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(You do not need to join AIR in order to apply for New Voices.)
Each year, AIR teams up with the Third Coast International Audio Festival 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. AIR’s New Voices scholarships are available for those who can contribute fresh craft, diversity or perspective to the network and media. The scholarship provides bold, new talent with funding for travel and attendance to the annual Third Coast Conference in Chicago, held this year Nov. 9-11, where they will find a peer support network, opportunities to meet industry leaders, and chances to share their interests, concerns and work.
The scholarship provides individual stipends ranging from $500 to $1,500. New Voices scholars will receive coaching, professional development support, and structured networking with leaders in the industry, and will join the robust New Voices alumni network of more than 160 journalists with diverse backgrounds, craft and experience.
The 2017 New Voices scholars include a cohost of the podcast The Racist Sandwich, a WNYC News producer, a founding member of Radio Huelga, and a neurodivergent story collector. Audio threads through their work for outlets such as NPR, APM’s Dinner Party Download, 99% Invisible, Latino USA, KWSO, and KGOU. As accomplished producers, storytellers, artists, and even a self-described media law nerd, this year’s Scholars all articulate a deep-seated passion for infusing media with voices not traditionally heard in the mainstream.
Support for the 2017 New Voices scholars comes from the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the MacArthur Foundation, Third Coast International Audio Festival, and AIR producers everywhere.
Questions? Contact Program Director Tran Vu at email@example.com.
NEW VOICES CAPTAIN
Afi Yellow–Duke (NV ’16) is a freelance producer based in Brooklyn, New York. She was most recently a producer for Pitch, a narrative music journalism podcast from Audible, and got her start in radio as an intern at StoryCorps and WNYC’s Studio 360. She holds a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology and Dance from Middlebury College.
WHAT NEW VOICE ALUMNI HAVE TO SAY:
Jenni Monet, independent producer embedded at Standing Rock, host and creator of “Still Here,” NV ‘16:
“My New Voices experience already had influenced my professional direction and it started the first day we all met. As I Instagrammed out to the world that night, meeting a new media family with so much diversity could not have come at a better time, especially when we are questioning our role as storytellers in this new America. Thank you AIR.”
“I feel like I walked away with increased confidence. Being part of a fantastic cohort, practicing talking about my work and listening to excellent producers like Linda Lutton and Shereen Marisol Meraji speak all influenced that overall feeling. I loved meeting the other New Voices scholars and representing both AIR and WYSO at the conference; I felt increasingly sure of my/our talents and direction as the week went on.”
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be an AIR New Voices Scholar. It was amazing. Third Coast was insane — a non-stop weekend of new faces, ideas, and radio – and I loved it. To be surrounded by a community so passionate about radio is rare. It’s great that a conference like this exists.”
“One of the major pros of new voices was having that group of people during the conference that I knew I could wave to, or feel comfortable having a conversation with. That meet-up we had before the conference was essential. If I felt overwhelmed during the conference, there was always a new voice I could lean on.”
“Creatively, I feel like Third Coast really opened my ears. And this too is important: I’d heard that radio folk were the most welcoming and encouraging of the professional creative tribes, and this, too, was confirmed at Third Coast – both among the general population of conference attendees, and specifically among the New Voices. Being part of this smaller group really brought something special to the festivities. I particularly enjoyed being at the AIR table (believe it or not!) because it gave me a chance to meet people I might not otherwise had a chance to meet.”
NEW VOICES FAQ
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 Third Coast Conference 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 also vision. The committee who reads the New Voices applications is mindful to select candidates with different abilities and also those who come from underrepresented communities and geographical locations. Their goal is to find candidates who will bring an inclusive and dynamic mix to the conference, to the New Voices group, and to the industry in general.
How much experience are applicants expected to have?
There is no specific requirement in terms of experience, but we will be especially interested in producers attending the Third Coast Conference for the first time and those who are relatively new to working in public media.
What is the total cost of the conference?
The cost varies, based on your geography, but we generally estimate the cost at $1,600, depending on your travel cost and hotel choice. Your registration fee will be subtracted from the amount of scholarship funding you’re awarded. Many of our producers share rooms to offset expenses. If you’re selected, we can help with those decisions and connections.
What is the total value of the scholarship?
We invite applicants to consider and then identify the amount that they need in order to take advantage of this opportunity. The application form will include suggested amounts of support, but each applicant is responsible for identifying the amount that he or she might need.
Is there anything I need to do if I am awarded a scholarship?
Yes. AIR requires you to attend specific events at the conference. Your responsibilities would include manning the AIR table for one shift and attending a dedicated session at the conference (details 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) by December 1, 2017. If you are chosen for a scholarship, you will be given specific instructions about what to include in the report at that time.
When will I know if I received a scholarship?
All applicants will hear from AIR no later than July 28, 2017.
If I am awarded a scholarship, when will I receive my funds?
Funding will be disbursed by check after the 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 more information about the 2017 Third Coast Conference, please visit the Third Coast Website.
What can I expect from the New Voices experience?
The New Voices alumni share what they learned and observed in a report. Here is what they discovered, in their own words:
New Voices Report 2016
New Voices Report 2015
New Voices Report 2014
New Voices Report 2013
New Voices Report 2012
New Voices Report 2011
New Voices Report 2010
New Voices Report 2009 (formerly “Making Creative Media”)
Still have more questions? Contact Program Director Tran Vu at firstname.lastname@example.org.