New Voices Scholarships


Applications for AIR New Voices Scholarships are due Aug. 29 at 5 p.m. PT.
Click here to join AIR, find mentors and community, and discover funding and training opportunities. (You do not need to join AIR in order to apply for New Voices.) 

Each year, AIR identifies and cultivates 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 brings new talent to industry gatherings 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 2015 New Voices scholars included a visual documentarian from Appalachia; a producer, DJ, blogger and fashion archivist from Chicago; a New Mexico-based engineer for Native America Calling; and the founder of the Transgender Oral History Project. Now it’s time to discover a new class of dynamic makers ready to engage with public media.

Support for the 2016 New Voices scholars comes from the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and AIR producers everywhere.

Apply now!

To learn more about the experience, try “Get Into the (New Talent) Game” from 2013 New Voices captain Luis Perez and “Networking Really Isn’t the Worst” by 2014 New Voices captain Anthony Martinez.

Learn about the 2016 New Voices scholars.


Emily Kwong, wearing glasses and a headband that holds back her long hair, stands in front of a radio station's vinyl record archive.Emily Kwong (NV 2014) is a radio journalist based in Sitka, Alaska, where she is the staff reporter for KCAW. Raven Radio is an NPR member station on an island in the Tongass Rainforest, serving a closely knit listening region of 11,000 people. Emily was awarded “Best New Artist” at the Third Coast International Audio Festival in 2013. After graduating from Columbia University (’12), Emily taught digital storytelling in India and attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She is a former production assistant for WNYC’s Radio Rookies, proud member of the 2014 class of AIR’s New Voices and the New Voices Captain for the 2015 class. She tweets at @emilykwong1234.


Who is eligible to apply?

All producers and program makers who self-identify as part of a minority group are eligible to apply. The focus of the Third Coast Conference is radio/audio, but we welcome applicants from the full range of disciplines. 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 “minority”?

We want to work with people who represent groups that are typically underrepresented in the public media ecosystem. This could be based on a candidate’s ethnic or racial background. The advisers who screen New Voices applications could select candidates with special abilities, those from low-wealth communities, or underrepresented parts of the country, or any number of categories. Their goal is to find candidates who bring a new and diverse 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, 2016. 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 Sept.28, 2016.

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

Funding will be disbursed 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 2016 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 Reports 2016

New Voices Reports 2015
New Voices Reports 2014

New Voices Reports 2013
New Voices Reports 2012 (pdf)
New Voices Reports 2011 (pdf)
New Voices Reports 2010
New Voices Reports 2009 (formerly “Making Creative Media”) (pdf)