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California Documentary Project (CDP) NextGen Grants

Grants to California Nonprofits and Agencies to
Support Young Emerging Documentary Media Artists

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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California Humanities

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

03/15/21 5:00 PM


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Grants of up to $15,000 to California nonprofit organizations, state, and municipal public agencies to support young emerging media artists. The purpose of the program is to encourage youth to create documentary podcasts or films that highlight problems communities face and propose solutions for creating a future they envision. Eligible programs provide training and support to emerging media makers in the creation of short, insightful nonfiction films and/or podcasts that tell original stories about life in California today.

California Humanities is particularly interested in projects that, in addition to providing technical training in media production, actively support young Californians in thinking critically about media messages. Competitive proposals will also encourage reflection and deepened understanding of subjects and issues relevant to participants’ lives and communities.

California Humanities seeks compelling and accessible projects that reflect a broad cross-section of young Californians’ stories, bring new and previously unheard perspectives to light, and help to reveal the breadth and range of California’s cultures, peoples and histories.

All CDP NextGen projects should:

  • Provide training and support to emerging mediamakers age 18 and under in the development and production of short nonfiction films and/or podcasts from concept to final edit
  • Focus on subjects and issues chosen by participants as relevant and meaningful to their own lives and communities 
  • Involve an experienced mediamaker or media instructor as the project lead
  • Actively involve at least one humanities advisor as an integral member of the project team
  • Approach subject matter from a perspective informed by the humanities
  • Hold a public community screening or presentation of the produced projects designed to engage audiences in dialogue and discussion. Virtual and socially distanced events are eligible and currently encouraged in accordance with CDC and state guidelines.
  • Seek additional exhibition and distribution opportunities where available

Grant funds may be used to support eligible project-related activities and expenses during the grant period, including but not limited to: stipends for youth participants, production and post-production costs; honoraria for humanities advisors; salaries and fees for staff and other personnel directly involved in the project; supplies and materials, public presentation, publicity and promotion; etc.

See Guidelines for Review Criteria and Project Requirements (link in Supporting Documents, below).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184298

Estimated Size of Grant:

CDP NextGen Grants are up to $15,000

Term of Contract:

The maximum grant period is one year (May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

CDP NextGen grants are designed for youth media organizations in support of emerging California media makers age 18 and under.

CDP NextGen invites applications from California-based nonprofit organizations and public agencies with established track records in youth media programming

Only California-based non-profit organizations with tax-exempt status or state/municipal public agencies such as arts councils, schools, universities, or libraries may apply for the CDP NextGen grant. Individuals and organizations lacking tax exempt status may not apply directly for funding but can apply under the auspices of a fiscal sponsor. Eligible applicant organizations and project directors must:
- Be in good standing with California Humanities (e.g., without unfulfilled reporting requirements), if a previous grant recipient
- Not have an active California Humanities grant or an application pending review in another California Humanities grant program; however, California Humanities will accept multiple applications by universities/colleges, public library systems, and art councils. Organizations that operate established fiscal sponsorship programs that have been pre-approved as California Humanities multi-application fiscal sponsors may submit multiple applications. See FAQs in Guidelines (in Supporting Documents) for details. Current recipients of CA CARES Individual, Relief, or Recovery Grants from California Humanities are exempt from this rule and are eligible to apply for additional funding.

Some restrictions apply, including a 10% cap on indirect costs, organizational overhead and fiscal sponsorship fees.

CDP NextGen Grants Do Not Support:
- Media productions in which new or emerging filmmakers 18 years or under do not play the primary creative and leadership role
- Narrative or fiction media projects
- Advocacy or projects aimed to advance a specific policy or partisan agenda
- Projects that are primarily promotional in nature

Pre-proposal Conference:

To learn more, join CDP NextGen for an applicant webinar on February 10, 2021 at 11am PT:

Pre-Application Information:

- January 2021: Guidelines and online application available at
- February 10: Informational webinar on how to apply for CDP NextGen, 11am-noon
- Monday, March 15, 2021, 5 PM: Deadline for submission of online application with attached proposal narrative, budget and resume/s. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Application for CDP NextGen is through an online process. No hand-delivered, faxed, or emailed applications will be accepted.
- May 2020: Awards announced, grant period begins, funds disbursed
- April 30, 2022: End of grant period

CDP NextGen Grants also require that a humanities expert (academic scholar, humanities professional, or culture bearer) serve as an advisor to the project. Please see the FAQs (in Supporting Documents) for more information.

California Humanities grant funds must be matched by at least a 1:1 amount of cash or in-kind contributions from non-federal sources.

California Humanities will accept applications without a DUNS or active SAM registration. However, all organizations are encouraged to start the process now. A DUNS is available through Dun & Bradstreet at A DUNS must be registered with SAM at in order for an organization to receive federal funds. Be sure to allow sufficient time (2-4 weeks) to obtain the DUNS number and complete the registration process. See FAQs for more information.

Watch the NextGen webinar:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Application portal:

For more information, contact Senior Program Officer, John Lightfoot:

For technical assistance with the online application submission process or obtaining a DUNS number or SAM registration, please contact Grants Manager, Debra White:

California Humanities
Oakland Office
538 9th Street, Suite 210
Oakland, CA 94607
Fax: 510.808.7533

Los Angeles Office
PO Box 65917
Los Angeles, CA 90065
415.391.1474 ext. 316

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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USA: California

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