Program Venture Fund | KUOW News and Information

Program Venture Fund

The KUOW Program Venture Fund (PVF) provides special support for staff and independent reporters and producers to develop new programming focused on the Puget Sound region. Programs funded by the PVF can be a series of feature reports, documentaries or a variety of short audio pieces. The PVF is not currently accepting applications.

Explore previous grantees and their feature stories.

High Risk Awaits Immigrants In Alaska’s 'Ballard North'

Oct 18, 2015
Salahaldin Adam, outside the Trident North plant in Cordova. Adam is showing the swelling on his right hand, which he hurt after just a few weeks on the job.
KUOW Photo/Alex Stonehill

In Ballard, a human resources manager for Trident Seafoods talks to a room of people hoping to be seafood processors – warning them of the dangers of the job.

SEAN CASADY, HR DIRECTOR: "You need to be able to stand on your feet for up to 16 hours a day in cold and wet conditions."

Sonny Nguyen outside of the auto parts store he owns in the town of Unalaska on the port of Dutch Harbor. He’s a refugee from Vietnam who moved to Seattle in 1976 and then went to Dutch Harbor where he’s lived on and off for 30 years.
KUOW Photo/Alex Stonehill

The yard in front of the CARQUEST Auto Parts store on this remote Alaskan island is crowded with old cars.

Sonny Nguyen, the store’s owner, keeps them because it can be faster to grab a part from the front yard than to get it shipped out here. Nguyen first came here in 1977.

Silme Domingo, left, and Gene Viernes, right, were murdered at a union hall in Seattle. It took a determined group of people to expose an international conspiracy behind the murders.
University of Washington Digital Archives

On Monday, June 1, 1981, Seattle’s KIRO TV reported a shooting in Pioneer Square.

KIRO: “The shots were fired right around a quarter of 5 this evening, shots that apparently were not heard by anyone else. The two victims were inside the union office.”

Following The Money Trail To Alaska's 'Ballard North'

Oct 18, 2015
Abdirahman Shire in his dormitory room. Room and board are free or cost less than $15 a day for seafood processing workers (depending on their contract and from plant to plant).
KUOW Photo/Alex Stonehill

A few years after Abdirahman Shire moved to the U.S., he found work at a Tyson Foods chicken factory in Kentucky.

That’s when he got a call from a friend, another Somali guy he’d known in a refugee camp in Uganda.

An Olympia Family Comes To Terms With Their Trans Child

Mar 28, 2014
KUOW Photo/Rosette Royale

Her eyes focused on the arcade screen, Bridget awaits her moment of transformation.

The 9-year-old is playing the video game Ms. Pac-Man, where the title character eats a magic pellet that turns her into a super being. As Bridget grips the joystick, the sunlight streaming in through a nearby window highlights her features: She has a face full of freckles, glinting, grey eyes and brown hair that tumbles past her shoulders.

“I’m good at this,” she says of the game.

Courtesy of Steven J Pickens

In 1948, at the height of discontent over a Puget Sound transportation controversy, a group of agitated locals, nicknamed the “Vashon vigilantes,” prevented the ferry Illahee from docking.

A local business man, two candidates for governor and a network of traversing boats came to a head over a seemingly simple issue: how much to charge to cross the waterways between cities and islands.

Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Cherie LaMaine is a ferry walker on the Edmonds-Kingston line: She makes laps around the deck as the boat glides from port to port.

The habit started with her husband when he needed to make frequent trips to Swedish Hospital. “We would still walk, holding hands,” LaMaine said. “He couldn't walk too fast, but it was great.”

The Fish Wars: Fighting As Northwest Salmon Run Dry

Jan 23, 2014
Mural near the Fisherman's Cove Marina and Lummi Island Ferry on Lummi Nation.
KUOW Photo/Jeff Emtman

This is an excerpt from KUOW's "Sacred Catch" series. Explore the full series with additional audio, pictures and materials.

Hundreds of Indians climbed the cliffs at night and waited under the edge of the bluff for the first morning light.

