The $5 million grant program launched last year under the name of “Made in NY” Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund. Last year’s program awarded a total of $1.5 million to 63 film, digital and theatre projects in the first round. This year, the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre has added an additional $500,000 to expand the fund to include music projects with a maximum grant of $20,000 each.
The fund is meant to address the underrepresentation of all who identify as women in the entertainment industries. With the addition of music to the list of eligible categories, MOME is increasing its efforts to target gender inequity in stubbornly male-dominated industries.
“New York City is home to the strongest creative talent in the word,” said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Anne del Castillo. “We are proud to expand the NYC Women’s Fund to include female-identified songwriters, composers, engineers, and producers working in all genres of music. Supporting women creatives in media and entertainment diversifies our talent base and generates richer content.”
A recent study from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that only 10 percent of Grammy nominees were women from 2013 to 2019. Between 2012 and 2018, only 22 percent of artists, 12 percent of songwriters and 2 percent of producers of 700 popular songs from the Hot 100 year-end Billboard Charts were female.
Eligible projects for music grants will include new EPs, albums and videos for yet-to-be released works from all genres. Projects must have a significant female writing credit, producer credit, engineering credit and/or musical lead. NYC-based producers, composers, engineers, solo musicians, ensemble bands, and orchestras that are not currently signed to a major label can apply. Applicants must also show evidence of a growing fan base and have played multiple live shows.
Film, theatre, and web productions are eligible for finishing funds in categories such as Fiction Feature (running time of 60 minutes or more) for $50,000, Fiction Short (running time of 59 minutes or less) for– $25,000, Fiction Webisode/Webseries (all forms) for $20,000, Documentary Feature (running time of 60 minutes or more) for $50,000, Documentary Webisodes/Webseries (all lengths and forms) for $25,000 and Theatre Production for $50,000.
Projects are eligible if they feature a strong female or female-identified perspective; and/or include a female or female-identified director; and/or include a meaningful female or female-identified producer credit; and/or include a meaningful female or female-identified writing credit; and/or include a female or female-identified protagonist(s).
“Access to funding for creative projects is a barrier to so many New York City women – as a result, their voices aren’t heard and their careers never reach the heights they should,” said Faye Penn, Executive Director of women.nyc. “Women.nyc is proud to support NYC Women’s Fund, which extends opportunity to female artists and storytellers so they can finally achieve the visibility they deserve.”
All recipients must be city residents. Applications and eligibility requirements are available at nyfa.org/NYCWomensFund. To sign up for updates on the Fund, please visit MOME's website. You can use hashtag #NYCWomensFund to participate in the conversation. Applications close on October 1, 2019 and recipients will be announced in March 2020.