By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.
Black Public Media (BPM) is now accepting applications for the 2021 cohort of its 360 Incubator+ program. Created in 2014 to help BPM identify quality and innovative content by Black filmmakers, the 360 Incubator+ program is a three-month holistic development and fellowship initiative that helps creatives through training, mentorship, instructional sessions and more, as they prepare to compete for up to $150,000 in funding. Applicants must have a minimum of three years’ experience and their broadcast, web streaming and emerging media projects must be in the research and development stage or early production phase. The program, which runs January through March, will be held remotely. Applications are being accepted through September 15.
BPM, a Harlem-based media nonprofit dedicated solely to media content about the global Black experience, will select up to 10 projects for the Incubator. In January 2021, each project team will be assigned a mentor who will help them as they work to develop a plan, proposal, sample reel and pitch. The teams will also take part in virtual workshops on pitch mechanics, grant writing, distribution and more.
During the final month of the Incubator, the teams will work with a coach to refine their pitches in preparation for the Incubator’s culminating event, PitchBLACK, where each team will present its project to a panel of industry professionals, receiving valuable feedback from media executives as well as the chance to receive up to $150,000 in development funds for their projects.
“The 360 Incubator+ program allows our organization not only to identify cutting-edge creatives in our industry but also to help them widen their skill set and help accelerate their production, and to provide public media audiences with stories reflecting the diverse voices and stories in the Black community,” said Denise Greene, BPM’s Director of Program Initiatives.
Previous winners include Garland McLaurin, whose POPS web series went on to premiere on ITVS’ Indie Lens Storycast, and more recent winners Nailah Jefferson (Commuted), and Keith McQuirter and LaNora Williams-Clark (The 3,000 Project), whose documentaries examine the criminal justice system in America.
Due to COVID-19, BPM is waiving the $35 application fee for all submissions to the Incubator. For full details on the program or to submit an application, please visit [https://blackpublicmedia.org/incubator-360/].
Black Public Media was formerly known as the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) and is committed to enriching our democracy by educating, enlightening, empowering and engaging the American public.
The nonprofit supports diverse voices by developing, producing and distributing innovative media about the Black experience and by investing in visionary content makers.
BPM provides quality content for public media outlets, including, among others, PBS and PBS.org and BlackPublicMedia.org, as well as other platforms, while training and mentoring the next generation of Black filmmakers.
Black Public Media is @blackpublicmedia on Instagram and Facebook and @BLK PublicMedia on Twitter.