The NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre is a groundbreaking initiative by the City of New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) to address the underrepresentation of female and female-identifying artists in film, television, and theatre and now music.
On March 12, 2020, 94 women-led or focused projects were selected to receive funds totaling $2 million. This is the second round of a three-year, $5.5 million program. In all, 1357 applications were submitted for consideration in the second round.
MOME awarded grants to projects in the following categories:
In addition to being made by, for, or about all who identify as women, projects are eligible if they feature a strong female perspective; and/or include a female director; and/or include a meaningful female producer credit; and/or include a meaningful female writing credit; and/or include a female protagonist(s).
Below is a complete list of projects selected for funding and below that, the panelists who evaluated the projects.
Jenny Lester - Title: What She Said
About: A millennial traumedy about chosen family and survival set against the backdrop of sexual assault.
Signe Baumane - Title: My Love Affair With Marriage
About: The film takes the audience into the wild, imaginative mind of Zelma as she plunges into womanhood.
Stefanie K Sparks - Title: Blueberry
About: A young woman and her sister struggle to hold on to each other when one of them falls in love with a stranger.
Talia Lugacy - Title: This Is Not a War Story
About: A hybrid-narrative feature film, produced in collaboration with combat veterans.
Grace Kim - Title: The Weeds in this Garden
About: Combining live-action, poetry and animation, this film is a protest against false narratives of womanhood and femininity.
Noelia R. Deza - Title: Ese verano nos quedamos en casa - That Summer, We Stayed at Home
About: In a country house in the middle of nowhere, a couple repeats an eternal cycle of daily routines and abuse.
Sen-I Yu - Title: My Heavenly City
About: A Mandarin-English interpreter in New York City witnesses the sufferings of others and begins to reflect on her own life.
Helen Nwosu - Title: My Mighty - Dos Boriquas Se Encuentran en Idaho
About: Two Puerto Rican women from the Bronx win a car in Vegas. Adventure ensues. Yet, mortality follows them in a very real way.
Sarah Todes - Title: GAMP
About: In this dark comedy, estranged sisters Gwen and Mina must avoid ruin by revamping their family puppet show business.
Jingjing Tian - Title: Meatloaf
About: A reclusive woman attempts to deal with gentrification and the passing of a loved one by going to her first nightclub.
Alison Barton, Bonnie Dennison - Title: Brown Bagger
About: A pregnant woman suspects that her husband is a burglar who sneaks into her neighbors’ apartments and leaves bagged lunches.
Artemis Shaw - Title: Real Talk
About: A woman goes on a talk show to confront a famous music producer about harassment and finds him armed with the "perfect apology."
Anu Valia - Title: & On & On
About: This series of short vignettes explores one family's reactions to the many small fires in everyday life.
Kathleen Wallace - Title: The Evagelists
About: Sister Mary Beyoncé and her fellow Evagelists (evangelists for feminism) tackle systemic taboos, biases, and inequalities.
Natalya Nyn - Title: Women Funny?
About: "Women Funny?" is a variety show showcasing female comedians through panel discussions, stand up and sketches.
Lea Furnion - Title: Lea's DIY
About: The world of reality has its limits. Lea decided to change her reality.
Joyce Keokham - Title: WYA WYD (Where You At What You Doin?)
About: A dramedy following a group of young 20 year olds who'll do anything strange for a little bit of change.
Sophia de Baun - Title: Out There
About: Two alien sisters journey to the Big Apple to make it big, but soon realize that competition is tougher than they thought.
Sylvia SIchel - Title: The Janes
About: The Janes... What are they doing in there? This is the premise of this fiction webseries.
Liann Kaye - Title: The Blessing
About: When a timid, midwestern boy decides to propose to his girlfriend, he has to go through her Chinese immigrant family first.
Lauren Petty - Title: All Over Everywhere
About: An interdisciplinary performance that involves confrontations between human beings and the imperiled natural world.
Lyndsey Bourne, The Tank - Title: I Was Unbecoming Then
About: A choral play about the minefield of girlhood - when good hair was never so important.
Melissa Moschitto, The Anthropologists - Title: No Pants In Tucson
About: A subversive physical comedy propelled by America’s obsession with regulating the female body.
Melisa Tien - Title: Swell
About: An avant-garde musical theater work featuring original songs by and about immigrants and the children of immigrants.
Lois Weaver - Title: Last Gasp
About: Set against a backdrop of climate catastrophe & political grief, Last Gasp is a call and response to the precarities of our age.
Jaime Sunwoo - Title: Specially Processed American Me
About: Unpacking SPAM's legacy in Asian America through a narrative collage of oral history, song, shadowplay, music, and cooking.
Tara Ahmadinejad, Piehole - Title: Disclaimer
About: An Iranian-American woman hosts an anti-war dinner party, but fears warp her plans.
