The Independence Public Media Foundation in Philadelphia has announced inaugural grants totaling $5.3 million in support of efforts to empower communities through media.
Established when Independence Public Media of Philadelphia, a public broadcaster that operated WYBE Channel 35, received $131.5 million in 2017 for relinquishing its broadcast license as part of the Federal Communications Commission's broadcast incentive auction, the IPM Foundation works to strengthen and connect diverse voices and foster greater understanding across the Philadelphia region. The foundation's strategic goals — which reflect an expansive definition of media, including journalism, digital literacy, and creative expression — were developed through a community listening and engagement process involving local leaders, media makers and organizations, and other media funders.
The first round of grants include $1.3 million to the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, which will partner with the foundation to support cultural competency training, professional development, entrepreneurship, and creative opportunities for journalists and managers of color at local news outlets; provide flexible funding for research, business assistance, and convenings of media organizations; and fund strategic planning for Resolve Philadelphia, a journalism project built on equity, collaboration, and the elevation of community voices and solutions.
Grants also were awarded to the African American Museum of Philadelphia ($300,000), the Digital Literacy Alliance ($500,000), Doc Society ($307,500), PhillyCAM ($150,000), Scribe Video Center ($1.11 million), SEAMAAC (Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association Coalition, $250,000), Taller Puertorriqueño ($100,000), Temple University's Klein College of Media & Communication ($850,000), the Village of Arts and Humanities ($200,000), and WHYY ($250,000). In addition, the foundation announced the creation of an $800,000 fund in partnership with the Bread & Roses Community Fund in support of grassroots media and media making across the region.
"Our work is just beginning," said IPM Foundation president Molly de Aguiar. "We look forward to learning from local leaders and organizations who understand the transformative power of media and media making to improve people's lives."
For a complete list of grant recipients, see the Independence Public Media Foundation website.