Artist Development Donor Circle

A new way to support Artist Development at BAVC Media

What is the donor circle? 

The Artist Development Donor Circle is a group of dedicated individuals, foundations, and corporate partners who care about supporting first- and second-time filmmakers from underrepresented communities, and making it possible for them to bring groundbreaking work to audiences. These donors will join our network of current artist development funders, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Perspective Fund, and Film SF in helping to build sustainable programming for independent artists. The donor circle will provide critical support for emerging filmmakers, meaningful mentorship opportunities, field-building efforts, and hands-on learning opportunities through creative conversations, in our Versed workshop series, which are open to the public and remove barriers to media arts education. Versed workshops have included DIY filmmaking, Audio is for Everyone, and more.

We are excited to build a program that will strengthen connections between boundary-pushing filmmakers, supporters, and lovers of independent film. Benefits offered to members of the Artist Development Circle include:

  • Direct connections to BAVC Media-supported filmmakers tailored to members’ priorities and interests
  • Inclusion in industry events at festivals at which BAVC Media staff and supported filmmakers are present, for example, Sundance, Getting Real, Camden, the New Orleans Film Festival, and SFFILM
  • Invitations to special events and gatherings of supported filmmakers
  • An inside look into the MediaMaker programs from BAVC Media staff as well as updates on current and past supported filmmakers
  • Recognition on BAVC Media’s website and artist development program marketing and materials

Why now? 

Since BAVC began in 1976, supporting artists has been at the core of our work. In 1991 we launched our MediaMaker Fellowship (formerly the National MediaMaker Fellowship and the BAVC Producers Institute). Since then, we have served hundreds of independent artists working on social-issue film and multimedia projects, with a particular focus on emerging artists from underrepresented communities. MediaMaker-supported films have premiered and won awards at festivals that include Sundance, Tribeca, Hot Docs, and Sheffield and received distribution from companies ranging from Magnolia Pictures to Mubi and beyond. Approximately 60% of MediaMaker supported projects completed in the last decade have been broadcast on public television on Independent Lens, POV, and more while reaching diverse audiences across the nation. Additionally, many of these films and projects have implemented Impact Campaigns that have changed hearts and minds as well as legislation and community goals on some of the biggest issues facing our communities today.

With an uncertain industry and changes in distribution all around us, we need to find additional ways to support artists who are taking risks, pushing the boundaries of filmmaking practice, and building the future of independent storytelling.

Interested in joining? Fill out our interest form below and a member of our Development team will be in touch!

Have any questions? Contact us at to learn more