100 Best Communities for Young People

Is your community one of the nation’s best places for kids?

America’s Promise Alliance invites you to apply for its 2011 Best Communities for Young People competition, presented by ING. The contest rewards and recognizes communities that make, “…extraordinary efforts to reduce dropout rates and provide outstanding services and support to their youth.”

Winning locations receive special media recognition, support for a local celebration, an online grant search subscription  and more…

Read details about the opportunity and apply here.

Application deadline is May 27, 2011.

Explore an interactive map of the 2010 winning communities:

Tribeca Film Inst. Announces $750K Fund for Audience Engagement

The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) announced last week that it is partnering with the Ford Foundation’s recently created JustFilms initiative to create the Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund. TFI’s release states that “the $750,000 fund will provide support and funding to film projects which go beyond traditional screens – integrating film with content across newer media platforms, from video games and mobile apps to social networks and micro-blogging.”

In addition to this announcement, TFI is modeling the audience engagement they’re looking to fund, by actively gathering feedback on this program in order to shape their submission guidelines.

Public Media’s Place in Convening Community

There’s a great story out of Jacksonville, Florida recently announced by the the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund, in which 14 area non-profits came together to share resources to achieve a collective goal of combating hunger in their community. In this case, the DuPont fund convened these organizations to have them share their best thinking on the needs of the community, and the needs of each organization. According to the Fund’s announcement: “Despite the similarity of their mission and clientele, the representatives of these organizations had never sat around a table with one another. They worked, in some cases, just blocks apart, but did not know one another.” Then, together, they were able to take action.

What are the chances there are similar circumstances in your community? Could public media play the role of the convener? Absolutely. A good starting point could be to map your network, as we wrote about in a previous blog post. What do you learn about the relationships you’ve built, the resources provided by your network, and where are there opportunities to increase connections?

The activities the DuPont Fund engaged in with this project map closely to the Community Engagement Framework (those elements that we believe lead to successful public media community engagement efforts). We have multiple resources on our site to help you accomplish the work of convening your community, from how to host leadership summits to info on improving community partnerships – and much more. Have a great story about how your station has been a community convener? Share it by adding it to our Stories of Impact on PublicMediaMaps.org!

Engagement Around WETA’s “Forgiveness”

WETA presents Forgiveness: A Time to Love, A Time to Hate, a three-hour documentary by acclaimed writer, producer and director Helen Whitney airing April on PBS.

The program offers rich community engagement opportunities for stations and civic groups, including the Fetzer Institute’s Campaign for Love & Forgiveness. Join NCME and WETA Wednesday, February 2 at 1 p.m. ET for a webinar to learn more. We’ll outline resources available to stations, report on successful campaign ideas and suggest ways of starting the conversation in your own community. Panelists include Roselle Kovitz from Fetzer Institute, Beverly Dorn-Steele from WTVI, and Faith Wachter from Maryland Public Television.

Register to participate.

Ford Foundation to Support Filmmakers

The Ford Foundation today announced a $50 million investment in documentary film production through its JustFilms program, which includes support for the Global Perspectives Project (the work of ITVS). The Ford Foundation’s site states: “We support GPP to develop, produce and help finish international social justice films, as well as to earn placement of these works on PBS and other public broadcasters worldwide.”

JustFilms seeks to “Enlarge the conversation on issues of importance by investing in documentary films that capture people’s imaginations and engage them in shaping their futures.” If you’re interested in learning more about producing for public media and being better able to take advantage of funding partnerships such as this one, NCME’s Engagement Guide for Producers is a great way to get started.

$2.4M Launches Philadelphia Journalism Project

J-Lab recently announced that the William Penn Foundation approved a $2.4M grant for a Networked Journalism Collaborative project in Philadelphia. The initiative will help grow and sustain the city’s evolving news ecosystem, which includes WHYY’s NewsWorks.org. Read more about the investment here.