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 accepts project proposals from producers and reporters three times a year.

Applications for the Program Venture Fund are due July 11, 2014 by 5:00 p.m. (PST).

Instructions: PDF | Word Doc
Application: PDF | Word Doc
 

To kick-start your brain storming here are a few subject areas that KUOW would like to cover in the coming year.  But do not feel tied to this list of subjects; this is just meant to give you a little more direction.  Feel free to submit ideas on completely different topics, whatever catches your interest.

1) Gun Control

Two competing gun control measures will be on Washington state’s November ballot. We’re looking for stories that explore this division and give us a better understanding of the players on both sides of the issue.

2) Innovators

Who are the people who are challenging the way we think and live? How are they shaping our future? Think of the researchers and clinicians hoping to create the next medical breakthrough, or the software engineer working on the next innovation that will change our lives. Who are the ones to watch and why?

3) Getting There

We are a society that is on the move. It’s all about getting from here to there. Our region’s aging infrastructure has made this issue of particular importance right now. Interstate 5 is a vital arterial and is in need of a major overhaul. Hundreds of bridges across the state are in need of updates. What are the transportation challenges that we face now and in the future?

Explore previous grantees and their feature stories.

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.

Cautiously Optimistic: Off To College, With Autism

Nov 10, 2012
KUOW photo/Bryan Buckalew

Alex Brenner walked into his psychologist's office one day this summer and right away, he thought he had done something wrong. Both his parents were standing at the front desk. As he closed the door, his mom handed him a letter. “She said, 'read it.' I sat down. It said, ‘you’re getting into the University of Washington.’”

Alex was stunned. His dad helped him uncork a bottle of champagne and they celebrated on the spot. The University of Washington in Seattle was Alex’s first choice among schools. He had been studying for four years at a community college to get his grades up. All his hard work had finally paid off. But sitting there holding his acceptance letter, another wave of realization washed over him. Soon he’d be living on his own in a new city, a long drive from his parents’ home in Tacoma. He suddenly felt nervous.

Library of Congress Van Vechten Collection

On October 30, 1938, Orson Wells' infamous "War of the Worlds" broadcast across the nation.  Fake news of a Martian landing fooled a lot of people on the East Coast, especially around New Jersey, where phony live reports described the alien landing site. But the most infamous panic of all didn't happen in the East. And it wasn't just a single person. It was an entire town, and it happened right here in Washington state.

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