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New Voices Fellowship


Check out our 2020 Scholars!

Each year, AIR teams up with industry leaders to identify and cultivate a diverse roster of early-career talent to help programs, stations, and networks connect with more ears, homes, and corners of America.

The scholarship provides 16 recipients with funding for travel and attendance to an industry conference as a group. Recipients will connect with a network of peers and mentors, meet industry leaders, and have opportunities to share their interests, concerns and work.

The 2020 New Voices Fellowship Program will take shape independently and digitally to best support the needs of our underrepresented scholars throughout the US. With the support of the New Voices Captain Elena Rivera, AIR’s Director of New Voices will spearhead the 5-month program beginning in July to December 2020. The New Voices retreat will bring together the invited cohort of underrepresented mediamakers to build, reflect, and engage digitally in critical dialogue on their journey as current mediamakers. The theme of this year is “Mapping One’s Power and Allies amidst Adversity” and the central question is: How do we use and sustain our power in turbulent times? 

Through online discussions, roundtable interactive and engagement activities led by New Voices alums, AIRsters, and distinguished industry speakers, New Voices will gain a better understanding of their role as mission-driven storytellers and build a sustainable community. Selected scholars receive a stipend and resources and gain national exposure as they work with mentors, build their capacity as media change-makers and demonstrate how audio and media can catalyze positive and lasting narrative change.




Who is eligible to apply?

All producers and program makers who self-identify as part of an underrepresented group(s) are eligible to apply. The focus of the program is radio/audio, but we welcome applicants from the full range of disciplines and practices. All ages are welcome, but any applicant younger than 18 will need an adult sponsor to sign off on his or her application and handle funds.

What do you mean by “underrepresented voices”?

We want to work with people who represent groups that are not typically represented in the public media ecosystem. This could be based on a candidate’s race, gender, and class background and/or vision. The committee who reads the New Voices applications is mindful to select candidates with different abilities and who come from underrepresented communities and geographic locations. Their goal is to find candidates who will bring an inclusive and dynamic mix to the Fellows cohort, New Voices alumni network, and to the industry in general.

How much experience are applicants expected to have?

New Voices is intended for early-career applicants and we will be especially interested in producers pushing boundaries in audio and multimedia storytelling and those who are relatively new to working in public media.

What is the total value of the scholarship?

The value for each New Voice Scholar in 2020 is $2000. Please note that the 2020 New Voice Program will be virtual due to COVID-19.

Is there anything I need to do if I am awarded a scholarship?

Yes. AIR requires you to attend specific events during the virtual Allied Media Conference. Details are to be determined, and subject to change. You will also be required to send AIR a brief report on your experience at the conference (750 – 1,000 words) no later than July 17th. If you are chosen for a scholarship, you will be given specific instructions about what to include in the report at that time.

If I am awarded a scholarship, when will I receive my funds?

Funding is usually disbursed by check post-conference, as a reimbursement, within 30 days of your submission of a brief report on your experience at the conference, an invoice, and a W-9 form. For the 2020 New Voices Virtual Program, funds will be distributed differently and that will be noted upon your acceptance into the program.

What can I expect from the New Voices experience?

The New Voices alumni share what they learned and observed in available reports throughout the years. More importantly, you join an incredible network of program alumni who represent all levels and careers in the audio industry. It is your key to career mentorship, collaboration and inspiration.

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