'Schelangen,' But Also A Right

Jan 22, 2014
Jay Julius is a member of the Lummi Tribe and an outspoken defender of his people's fishing rights
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

Back in the 1850s, the United States negotiated a series of five treaties with the coastal tribes living in what is now Washington state. The treaties secured a majority of the land for the state and broke the tribes up into reservations. But of less interest to early white settlers were water rights. Native Americans kept their right to fish along coastal waters. However, over the decades those rights have been disputed.

Before Salmon Was King, Before Salmon Was Greed

Jan 21, 2014
KUOW Photo/Jeff Emtman

The Salish Sea is a network of waterways that run from northwestern Washington to British Columbia. The waters of the Salish Sea are home to some of the richest marine life on the planet. The Lummi Tribe of Northern Washington rely on the abundance of these waters, but the fish have been in decline for the last century and a half.

Response To "Black In Seattle: Dating Woes"

Nov 1, 2013
KUOW Photo/Tonya Mosley

Tonya Mosley's Black in Seattle series concluded Thursday with a look at the challenges black women have in finding partners, called he "marriage freeze."

Listeners and readers added their own insight on the series and their experiences finding love in Seattle.

Follow the hashtag #blackinseattle on Twitter and add your questions and insights.

Black In Seattle Live Twitter Chat

Oct 31, 2013

Black In Seattle series producer Tonya Mosley (@tonyamosley) moderated a live Twitter chat last night. Local guests Enrico Benjamin and Alex Wells joined her to discuss what it's like to be a black man in Seattle.

Miss anything? Catch up on all the pieces from Mosley's series and highlights from the chat below, and follow the hashtag #blackinseattle on Twitter to add your questions and insights.

KUOW Photo/Tonya Mosley

In 2002, Seattle Times columnist Jerry Large wrote about the black experience in Seattle in which black women complained about how few black men there were to date. One woman said to "bring your own black men (or women) to date because Seattle is hard on black women's dating aspirations."

Response To 'Black In Seattle: Busing Blues'

Oct 30, 2013
Courtesy of Seattle Public Schools Archive

Tonya Mosley's Black in Seattle series continued Tuesday with a piece on the Seattle Public Schools' 21-year busing program and the way it continues to affect the way black people, some of who are parents now themselves, view their community and education.

Listeners and readers added their own insight on their experiences with the busing program.

Follow the hashtag #blackinseattle on Twitter and add your questions and insights. Don't have a Twitter account? Eavesdrop on the chat in real-time.

KUOW Photo/Tonya Mosley

On a map, Seattle is a blue dot – often described as liberal and tolerant. But it’s not always comfortable for black men who say they experience racial profiling and discrimination.

KUOW Photo/Tonya Mosley

This week, we’ve been airing stories by reporter Tonya Mosley centered around the question: What is the black experience in Seattle? Below, hear Web exclusive interviews from more people Mosley interviewed for her series, Black In Seattle

KUOW Photo/Tonya Mosley

Tonya Mosley's Black in Seattle series on KUOW immediately struck a chord with her first piece that asked a fraught question: Where are the black people? For a large and progressive metro area, Seattle actually lags behind other cities and the country as a whole in its black population.

Listeners and readers added their own insight as to what Seattle offers and what it is missing for the black community.

Follow the hashtag #blackinseattle on Twitter and add your questions and insights. Don't have a Twitter account? Eavesdrop on the chat in real-time.

Courtesy of MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, 2000.107

On a recent Thursday evening, Amalia Martino rushed from work to catch the last few minutes of her daughter Sophia’s soccer game. She pointed out her daughter on the field, laughing a little: “My daughter is the brown one.”

KUOW Photo/Tonya Mosley

What is it like to be black in the fifth whitest major city in America?

It’s not an easy question to answer.

Seattle’s black population hovers around 8 percent, with more leaving every year.

