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Announcing $2.3M in Grant Awards through the Community Voices Fund

HealthSpark Foundation, in partnership with The Independence Public Media Foundation (IPMF) and the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund, announces grants totaling $2.3 million to community media-makers, journalism, and film with an emphasis on supporting projects led by underrepresented communities and with a commitment to justice. Forty-seven grants were awarded in total, including three grants totaling $160,000 to Montgomery County-based organizations.

“We are grateful to our partners at HealthSpark and the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund for helping to expand media making opportunities in the Philly region. What unites our three foundations is the belief that communities should lead the fact-finding and storytelling around the issues they care about. These grants will help them do that,” said Molly de Aguiar, IPMF President.

Read IPMF Program Officer Nuala Cabral’s essay on what the foundation’s board and staff prioritized during this grants review process.

Organizations and individuals from the tri-state area submitted a wide range of media making proposals to the Community Voices Fund. Of those who applied, the funding partners prioritized voices and leaders from communities traditionally underrepresented in philanthropy, with a special emphasis on LGBTQ+, Asian American/ Pacific Islander, and Indigenous communities.

"These organizations, projects, collectives and initiatives aren’t only voices of the community, they are calls to action to strengthen and inspire our collective communities by addressing the systems that need to be reimagined and reinvented so justice is possible," said Roxann Stafford, Managing Director of the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund.

The fund will include grants to the following Montgomery County-based organizations:

  • Centro de Cultura, Arte, Trabajo y Educación (CCATE), $75,000. To create a digital magazine, Rev Arte, where the Latinx immigrant community can share their talents and perspective, reframing negative portrayals of the community and authoring their own stories. Additionally, to foster community leadership through the expansion of CCATE’s media programming and the development of an internship program.
  • Norristown Men of Excellence, $10,000. To amplify voices of low-income, Black, and immigrant communities in Norristown and to bring local talent to a national stage.
  • The Welcome Project PA, $75,000. To support a documentary and other media-making for the Best Medical Practices for Transgender, Non-Binary, and Intersex Patients program, highlighting their stories and experiences, and honing in on what medical professionals should know and how they can more adequately and appropriately offer medical care.

HealthSpark’s evolving work through the Safety Net Resiliency Initiative, informed by continuous community conversations with partners, recently led to the expansion of its investments in community-driven media, storytelling, and narrative change through a strategy called Voices for Change. HealthSpark shared its initial investments under Voices for Change earlier this summer, including its grant of $40,000 to the Community Voices Fund.

“As we continually assess HealthSpark’s impact in advancing greater racial and social justice within the social safety net, we recognize the value that news, information, and community-driven media have on our public discourse,” said Russell Johnson, President and CEO of HealthSpark Foundation. “These grant projects offer an immense opportunity to shift that discourse to be more diverse, inclusive, and representative of the myriad of voices and experiences in our communities.”

A full listing of the grant awards through the open call process is available here.