CPB gives $2.5 million to Firelight Media diversity initiative

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Firelight Media, the documentary filmmaking nonprofit founded by Stanley Nelson, received a $2.55 million grant from CPB Aug. 20 to expand Producers’ Lab, a public television documentary mentorship project.



Producers’ Lab recruits filmmakers and producers from underrepresented regions across the country to work with Nelson and Firelight Media to create documentaries that include a more diverse range of voices. The grant will allow the lab to add 30 to 40 more producers to the program over three years and expand its recruiting to all regions of the country.

The program’s goal of adding more diversity to public TV’s airwaves was a main selling point for CPB, according to Joseph Tovares, senior vice president of diversity and innovation at CPB. In a press release, Tovares said the program gives participants contacts within public television and ultimately helps diversify public TV content, even after producers leave the lab.

Producers will be recruited from the South, Midwest, Southwest, Alaska and Hawaii, among other places.

“This grant will allow us to expand our reach and enhance our mission to be a leading platform of support and community for diverse media producers,” Nelson said.

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