Housing in the Yesler Terrace area.
KUOW Photo/Dominic Black

When Yesler Terrace finally becomes a planned, mixed-income neighborhood in the next 10 or 15 or maybe even 20 years, it won't be the first in the city. New Holly, Rainier Vista and High Point are all former public housing projects. They were redeveloped through Hope VI, a federal program that came into being in 1993, at a time when public housing was seen by some as a social policy failure, an example of how government got things wrong.

KUOW Photo/Dominic Black

Kristin O'Donnell loves meetings. "Absolutely my hobby. I do enjoy meetings," she tells me over a cup of tea in the Panama Hotel. Meetings, she says, offer a way to affect change in her community. And besides, she likes to put on a show. "To a large extent community organizing is theater; it works just often enough that I'm hooked."

From Profanity Hill To Yesler Terrace

Jan 13, 2013
Demolition in 1940
Courtesy MOHAI

Rumor has it that somewhere in a forgotten corner of a basement somewhere in Seattle there's a decaying 3-D model of a brand new Yesler Terrace. It was dreamed up in the late 1960s but, like the R H Thomson Expressway or the parking lot that was planned for where the Pike Place Market still stands, it never made it out of the world of imagination and onto the grid of the real world.

In 2013, after six years of planning, it appears another vision of a brand new development will take root where Yesler Terrace now stands. It's not the first transformation this patch of ground has seen though. This is the story of two places that occupy that ground -- one in the present and one in the past.

This NOT Just In: The Last Episode Of J.P. Patches

Dec 28, 2012
J.P. Patches and Gertrude from The J.P. Patches Show.
Courtesy of Chris Wedes

Chris Wedes passed away earlier this year after a long battle with cancer.  Wedes was the host of the long-running JP Patches Show on KIRO TV and one of the region's most beloved figures.  "This NOT Just In" looks back to the final weekday episode of the popular program, back in December 1978.

How We Mourned John Lennon Before The Internet

Dec 7, 2012
Roy Kerwood / Wikipedia

John Lennon was murdered 30 years ago. We'll look back at how Seattleites mourned the death of the former Beatle in a time before the Internet, social media and cell phones.

Lincoln Potter

The mystery of why the Pacific Northwest has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world is as enduring as the mystery of the D.B. Cooper hijacking — and has proven about as difficult to crack.

Recently, however, scientists have been closing in on some likely triggers that may be causing the body to hijack its own immune system and turn on itself. Those new findings could lead to new treatment strategies in the future.

Carol Smith

The Pacific Northwest has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world, yet the reasons why remain elusive. It’s an old mystery, but one that now has a new face. Today, doctors are seeing a growing number of cases in kids. They hope these young patients will yield more clues to what causes the disease.

D.B. Cooper
Courtesy/Wikipedia

On November 24, 1971, a man who is referred to as D.B. Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 on a flight between Portland, Oregon and Seattle. He extorted $200,000 in ransom, and parachuted from the plane. A look back at the hijacking which has become legendary in the Pacific Northwest and the rest of America.

The Radical Roots Of Yesler Terrace

Nov 16, 2012

Yesler Terrace is Seattle's oldest public housing project. It was revolutionary when it was completed in 1940. In the near future, though, it will be completely demolished.

In its place will sprout a series of high rise towers with a limited number of low-income housing units alongside up to 4,000 market-rate private housing units, offices, retail and commercial spaces. The ultimate goal, says the Seattle Housing Authority, is to create a sustainable, healthy, mixed-income neighborhood.

It's a radical plan, controversial, and every bit as transformational as that which gave rise to Yesler Terrace in 1940.

For Young Adults, Autism Diagnosis Opens Doors, Minds

Nov 10, 2012
Dorian Hinkle and Jordan Howard
KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

Growing up, Jordan Howard always felt like an outsider. He had trouble making friends, and he felt awkward in groups. He says he felt like one of those misunderstood high school clichés. And he could never put his finger on why.

Alex Brenner, Jordan Howard and Dorian Hinkle
KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

The first time Rolando Elias came to work at the Federal Way farmers market, Dr. April Walter was nervous.

“That was a big-time risk,” April says. “It could have blown up in my face.” She opened a tent at the market to give young adults with autism a chance to work.

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