The Institute for Interactive Journalism is soliciting applications for grants to “seed innovative community news ventures in the United States.” The grant program is called New Voices. Applications are due March 17. Applicants must be from or for non-profit groups. “Over the next two years, New Voices will help fund the start-up of 20 micro-local, news projects with $12,000 grants; support them with an educational Web site, and help foster their sustainability through $5,000 second-year, matching grants.” The Institute which is coordinating the grant process also administers the Batten Awards (named for a former chairman of Knight Ridder newspapers) prizes geared toward multimedia and non-traditional daily journalism. The Institute’s advisory board includes Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life project, whose studies I have referenced in several blog entries and Jan Schaffer, executive director of the Institute. In contrast to the Batten Awards, the New Voices grants appear to reach beyond existing media to promote nonprofit startups. Guidelines and applications are available online. Switching gears, I came across Unearthit.net, a searchable database that allows artists to post and sell works online, or promote events anywhere in the world. It was started in the United Kingdom and appears to be an outgrowth of a local government arts council in a London suburb. “Your work is edited by you and any item or work sold, or shared, by you does not incur any commission,” according to Unearthit. “Currently the site makes a small yearly nominal charge for administration of 10 pounds sterling or the equivalent in any other currency, World Pay does all the currency conversions, and this is for displaying up to ten items in your own interactive gallery. You can place unlimited numbers of events, workshops or happenings on the site free of charge.” A while back I mentioned Lulu, an online storefront for creative works that seems similar but less artsy. I am interested in this phenomenon of online storefronts for creative works and will look for more. Meanwhile, in looking for mentions of Unearthit, I came across a lovely index of arts sites called Zeroland and simply want to pass it on.
If you ain’t Mass Media, you’re MiniMedia