#LocaloreLive Guidelines for Producers




I. Overview

II. Goals and Aspirations

III. Eligibility Requirements

IV. Application Process

a. Applying

b. Selecting finalists

V. Proposals

VI. Background

VII. Contact information

VIII. Other Information and Conditions

Meet our Selection Committee!

Comb through our FAQ.


The Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) is proud to launch #LocaloreLive, a unique opportunity for independent producers and their collaborators to become part of the energizing wave of innovation in the live, physical space of community. AIR is offering three to ten micro-grants of $15,000 to $40,000 each to mission-focused, independent creators who will bring new innovation to an essential platform—the physical space of communities. Read on to learn how you can bring your bold new approach to live, sound-rich events in neighborhoods large or small. Application process opens April 17, 2018, and closes May 6, 2018, at midnight (PT).

#LocaloreLive builds on AIR’s acclaimed work begun in 2008 with Makers Quest 2.0 (MQ2), and continued in 2013 with 10 Localore productions, and in 2015 with 15 Localore: Finding America productions.


We believe that in these times of disparity and cultural division, local community centers, faith-based organizations, public media stations, and ordinary, civic-minded people have an important new role to play. Storymakers have a new call to leadership, and together an opportunity to enlighten those living in one corner of a community to “worlds just up the road.” We expect producers to lead us into microcosms of local communities that surprise, inspire, and delight us. The #LocaloreLive events, guided by public service ideals, will continue the tradition of past productions, illuminating a diverse nation and expanding our understanding of what makes up America today. AIR will promote the work of #LocaloreLive producers via the Finding America metasite.


Applicants submitting a proposal must be a U.S. Citizen or a Resident Alien. Resident Aliens who are invited to submit a final proposal will be required to include with their proposal documentation of their residency status.  

In addition, applicants must be at least 18 years of age as of April 1, 2018.

We encourage applications from independent producers who have a track record of mission-focused work. Past Localorians are welcome to bring new ideas; if proposing something that builds on a past project, the proposal must clearly demonstrate how they are advancing their approach in considerable and distinctive ways.  

We welcome applicants working full or part time, as long as they are able to accept funding and operate as an independent agent. We encourage public media station producers to explore ways they might collaborate with an indie producer who is applying.

Experience with public media or community organizing is a plus, but not required, and we appreciate a range of skill sets. Straight-up journalists, as well as those who have a more creative background—designers, artists, programmers, data scientists, entrepreneurs, and educators, as well as broadcast journalists and storymakers—are encouraged to apply. AIR membership is not requisite and does not factor into the evaluation process.

The applicants selected for #LocaloreLive will become grantees and receive micro-grants to produce their project. Grantees may or may not currently reside in the same region for which they are proposing their live event. However, AIR’s grant will only support direct project expenses; it will not support relocation, moving, or travel stipends. Further, grant recipients shall in no sense be considered an employee or agent of AIR, nor be entitled to, or eligible to participate in, any benefits, privileges, or plans given or extended by AIR to its employees.


A. Applying

Beginning on April 17, 2018, and continuing through May 6, 2018, AIR seeks applications from dynamic freelance producers who bring passion and commitment for operating on the streets of their community. Proposals will communicate the unique creative culture of the neighborhoods or corners of the community ripe for interaction with important community institutions and the visibility and conversations that will ensue.  

AIR seeks original ideas that reimagine ways disparate parts of a local community can be brought together—ways that promise to lift and inspire the wider community culture.  

The funding may not be used to support a going concern unless there is a clear intended purpose to adapt the project in significant ways that conform to the goals and purpose detailed in these guidelines.

Applicants are encouraged to review a series of essays recently written by Localorians about creating the live or “street” element of their projects.

Deadlines And Key Dates For Applicants  

April 17, 2018 | Application period opens at localore.airmedia.org

May 6, 2018, midnight PT | Application period ends

May 25, 2018 | AIR selects and notifies winners

June 1, 2018 | AIR – Producer grant agreements are complete

June 21, 2018 | Winners announced at PRNDI/live event in Philadelphia (winners attend)

July 1, 2018 | Grant period begins

December 31, 2018 | Projects are completed


B. Judging Criteria

AIR’s Selection Committee is comprised of mission-focused producers with deep experience in independent production, journalism, and station operations. We have sought a representative group to ensure a fair and transparent process.

