Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC Media) receives $900,000 MacArthur grant

Published On: August 15, 2017 |

San Francisco, CA – Bay Area Video Coalition has been awarded $900,000 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support the expansion of its National MediaMaker Fellowship program, which provides training, professional development, and funding to diverse social-issue documentary projects.

For over forty years, BAVC Media has been providing emerging producers with the technology, training, and professional networking opportunities that are essential to successfully finishing and distributing a nonfiction film. Since its MediaMaker program was expanded nationally in 2011, BAVC Media has supported 8 documentary projects per year, and is looking to significantly expand that number over the coming three years. Many of these projects have screened on PBS, ITVS’ Independent Lens, and HBO, as well as at the Tribeca Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, New York Documentary Film Festival, and Sundance, among many others.

“We are, of course, thrilled to be part of the MacArthur Foundation’s efforts to support a larger and more diverse pool of nonfiction media producers. As technology continues to expand opportunities for people to tell important stories and reach new audiences,” said Jeremy O’Neal, BAVC Media’s Interim Executive Director. “We face the critical task of ensuring that these stories and audiences reflect the diversity of our nation. Funding commitments like this one will allow us to make significant strides toward that goal.”

The Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC Media) was founded in 1976 to support freedom of expression by making advanced media technology accessible to independent media makers and nonprofits. They teach. They empower creative expression. They preserve the past. And they develop future media makers and innovators. BAVC Media’s mission is to be the nation’s most advanced noncommercial media access and training center. Visit BAVC Media online at

The grant is part of a $5.7 million round announced by the foundation today, designed to support professional nonfiction media makers from diverse backgrounds. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy, as well as the strength and vitality of their headquarters city, Chicago.