Ellen Maddow, Talking Band - Title: The Lemon Girls, or Art for the Artless
About: A comedic celebration of older women - and those who will become older women.
Deepali Gupta, Lucy Jackson - Title: United States v. Gupta
About: A new music-driven theatrical work by Deepali Gupta, about her father’s highly publicized criminal trial for insider trading.
Mallory Catlett, Restless Productions NYC - Title: Rainbird
About: Rainbird is an opera that tells the story of a mysterious resurrection and one community's violent response to the unknown.
Tori Sampson, Vineyard Theatre and Workshop Center - Title: This Land Was Made
About: This theatrical work delves into liberation, peace, love, and self-defense. At Miss Trish's bar, it's all just talk - until the revolution walks through the door.
Julia May Jonas, The Bushwick Starr - Title: All Long True American Stories
About: A five-play theatrical event, created from a female perspective, responding to five "masculinity" plays of the American canon.
Alexis Roblan - Title: Samuel
About: Four adult sisters struggle to maintain their connections to each other and reality in this comedic horror play.
Sanaz Toossi, Roundabout Theatre Company - Title: English
About: English follows four adults in Iran studying for the TOEFL in hopes that one day, English will make them whole.
Rinne Groff, Clubbed Thumb - Title: The Woman's Party
About: This new play directed by Tara Ahmadinejad is about a madcap night in 1947 when two groups of women, each claiming to stand for the "real" National Woman's Party, attempt to oust their rivals physically and procedurally.
Debra Ann Byrd, New Heritage Theatre Group For Harlem Shakespeare Festival - Title: Becoming Othello: A Black Girl's Journey
About: The solo show is a poignant tale of a young woman's life and her gender flipped journey to becoming Othello.
Maya Cueva and Leah Galant - Title: On The Divide
About: On The Divide follows three Latino people connected to the last abortion clinic on the U.S./Mexico border in McAllen, Texas.
Michèle Stephenson - Title: Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project
About: Going to Mars pushes the boundaries of biographical documentary to reveal the enduring influence of poet Nikki Giovanni.
Mirissa Neff - Title: This is National Wake
About: This is National Wake dives into the world of a multiracial band that risked everything to wake up apartheid in South Africa.
Rachel Elizabeth Seed - Title: A Photographic Memory
About: A daughter attempts to piece together a portrait of her mother, a daring journalist and a woman she never knew.
Zara Katz, Lisa Riordan Seville, Kiara C. Jones - Title: Women on the Outside
About: After prison fractures Kristal Bush’s family, she strives to make them whole again without breaking down.
Immy Humes - Title: Shirley Clarke documentary
About: A portrait of a groundbreaking NYC artist, focusing on the artistry and social issues in her film and video making.
Abigail Child - Title: Origin of the Species (aka More Than Human)
About: Contextualized by pop culture transformations and narrated by the black lesbian cyborg BINA48, the film visits cutting edge laboratories in the US and Japan to explore current human-machine interactions, with a focus on gender and ethics.
Holly Morris - Title: Exposure
About: An expedition of women from the Arab World and the West has set the audacious goal of skiing to the pole. They navigate open water, polar bear threat, and -40° temperatures in an intimate story of resilience, survival and global citizenry.
Melissa Friedling - Title: An Odd Pair
About: A personal reflection on fertility and twinning combined with an investigation into a pair of unusual lost birds.
Gabriele Urbonaite - Title: Solastalgia
About: A reflection on climate change, nostalgia, and loss through the eyes of Serap Sherpa, a mountain guide-turned-Uber driver.
Ash Goh Hua - Title: I'm Free Now, You Are Free (working title)
About: A film about the reunion and repair between Mike Africa Jr and his mother, former political prisoner Debbie Africa.
Zoya Baker - Title: Ghosts of Derwyddon
About: A hybrid animated documentary about the filmmaker and her family’s multi-generational relationship with a suburban forest.
Lydia Cornett - Title: Bug Farm
About: Four women form a bond over crickets, superworms, and cockroaches on an insect farm in the small town of LaBelle, Fla.
Alex Strada - Title: truths
About: An experimental nonfiction film that explores "truth", language and labor in the ongoing political moment.
Allison Prete - Title: The Women of Slender Means
About: The Women of Slender Means follows four residents at the Brooklyn YWCA and their attempts, despite sizable odds, to create communion and community.
Yin Q - Title: Fly in Power
About: After a massage worker died during a police raid, activism ignited an historic inquiry into the targetin g of Asian migrant women.
Judy Lieff - Title: Up for Debate
About: N.Y.C. teens hit hot-button issues in the largest urban debate league in the U.S.