The Selection Committee will choose the winning proposals based on the following criteria:

Leadership:  The applicant has demonstrated experience and/or skills to lead a team to execute the project successfully.

Idea + Originality:  The applicant has proposed a compelling idea that will resonate with a wider community it seeks to serve.

Mission/Inclusion: The applicant brings understanding and commitment to reflect and engage “all of the people.”   

Expansion:  The proposed project will enrich a community by challenging or redefining traditional, established  boundaries between people or groups..

The Selection Committee will evaluate all proposals and choose three to ten Producers to receive micro-grants of $15.000 to $40,000. Grantees will be notified by May 25, 2018, and will be expected to implement their project sometime between July 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018.



V. PROPOSALS (April 17, 2018 – May 6, 2018)

All proposals must be submitted online at: localore.airmedia.org.

Proposals that are mailed, emailed, or faxed will not be accepted.  

Applicants must complete the Online Proposal and provide the following details:

A) Project Narrative, consisting of no more than 5,000 characters to address all of the criteria for funding described below.


Description of your unique skills that will make for successful production of the live event. What in your background or experience compels you to want to tackle this challenge? What are your strengths? Where are the weak spots you’ll need to overcome? Why are you the person uniquely suited to make this happen?

Partners. Links to organizations or individuals you are bringing along and a description of what is utterly unique about what they’ll contribute to the work. Widespread promotion? A key audience or engaged constituency? Financial or material support? The proposal should indicate who will participate at each partner organization, the degree to which each is committed to the project, and what their role will be.


Describe your idea, including the specific goals and intended outcomes for the project, and how it will be designed and executed. Give us a timeline. How will you decide on a theme, or a matter of concern to people living in the place you’ll do the work? Will you bring them together in ways that are unique, fun-filled, celebratory, informative? How will it accomplish the objective of bringing the community together in a distinctive and enduring way?

Describe where the work will take place, and why there. Explain what sets the location apart, and how people relate to it. How does the designated area or place for your work realize the goals of #LocaloreLive?


A clear sense of whom the work is intended to engage and why. How will this work benefit people or enhance their understanding and experience of the world around them? The individuals selected for funding will be able to articulate why this work matters, what difference it will make and to whom. How will it move someone engaging in the experience you create to new thought, to a new action, to a deeper understanding of their community?  

We’ll want to see that your descriptions reflect an understanding of AIR’s goals and aspirations (as outlined in our FAQ).


A plan for how your project will expand our understanding of community and the ways in which we may experience it. How will your project cross borders, real or imaginary? Is there a historical component? Will it bring people together who might not ordinarily mingle, and spark a connection? Does it have the potential to amplify unheard voices? Might participants experience stories from each other, instead of about each other?  

The strongest proposal will indicate an intention to have sustained impact or replicability. What is the promise for long-lasting influence?

B) Project timeline. Include in the proposal a timeline of major project activities. The funding for the selected projects can begin no sooner than July 1, 2018, and must conclude no later than December 31, 2018.

C) Project budget. Applicants should use the budget form provided with the application. The budget should include line-item amounts for each and identify how each line amount was calculated. While other funding is not required, the strongest proposals will include matching funds or committed in-kind contributions from partners. See #LocaloreLive Budget Template.

D) Work sample (submitted via the website only). Links to websites, blogs, and multimedia are accepted, as are file attachments to the online/submitted proposal. Audio and video files should be limited to three minutes each. The purpose of these examples is to show your expertise, originality, and interests. Please submit no more than three examples that, in total, are no more than nine minutes long.  


#LocaloreLive builds on a legacy of talent and success rooted in public media, and expands the national incubator AIR has established across the United States beginning in 2010 with the launch of Public Radio Makers Quest 2.0 (MQ2). Localore 1.0 followed in 2013, and Localore: Finding America in 2015. Independent producers have brought their vision and passion to lead this groundbreaking work in collaboration with more than 400 community, station-based producers. Hearken, Curious City, iSeeChange, Zeega, and The Making of… Black Gold Boom are just a few of the notable projects to emerge from the Localore incubator.

In addition to tapping intrepid talent and attracting forward-moving stations, what remains constant through each iteration is the call to “go outside.” Localorians are intent on instigating new approaches to traditional craft, to push beyond the limitations of legacy mindset, and to physically go outside into the streets of the community and create new ways of making story “with and for the people.”

