The Association of Independents in Radio announced Wednesday that three projects from the first round of its Localore initiative will receive additional funding for expanding their work.
The grants are from AIR’s New Enterprise Fund, with principal funding from the Wyncote Foundation and additional support from the Ford Foundation. (The Wyncote Foundation also provides support to Current.)
One project to receive funding is Curious City, created by Jennifer Brandel and supported by Chicago Public Media. It will receive $110,000. The cross-platform project asks listeners to suggest questions about any aspect of Chicago life. They can then react to proposals, comment on stories and vote on which questions reporters should pursue.
Brandel will use the funding to expand Curious City beyond Chicago through a new network of stations called Curious Nation.
Another project receiving funding is iSeeChange, created by Julia Kumari Drapkin and supported by KVNF-FM in Paonia, Colo. The project aims to crowdsource data on climate change.
Drapkin will use the $150,000 grant to expand on the work in Colorado and find ways to combine satellite and sensor data with “on-the-ground experiences from citizen storymakers” via the iSeeChange website.
iSeeChange has also lined up $600,000 in in-kind support and matching funds from partners including NASA and the Berkeley Atmospheric CO2 Observation. The project was also named part of the 2014 White House Climate Change Data Initiative.
The third project selected is Sonic Trace, created by Anayansi Diaz-Cortes and supported by KCRW-FM in Los Angeles. Sonic Trace will receive a $50,000 planning grant.
The project records stories of immigrants in Southern California, documenting their arrivals in Los Angeles. Diaz-Cortes will use the grant to expand the Sonic Trace approach to immigrant storytelling to other cities.
“This new and significant phase of our work demonstrates AIR’s commitment to supporting gifted talent and expanding the ecosystem where producers can do their best work,” said AIR Executive Director and Localore EP Sue Schardt in a statement. “It’s an important step forward in our sustained effort to bring producer-led R&D to a public media system in the midst of change.”