Sacred Pact (Sunny Facer, Jacqueline Davis) - Title: Hidden Kingdom
About: Hidden Kingdom is an episodic web series that follows the lives of five people through the world of dance.
Elizabeth Charles - Title: Before We Wrap
About: Late night talk show hosted by a black woman, featuring cultural conversations and musical guests.
Candace Thompson - Title: The Collaborative Urban Resilience Banquet (The C.U.R.B.)
About: Adapting to climate crisis by meeting (and eating) our non-human neighbors, this features a multi-species experiment in many parts.
Veena Rao - Title: The Art of Exile
About: Through the prism of their artistic practice, The Art of Exile follows censored artists whose work challenges the status quo.
Deniz Khateri - Title: Diasporan Series
About: With original music for each episode, Diasporan is an animated series about the unvoiced daily struggles of immigrants.
Nova Scott-James - Title: Wild Darlings Sing The Blues
About: A queer film series about healing arts and social justice.
Alyssa Kayhill - Title: Love Is What It Will Be
About: Love is What It Will Be, the candid second half of "Love is What It Is," delves deeper into love, in all its forms.
Martha Redbone - Title: Red Whistle Woman
About: Martha Redbone's songs tell stories of 21st century America through the eyes of a Black woman, Indigenous woman, and mother.
Raquel Acevedo-Klein - Title: Se Levanta (It Rises)
About: Multimedia expressions of the Nuyorican community following the aftermath of Hurricane María and earthquakes in Puerto Rico.
Aya Aziz - Title: Murals and Moons
About: A personal celebration of life, rhythm, and resistance.
Evie Joy - Title: Found (working title)
About: Showing women that the best partner is found from a place of self-love (and self-growth), rather than fear and need.
Cat Martino - Title: Dear Leonarda (working title)
About: This producer-composer uses beats, synths, samples, choir, and more for songs of everyday heroines.
Thanh Hien Nguyen - Title: Bloom
About: An expression of challenges women face in society, and the celebration of our worth and identity.
Renee Goust - Title: Re-Sister
About: A bilingual album by, for, and about women that represents us in Mexican and American folk genres.
Shilpa Ananth - Title: Fear
About: Fear, focuses on the duality of self, and the process of letting go of it to become who you are meant to be.
Natu Camara - Title: Natu Camara
About: Natu Camara's second album features socially-active songs in support of women, children's education, immigrants.
Harlem Renaissance High School Music Students - Title: Let Her Rock!
About: An engineering and production program empowers girls to tell their stories and prepares them for a male dominated industry.
Isa Reyes - Title: BELS
About: A call to action for those who carry the weight of nostalgia, grief, belonging, depression, heritage, love, trauma and the past.
Tina Hanae Miller - Title: Hanaé –「華え」
About: Developing music visuals and an immersive music video focused on ecological collapse and solastalgia.
Elena Ayodele Pinderhughes - Title: She's Made of Sunlight
About: This project showcases Elena as a singer/flutist/songwriter, inspired by her eclectic background to create a sound all her own.
Resistance Revival Chorus - Title: This Joy
About: The RRC presents an album made entirely by womxn who breathe joy into the resistance, and uplift women’s voices.
Julia Kwamya - Title: Feel Good About Feeling Bad
About: Life's complicated and healing hurts.
Charlene Kaye - Title: Conscious Control
About: This debut album by NYC musician KAYE is a guitar-driven alternative pop album, with shades of heavy rock and R&B, that reflects the seismic changes in the musician's life.
Jennifer Wharton - Title: Bonegasm - Not a Novelty
About: A low-note melodist taking her trombone band to new heights, defying stylistic labels and shattering instrumental novelty.
Emily Wells - Title: And a New Era of Silence = Death
About: A conversation between songs and essays that discusses ways climate activists might gain insight from AIDS activists.
Helen Sung - Title: QUARTET2
About: A pianist/composer interweaves her jazz and classical worlds in a double quartet recording of music by women.
Ibiwunmi Olaiya (aka Wunmi Olaiya) - Title: Little Girl (working title)
About: A dance music EP fusing genres of afrobeat, jazz fusion, and afro house music with lyrics that address female empowerment.
Amanda Gookin - Title: Forward Music Project
About: Commissioning new multimedia works for solo cello that explore stories of female empowerment.
Candice Hoyes and Val Jeanty - Title: Nite Bjuti
About: Candice Hoyes (voice), Val Jeanty (sound chemist) and Mimi Jones (bass) improvising futurist stories of the diaspora.
Hadaiyah Bey - Title: Safe Travels
About: An album/sound piece exploring concepts about healing the inner child and returning to the authentic self.
Anjna Swaminathan - Title: WOVEN: Entangled Memorabilia
About: Vocal meditations on identity, nostalgia and home are woven into a tapestry of string compositions rooted in Indian music.
