The Pop Culture Collaborative's 'Pop Up' rapid response grants are designed to help you implement nimble, proactive pop initiatives that create learning spaces, partnerships, narrative design opportunities, experimental cultural campaigns, and/or content intended for mass audiences (1 million+ people) to help advance social justice through pop culture.  

The Pop Culture Collaborative invites Pop Up idea submissions throughout the year, with no formal timelines or deadlines.  Please refer to the Pop Culture Collaborative's Pop Up Grant Guidelines for more information.  Here are three major criteria for ‘Pop Up’ idea submissions: 

  • There should be a focus on narrative: At the Pop Culture Collaborative, we believe that our society lacks a unifying story powerful enough to foster authentic connection between millions of Americans. In its absence, our nation struggles to imagine life beyond the harmful social and economic systems, outdated personal biases and bigotry, and day-to-day behaviors that distort our individual and collective humanity. We also believe that this new story—of our civic rebirth—must ring true, and thus, that Americans can no longer evade the full complexity of our nation’s origins and founding, including our history of racial and gender exclusion.

    The Pop Culture Collaborative’s mission is to help create and catalyze just and authentic narratives about people of color, Muslims, immigrants and refugees.  Through entertainment, storytelling and media intended for mass audiences (1 million+ people), ‘Pop Up’ proposals must intend to disrupt dangerous and/or advance authentic narratives about one or all of these communities.

  • It should be a rapid response effort: While immersive, multi-layered culture change strategies unfold over many years, we recognize that there are clear, time-bound moments that require a rapid infusion of experimentation, creativity and coordination.

    Proposed initiatives should be formed in response to recent and unanticipated OR fast approaching acute political, news or cultural moments. Examples include responding to the introduction of the executive order travel ban to anticipating cultural opportunities around the premiere of a new television show. We will look for you to describe how the timing of your initiative is urgent and pertinent to the coming months given the acute challenge that you are responding to. Proposed initiatives should be completed within a four-month time period.  

    ‘Pop Up’ grants are not intended for initiatives that are raising funds on an ongoing basis and/or that are simply in need of a quick funding infusion based on an internal project timeline.  We will consider existing pop-focused projects that are recalibrating strategies in response to or anticipation of a critical political or cultural event.
  • Remember pop culture for mass audiences: Coupled with a rapid response hook, your project should intend to move narratives that reach and engage mass media audiences (1 million+ people) OR empower or guide those with the power to do so. Examples of potential initiatives include a pop culture campaign, production and distribution of content intended for mass audiences, learning or story design opportunities for entertainment artists, journalism and media production focused on storytelling and education for entertainment insiders and artists, cross-sector network building among community members, movement leaders and entertainment artists, and more.

    While we greatly value the creative vision and innovative efforts of a wide-range of potential applicants, ‘Pop Up’ grants do not cover local community arts and theater projects or the production or distribution of documentaries.

To initiate the application process, submit your contact information and a brief description of the Pop Up idea for which you are seeking support. We will respond to your Pop Up idea submission within one week. Select inquiries will be sent an invitation to submit a formal proposal application and budget.  We will respond to proposals within 5 business days, and if approved, funds will be released within 10 business days of receipt of all required documents.

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