A new report commissioned by the Wyncote Foundation, “Culture, Heritage, and Place: How Media Amplifies Community Narratives,” profiles eight place-based organizations that use media for cultural expression and connection, with local funding support.

These organizations gather and amplify stories, histories, languages, and arts that foster authentic narratives rooted in place. They help nourish a humane civic sphere, one that honors and celebrates cultural heritage and diversity of voice. The report, written by longtime Wyncote consultant Sarah Lutman of 8 Bridges Workshop, also highlights several Philadelphia-based organizations whose exemplary programs have been supported by Wyncote and reflect the kind of community work that this report explores.

David Haas, Wyncote’s Vice Chair, says the foundation’s objective is to further the emerging conversation among place-based foundations about ways media can animate and advance diverse program priorities and grantmaking goals in local communities. By profiling work across the United States, the report offers a wide range of examples that can inform local grantmaking strategy and inspire deeper investment. The impetus for this project comes from Wyncote’s first-hand experiences in media funding in the Philadelphia region, where Wyncote supports a range of organizations that use media to inform, express, and celebrate place.

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Media Impact Funders

Media Impact Funders

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Media Impact Funders traces its roots back to the Council on Foundations, a longtime philanthropy-serving organization. Formerly Grantmakers in Film, Video & Television, MIF began on a volunteer basis in 1984 as an affinity group for funders interested in the power of film to highlight social issues. Reflecting changes in technology and media behavior over the past decade, it was renamed Grantmakers in Film & Electronic Media (GFEM) and formally incorporated in 2008 to advance the field of media arts and public interest media funding. It had 45 members and was headed by former MacArthur Foundation Program Officer Alyce Myatt. GFEM was renamed Media Impact Funders in 2012 and has since expanded its strategy to include a broad range media funding interests such as journalism, immersive technologies, media policy and more. Since that time, MIF has grown to more than 80 organizational members representing some of the largest foundations, and holds more than 40 in-person and online events yearly.