Calling all media makers and storytellers across Wisconsin…
Do you have a burning desire to tell powerful Wisconsin stories about real people? Do you have a talent for producing high-quality digital content for social media or other digital platforms? Would you like your work to be shared with a statewide audience of over 100,000 people?
If your answer to all of the above is yes, then we invite your pitch!
Love Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Humanities Council are working together to fund the production of a small set of unique, creative, and diverse storytelling projects that will help us grow and strengthen engagement with new and existing audiences. We will select a handful of winning pitches and provide up to $2,000 in production costs for each. Selected projects will be published directly through Love Wisconsin's social media accounts, email program, and website.
We are looking for projects that have the potential to scale, so submitted requests should be viewed as “pilot” projects with the potential for additional funding.
(Please note that this is not a grant opportunity. This is a search for freelancers.)
What’s the timeline?
Pitches are due Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
We’ll announce the selected projects in early April. Producers will have three months to create the project (exact deadlines for delivery will be determined after projects have been selected).
What are we looking for?
We’re looking for stories about diverse, inspiring Wisconsin people told in new and exciting ways for digital platforms. We’re open to different media types including photography, text+writing, videos, podcasts, sound clips, etc. Although our primary focus is digital, we are also open to ideas for in-person storytelling events where we could engage our audience on a deeper level.
Get as creative as you can, but don’t forget: the most important thing is storytelling. We want stories about fascinating people in Wisconsin. They can be local to your community or feature people from several communities across the state. We’re particularly interested in featuring people of color and young voices. We’re excited to see ideas for stories from all over the state, and would particularly love to see pitches that focus on people from communities in northern and southwest Wisconsin (beyond Madison).
Projects should be designed for one or more digital platforms and should be optimized for engagement on those platforms. Producers are welcome to create content professionally, or they can work with others (i.e. real folks) to create unique, authentic content.
Some examples of possible projects:
- Arrange to mentor youth in different WI towns to share their stories via a curated “takeover” of our Instagram account.
- Produce a compelling place-based podcast like “Dolly Parton’s America.”
- Do a photo+text project for Facebook on a particular group or subject.
- Interview retired Wisconsinites and create animations from their stories to share on Instagram and Facebook.
- The possibilities are truly endless.
Selected projects will be published under the Love Wisconsin brand. This means you should take some time to get to know who we are. (Keep reading…)
Who are we?
Love Wisconsin is a digital storytelling project that was launched in 2015. Last year, we partnered with the Wisconsin Humanities Council to continue bringing high-quality stories to our audience of over 100,000 people on Facebook and thousands more on Instagram, Twitter, email, and our website.
Our mission is to use storytelling to bring about a more connected, compassionate, and engaged Wisconsin. To that end, we share diverse, real-life stories that amplify the good and draw attention to experiences across our state that need to be heard. We feature people whose stories exemplify themes like human resilience, civic and community engagement, cultural identity, conservation, and sustainability.
To get a better sense of who we are and the stories we like to share, check out the stories on our website. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Wish for WI: This video series features Wisco kids talking about their lives and sharing their hopes for the future—all while creating an incredible piece of art. Check out Caleb’s Wish for WI video as an example.
Travis Dewitz’s photo essays provide a peek into an artist’s inspirations while capturing the spirit of a Wisconsin tradition: deer hunting.
What should your pitch look like?
Your pitch should include all of the following:
Describe your project. What is your big dream (a fully scaled project) and what is the smaller, “pilot” version that you wish to create with the initial funding? What digital platform(s) will you design it for (or is it offline)? What medium(s) and format will you use?
Tell us whose story you plan to tell and why. What makes them compelling? Where in Wisconsin do they live, and how has that place shaped them? What does their story say about life in Wisconsin, and life in general? What are some universal themes that will come out of the story? What makes it a good fit for Love Wisconsin?
How do you feel this project will help strengthen engagement and attract new audiences for Love Wisconsin?
If you are not producing the content yourself, who will you be working with? What will the roles be? How will you guide and frame the finished product to ensure it’s authentic, effective, and compelling?
Each selected project will be awarded up to $2,000 maximum. In your budget, indicate the total amount you’re requesting as well as a general breakdown that includes costs for your time (and any partners you might be working with), travel, equipment, and additional fees you might incur during production.
Brief bio + work samples
Please provide a one-paragraph biography of yourself, your skills, and your media-making and digital experience. If you have a particular connection to the story you’re pitching, be sure to let us know. Also, include three samples of storytelling work you’ve produced. At least two of the samples must be in the medium you’re proposing to use for this project.
Who can apply?
You must live in Wisconsin or have Wisconsin roots and connections to be able to produce authentic content here. We are open to applications from individual producers and storytellers as well as creative agencies or media companies.
How many pitches can you submit?
Feel free to submit multiple pitches if you have multiple great ideas. Just be aware that we can only fund the production of one project per person, at most.
Who should you send your pitch to?
We want to help you make your pitch the best it can be (and make sure it’s a good fit for Love Wisconsin, too). Before submitting, get in touch with Love Wisconsin’s executive producer, Maria Parrott-Ryan, at email@example.com or (608) 890-3928. She’s happy to talk through your project and give you some pointers before you submit.
When you’re ready, submit your pitch via email or regular mail. Over email, attach a Word doc or PDF in a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the subject line “Love WI Pilot Project Proposal.”
Regular mail should be addressed to:
c/o Love Wisconsin / Wisconsin Humanities Council
3801 Regent St., Suite 101
Madison, WI 53705
**Proposals are due Wednesday, March 11, 2020**