on the artists presented in the series. Traffic to the site continues to grow with as many as 100,000 unique visitors per month.

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