Announcing Two New Funding Programs for Media Artists

Posted August 23, 2012 by


 Media arts fellowships and a new project grant offer exciting opportunities for filmmakers, screenwriters, game developers, radio producers, and other media artists.

In 2013, two new funding opportunities for media artists will be available through IFP Minnesota, a St. Paul-based media arts center. The McKnight Fellowships for Media Artists will award three $25,000 fellowships to mid-career Minnesota media artists. The New Media Project Grant will provide one $50,000 grant to undertake a proposed project using innovative media strategies. Support for both opportunities is provided by The McKnight Foundation.


The Media Arts Fellowships will welcome proposals from screenwriters; film directors; writers and directors of independent radio, television, webisodes, or interactive projects; and independent film producers. The McKnight Fellowships for Media Artists replace the McKnight Screenwriting and Filmmaking Fellowships, which were awarded annually through 2012 and have been discontinued. 

As media artists develop new means of expression, arts organizations are often challenged to keep up. To address this challenge, McKnight decided to expand the fellowships to a wider array of media artists, reflecting a national trend supported by private funders and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

McKnight delegates administration of the Media Artist Fellowships to IFP Minnesota, as it delegates administration of all its artist fellowship programs in various genres to other Minnesota artist service agencies and arts organizations. Working closely with McKnight, these organizations structure their own programs to respond to the unique challenges of different creative disciplines. The use of fellowship funds is unrestricted and can help an artist set aside time for study or exploration, take advantage of an opportunity, or work on a new project. 

Application guidelines for the McKnight Fellowships for Media Artists are available here. 


In contrast to the unrestricted artist fellowships, the New Media Project Grant will provide targeted funding for one fiction or nonfiction innovative media arts project. The grant will fund a project either in development or in production. The grant recipient will receive $50,000 to create the proposed project. 

"The idea behind the grant is to encourage Minnesota artists who are using new media elements to extend the reach of their stories," says Lu Lippold, McKnight fellowships administrator at IFP Minnesota. "Artists are experimenting with all kinds of strategies--games, apps, interactive websites--to express themselves creatively and to draw new audiences to their subject matter. This grant will support those innovative efforts." 

"Serving a dynamic community like media artists takes flexibility to adopt and adjust strategies to meet changing needs," says Laura Zimmermann, McKnight arts program officer. "Working in close partnership, we believe McKnight and IFP Minnesota have struck a useful balance - at once expanding the unrestricted Media Arts fellowships to reach more artists, while also adding the New Media Project Grant for targeted project support." 

Application guidelines for the New Media Project Grant are available here.



IFP Minnesota is a nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to advance a vibrant and diverse community of independent film and media artists. Through its seminal education programs, opportunities for individual artists, and regranting programs, IFP supports the media arts community as it explores the art, technology, and business of storytelling through media. 


The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grantmaking, collaboration, and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based family Foundation had assets of approximately $1.9 billion and granted about $91 million in 2011. Of the total, about 10 percent went to support an environment in which artists are valued leaders in our community, with access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed. Learn more at, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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