Independence Public Media Foundation Announces 71 Grants Totaling $8.9 Million

a man seated with two microphones pointing at him, making a point with one finger

PHILADELPHIA, August 2, 2022—The Independence Public Media Foundation (IPMF) announces grants totaling $8.9 million for community-centered, BIPOC-led media organizations and projects in the Philadelphia region. 

In total, the foundation awarded 71 grants to organizations and projects working in the areas of community media-making ($3.2 million), narrative shift around violence and community safety ($3.14 million), filmmaking ($783,000), digital equity ($740,000), and journalism ($726,000). 

“These grants represent the majority of IPMF’s grantmaking for the year, while the foundation takes some time to reflect on what we’ve learned in our first three years as an organization, and hone our vision for media making that fights for racial equity and justice,” said IPMF President Molly de Aguiar.  

Highlights of the grants include:

Narrative Shift: Policing, Violence, and Community Safety 

IPMF is committed to dismantling racist media that endorses state-sponsored violence against communities of color. In 2019 IPMF awarded Movement Alliance Project (MAP), Free Press, and the Media, Inequality & Change Center (MIC) each a three-year grant to organize journalists, researchers, newsrooms and community members in an effort to reshape narratives around policing, trauma, safety, and crime in Philadelphia. 

This “Shift the Narrative Coalition” has produced original research, lifted up community voices, and pushed local journalism to “defund the crime beat,” as just a few examples of this pioneering collaboration. IPMF is providing continued support, with three-year, $1 million grants each to MAP, Free Press, and MIC Center. 

Related grants include:

  • Freedom Constellations was awarded $20,000 to hold community story-telling and media making workshops with 17-25 year-old youth leaders across Philadelphia. These workshops will culminate with a citywide series of interactive wheatpaste installations, poster campaigns, temporary murals, and a monumental interactive installation on government buildings that collectively imagine a future Philadelphia where all youth are safe, healthy, free, and thriving. 
  • Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity received a $10,000 grant to support a video series that involves the filming of individuals and families who have had (or are seeking to have) their records expunged.

Support for Community Storytelling 

Community-led media-making is a critical way for communities to build power as they fight for justice and change. 

As a key community media partner, Scribe Video Center was awarded a three-year, $1.4 million grant to support their operations, programming, and re-granting for Philadelphia media-makers, while another key partner, PhillyCAM, was awarded $300,000 for general operating support.

In addition, IPMF awarded a total of $1.8 million to community storytelling projects and organizations such as Al Bustan Seeds of Culture ($75,000), an Arab arts and language organization that is creating a multimedia room for community members to produce arts and culture reportage focused on Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) communities in the Philadelphia area.

IPMF awarded $570,000 in renewed grants to community radio and grassroots podcasting projects such as RadioCATA ($50,000), a New Jersey-based farmworker-run radio station by Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas (CATA), that is a source of information, entertainment, and education for the Latino immigrant community.

Highlights of grants for digital equity, film, and journalism include:

  • The Welcoming Center received a $45,000 renewal grant to improve digital literacy and help narrow the digital divide among immigrants in Philadelphia who are English Language Learners, by combining English language instruction with digital literacy and workforce development.
  • BlackStar was awarded a three-year, $600,000 grant for continued support of their Local Filmmaker Lab. The Lab supports artists (or collectives) through a production lab fellowship that makes equipment, space, crew, mentorship, funding and critical feedback available to emerging and mid-career filmmakers based in Philadelphia, in addition to expanding job opportunities for BIPOC film crews throughout Philadelphia.
  • The Delaware Local News Initiative was awarded $80,000 for continued support with strengthening the news ecosystem in Delaware and increasing voices and coverage of underrepresented communities, particularly BIPOC and low-income communities, by creating a pipeline of BIPOC journalists, identifying geographic and demographic news deserts, and building infrastructure to address news and information needs.

Read IPMF President Molly de Aguiar’s mid-year update.

Click HERE to see a full listing of grants.


For more information, contact Enni Aigbomian,


Enni Aigbomian

Enni Aigbomian

Enni uses storytelling and visual media to advocate for disenfranchised communities in the U.S. and abroad. Her work focuses on the African diaspora and Indigenous communities in the Americas, as well as the socio-economic rights of women and children. A communicator for social change, Enni has collaborated with international community media and nonprofits such as World Young Women’s Christian Association, Fundación CEDESOCIAL, Vokaribe Radio, and HOPE Worldwide, Bolivia.

Enni has worked with Philadelphia community media and nonprofits such as the American Friends Service Committee, FunTimes Magazine, and Philatinos Radio. She also served as the first head of communications at Read by 4th, Philadelphia’s grade-level reading campaign managed by the Free Library of Philadelphia. She sits on the board of Shelterforce Magazine, an independent publication that covers the worlds of community development, affordable housing, and neighborhood stabilization.

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