Mission: To impact society through media and film.
About the Organization: Co-founded by producer, director, visual artist, educator, and entrepreneur Paula Froehle and producer, investor, philanthropist, and attorney Steve Cohen, the Chicago Media Project works to harness the power of Chicago's institutions, individuals, cause-oriented nonprofits, and philanthropic foundations to catalyze social change through "social impact media." The organization's foundational ideas are to create engaging experiences that bring people together; connect the community with great media content and in-depth discussion; support, promote, and amplify the potential impact of compelling storytelling; and stay nimble and dynamic in order to innovate new ways of presenting and supporting media makers. To that end, CMP employs a "community model of philanthropy," pooling membership contributions to fund projects in four programming areas: films, media innovation, community events, and member events.
Current Programs: CMP's support for documentary films and social impact media includes financial, logistical, and mentorship assistance. The organization's Impact Grant Fund provides three types of grants: early-stage funding to help cover the costs of trailers, fundraising media, and critical production shoots; unrestricted "sustainability" grants, independent of specific projects, to enable filmmakers to sustain their creative lives; and funding in support of innovative approaches to outreach campaigns. It also partners with universities, the ACLU, and other organizations on Partners in Advocacy screenings and film festivals.
Website: Visitors to the CMP site can browse documentary and film projects the organization has supported, learn about upcoming events, and/or check out the CMP podcast and social media feeds. Visitors to the site can also learn more about membership and benefits and/or make a donation.
Funding: The Chicago Media Project is funded by membership contributions.