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Independence Public Media Foundation Announces $1.75 Million in Grants for COVID-19 Community Storytelling and Information Projects

Thursday, July 30, 2020

PHILADELPHIA, July 30, 2020 – The Independence Public Media Foundation (IPMF) announced its Community Voices Fund grants, totaling $1.75 million to 43 projects which will document, share, and preserve people’s experiences and stories during COVID-19, as well as strengthen information networks and community-led media across the Greater Philadelphia region.

“IPMF launched the Community Voices Fund to amplify and center voices, particularly from vulnerable communities, to inform how the region must respond to the pervasive structural inequalities exposed by the pandemic,” said Molly de Aguiar, the Foundation’s president. “We were so inspired by the incredible creativity and thoughtfulness in the flood of proposals we received that we increased the fund from $750,000 to $1.75 million.”

The grants feature several collaborations, including:

  • People’s Alliance, Reclaim Philadelphia, Free Press, and Movement Alliance Project will partner to strengthen and expand information networks that were created in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Using innovative outreach and organizing tactics to meet information needs, the group’s project will lift up stories of disconnected and disaffected Philadelphians, and support Black dignity, where systemic barriers to timely, quality information have left city residents in the dark during a public health emergency.
  • Set The Stage (YSTS), a youth-media collaborative made up of nine Philadelphia-based youth organizations, will develop and showcase online and youth-driven programming throughout the 2020-2021 school year to create an audiovisual capsule of the current moment. YSTS will also build an accessible toolkit for instructors working with students remotely.

New grantees also include the Heaux History Project, which will gather the stories and histories of Black and Brown sex workers and how they are surviving through COVID-19, as well as The Village of Arts & Humanities’ “Report from the Future” project, facilitated and curated by an “Afrofuturist-in-Residence,” to convene artists, designers, and community members to ask, “What does a Philadelphia look like that’s designed for me?”

In all, the foundation made grants to organizations in Chester, Coatesville, Norristown, Pottstown, Camden, Wilmington, and Philadelphia.

Click HERE for the complete list of 2020 Community Voices grant recipients.

About Independence Public Media Foundation

The Independence Public Media Foundation funds and supports creative, community-centered media and media making across Greater Philadelphia. The Foundation’s goals reflect an expansive definition of media, including journalism, digital literacy, and creative expression, as a pathway for building power with communities. Through grant-making and other programs, IPMF supports building and strengthening networks of people who are creating and sharing information, ideas, and stories for change and justice.

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