JANUARY 10, 2023
BLACK PUBLIC MEDIA
By Leslie Fields-Cruz
Welcome 360 Incubator+ Fellows!
When we launched the 360 Incubator+ program in 2015, we knew the breadth of the Black experience had yet to be adequately represented on public media and aimed to change that. The program was designed to identify innovative storytellers and to generate quality serial, digital and multi-platform content for television and the Web.
Our inaugural cohort included eight projects (four TV series, and four web series) and ran for six weeks, providing the fellows with professional development workshops, mentors, pitching practice, fellowship, and more. The Incubator culminated with our highly acclaimed PitchBLACK Forum and Awards program, in which four winning pitch teams were awarded grants between $50K and $150K. The winning projects included: PoPs, by Garland McLauren; Street Cred, by Sultan Sharrief; My Africa Is by Nosarieme Garrick and Hassatou Diallo; and Pixie Dust, by Damon Colquhoun.
Over the years, several 360 projects have gone on to premiere either on public television or online, including: PoPs, My Africa Is, Read Awakening, The Hook, The American Diplomat, and Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts. Two more will premiere this year: Storming Caesars Palace, and Inner Wound Real. The success of these programs has helped to establish the 360 Incubator+ as a proven channel through which talent and content now enrich the public media pipeline. To date, the producers of more than two dozen projects have benefited from the 360 experience.
Clockwise from top left: Ashley O'Shay, Marta Effinger-Crichlow, Soraya Sélène, Resita Cox, Luchina Fisher, Dawne Langford, Shan Shan Tam, and Cat Deakins.
This year marks the program's 5th cohort. In addition to five documentary filmmaking teams, we are proud to be able to include five creative technologists in the Incubator Bootcamp, which runs Jan. 13-16. The filmmakers will then continue on in the incubator from Jan. 19- April 6. We invite you to read our feature story in this month’s newsletter for details about these fellows and their projects. I also urge you to mark your calendars for PitchBLACK 2023, which is scheduled for April 25-27.
The 360 Incubator+ is made possible by our various workshop presenters, our program mentors, and by funding from the MacArthur Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), PBS, and the Cultural Development Fund of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs. This community-wide effort grows stronger and more impactful each year. Thanks to all who contribute — our Creative Consultant Sandy Rattley, our mentors, our workshop presenters, and especially the incredible BPM staff.
Congratulations to the makers who responded to our Open Call and were selected for this year's Incubator. We are excited for you and look forward to watching your projects develop over the next few months.
Black Public Media is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with further funding from the MacArthur Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Acton Family Giving. For more information about underwriting and contributions, please contact Alisa Norris (Alisa@ blackpublicmedia.org). To donate, click here! In addition, you can donate to BPM through your Amazon purchases by going to smile.amazon.com/ch/31-1335950.
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