Watch and listen to our stories by visiting our Finding America metadocumentary site here.

Read Break Form: Making Stories With and For the People.


Contact #LocaloreLive Project Manager, Laurie A. Selik

Email: laurie@airmedia.org


#LocaloreLive is a production of AIR, with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur and Wyncote Foundations. AIR also receives generous support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and AIR’s network of nearly 1,400 producers from across the U.S. and 30 countries.

AIR is not responsible for any violation of copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, or other rights that may result from disclosure made in response to these guidelines.

Solicitation of applications by AIR does not constitute an agreement by AIR to extend funding to any party for the project under consideration. AIR may, in its sole discretion, elect not to pursue this project in any manner.

By submitting a proposal, each applicant grants to AIR the right to duplicate, use, disclose, and distribute all of the materials submitted for purposes of evaluation, review, and research. In addition, each applicant guarantees that the applicant has full and complete rights to all of the information and materials included in the proposal. Each applicant also guarantees that all such materials are not defamatory and do not infringe upon or violate the privacy rights, copyrights, or other proprietary rights of any third party.

Conditions of Agreement

If a proposal is selected, the Producer will be required to sign a binding agreement with AIR. Until both parties have signed an agreement, no express or implied commitment has been made to provide financial support. Applicants are not authorized to commence work until the agreement is fully executed. If applicants opt to commence work, they do so at their own risk. No oral or written statement other than the signed, written agreement will govern or modify the relationship.


Meet our Selection Committee

Biography Headshot

Laurie A. Selik

Laurie A. Selik is a nonprofit professional with experience providing strategic leadership, creating fundraising plans, writing award-winning grants, and developing authentic relationships with donors. She is currently Director of Advancement at The Colburn School in Los Angeles. Selik worked for ten years in public radio, reinvigorating foundation support for American Public Media’s Marketplace, public radio’s business program, and launched Weekend America, where she was managing producer. Selik continues to consult in public radio and manages foundation support for AIRmedia, and often lends her nonprofit management skills to nonprofit boards.

Selik is also the co-publisher at Chimayo Press and author of Compelling Conversations for Fundraisers: Talk Your Way to Success with Donors and Funders. She holds a master of professional writing degree from the University of Southern California and a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Michigan State University.

Biography Headshot

Stacia Brown

Stacia L. Brown was born in Lansing, Missouri. She grew up in Baltimore, Maryland—the county, not the city. She graduated from Trinity College (now Trinity Washington University) in D.C., with a Bachelor’s degree in English and later finished an MFA in fiction at Sarah Lawrence College. She has freelanced for various publications, including The Washington Post, where she currently serves as a weekly contributor, New Republic, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic,and others.

She served as the 2013-14 Editorial Fellow for Community Engagement at Colorlines. In June 2015, she was part of the inaugural Thread at Yale class. She was a 2015 participant in Women’s Media Center’s Progressive Women’s Voices training program.

In November 2015, Brown became the creator and producer of Baltimore: The Rise of Charm City, a radio and podcast series that tells intergenerational stories of place and memory in Baltimore City. Baltimore: The Rise of Charm City is part of the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR)’s 2015 Localore: Finding America project and is produced in partnership with WEAA 88.9.

She resides with her amazing daughter, Story, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Biography Headshot

Ryan McGrath

Ryan McGrath tracks engagement for AIR and Finding America through social media. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor’s degree in English in 2014. In 2015 he gathered news and organized social media and web content for New England Cable News. He can now be found in AIR’s office on the weekdays curating content for AIR and Localore: Finding America. While he’s not working, he’s practicing comedy or listening to podcasts.

Biography Headshot

Traci Tong

Traci Tong was part of the original team that created and launched “PRI’s The World” in 1996. Currently she is a producer and director of the daily live show. Her job is to find that perfect person to tell the story and then translate it for the American audience.

Over the years, Tong has worked from Honolulu to Dallas to Boston, from London to Nairobi, from Sierra Leone to the Philippines, and throughout Oceania.

She has sat for interviews with deposed dictators, future U.S. presidents, the Dalai Lama, and the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Tong also serves as the managing editor with NPR’s multimedia professional development program for a new generation of multimedia journalists.

Although, truth be told, she would rather be on the water with her standup paddle board or on a Dragonboat.