Sarah Elizabeth Charles - Title: Blank Canvas
About: Sarah Elizabeth Charles' fourth studio album that centers on human identity, relationships, empathy and evolution.
Teodora Stepančić - Title: Teodora Stepančić - Duets
About: An album featuring four collaborative works by experimental music composer and pianist Teodora Stepančić.
Adi Meyerson - Title: "I Want To Sing My Heart Out In Praise Of Life" - The Kusama Suite
About: A synesthetic sonic response to the art, poetry and life of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
Kelly Hall-Tompkins - Title: Forgotten Voices: Commissioned by Music Kitchen - Food for the Soul with Support from Carnegie Hall
About: A song cycle celebrating 15 seasons and featuring text by homeless people set to music by 15 award-winning composers.
Sara Serpa - Title: Intimate Strangers
About: An interdisciplinary musical performance that portrays the writer Emmanuel Iduma's journey through several African countries.
Migiwa Miyajima - Title: 10 Years And Counting - Unbreakable Hope And Resilience
About: A suite for jazz orchestra by Japanese immigrant, Migiwa Miyajima, highlighting stories about Japan's 2011 earthquake survivors.
Kamala Sankaram - Title: Looking at You
About: The original cast recording of the hit techno-noir opera Looking at You.
Dana Lyn - Title: A Point on a Slow Curve
About: An 8-movement suite for septet and quartet, inspired by the eight-year creation story of Jay DeFeo's painting, "The Rose."
Lucy Yeghiazaryan - Title: Storm in a Teacup
About: Private confessions about the joys and pains of womanhood presented through a collection of jazz standards and originals.
Jane Ira Bloom - Title: Picturing The Invisible
About: Saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom & audio engineer Ulrike Schwarz produce an immersive sound recording inspired by Berenice Abbott.
Martine Granby, Producer of Workshops & Labs, Union Docs
Romola Lucas, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Caribbean Film Academy
Betsy Morais, Managing Editor, Columbia Journalism Review
Chloë Walters-Wallace, Documentary Lab Manager, Firelight Media
Jillian Báez, Assistant Professor of Media Culture, College of Staten Island (CUNY)
Bedatri Datta Choudhury, Film Critic
Lana Lin, Associate Professor of Film Theory and Digital Cinema, The New School
Nicole London, Film Producer
Akosua Adoma Owusu, Filmmaker, Producer, Cinematographer
Rebecca Blandón, Filmmaker, Producer, Editor
Viktoria I.V. King, Director, Writer, Producer
Abbey Lustgarten, DVD Producer, Criterion Collection
Den Quinsay, Managing Director, Bronx Documentary Center
Gina Duncan, Vice President, Film and Strategic Programming, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
Aliza Ma, Head of Programming, Metrograph
Easmanie Michel, Filmmaker
Lucy Mukerjee, Senior Programmer, Tribeca Film Festival
Sarah Schulman, Co-Founder Mix NYC, ACT UP Oral History Project
Jen Atalla, Senior Video, Producer, Pioneer Works
Kristina Newman-Scott, President, BRIC Media
Christina Raia, IndieWorks Festival Director, Seed & Spark
Efe Kabba, Filmmaker, Producer, Editor
Danielle Earle, Producer, Director
Traci Mark, Studio Manager, Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO)
Naomi Munro, Set Designer, Art Director
Geneva White, Co-Founder, Scope of Work
Oana Botez, Costume and Set Designer
Migdalia Cruz, Playwright
Sue Kessler, Co-Founder, The Bushwick Starr
Suzette Porte, Manager, Plan Services, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC)
Vickie Ramirez, Playwright
Karin Schall,Manager of Special Events and Advisor, Lincoln Center Theater
Helen Shaw, Theatre Critic, New York Magazine
Sharon Washington, Actress, Playwright
Music - Classical/Jazz/Experimental
Cat Henry, Vice President, Concerts and Touring, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Alice Jones, Flutist; Flute Faculty, Music Advancement Program, Julliard
Miya Masaoka, Composer, Sound Artist; Director of Sound Art Program, Columbia University
Mendi Obadike, Musician, Poet, Visual Artist
Marietta Ulacia, Executive Director, Afro Latin Jazz Alliance
Music - General
Nikisha Bailey, Vice President, A&R Admin + Operations, Artist Partners Group, Atlantic Records
Meera Dugal, Performing Arts Curator
Christal Jerez, Recording Engineer, Platinum Sound Recording Studios
Jennifer Justice, Founder, The Justice Dept.
Jennifer Le, Radio Host, HOT 97; Founder, Next Jeneration
Chaka Pilgriim, President, Roc Nation Records
Suzzy Roche, Musician, Performing Artist, Singer
Pyeng Threadgill, Singer, Songwriter, Record Producer