The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Service have announced the first Request for Proposals from their Diversity and Innovation Fund. The fund seeks proposals to provide the National Programming Service with a new, weekly, primetime series that will expand viewership and usage and reach an adult audience on-air and online that reflects the diversity of the 40-to-64-year-old demographic.

Specifically, the DI Fund seeks to diversify the NPS by attracting more racially and ethnically diverse viewers and Web visitors within the target demographic; expand the current NPS audience through the increased use of content created by a diverse group of producers and through the effective use of new and emerging technologies; leverage the talent and creativity of executive producers and producers from minority and underserved communities; build capacity for the public media system from within those communities; and encourage innovation in the planning, production, and distribution of public media content.

The content should be conceived and budgeted with multiple-platform use (broadcast, VOD, Internet, mobile, DVD, etc.) in mind from the outset.

The RFP encourages proposals for a variety of popular genres, including science, history, travel, natural history, and exploration. This RFP is not seeking children’s, drama, or news and public affairs content, as these subject areas are being addressed via other initiatives and/or existing properties.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals for a series of ten episodes that can be produced for $375,000 per hour (or less), with attendant rights that allow for the efficient use of the content on all distribution platforms. The intent is to “pilot” several projects. One or more will then be selected for series production.

PBS will begin accepting proposals on July 26, 2010. Visit the PBS Web site for complete program information and application procedures at http://www.pbs.org/difund/

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A program of Civic Ventures, the Purpose Prize annually provides five awards of $100,000 to people over the age of 60 who are working to address society’s biggest challenges.

To be eligible for the prize, a nominee must be at least 60 years old by the deadline of March 10, 2011,and be a legal resident of the United States (including U.S. territories). Nominees should have initiated important innovations, in a new or ongoing organization, in an encore career. “Encore careers” are those that combine personal meaning and social impact with continued work in the second half of life. Nominees must currently be working in a leadership capacity in an organization or institution (public, private, nonprofit, or for-profit) to address a major social problem in the United States or abroad. Nominees should have demonstrated recent creativity and leadership, with the promise of more to come.

Elected officials are not eligible for the prize. Individuals working in faith-based service organizations that have a broader social mission are eligible and encouraged to apply, but the purpose of their project cannot be strictly religious or sectarian.

Nominations are welcome from any organization or individual with knowledge of a potential candidate. Self-nominations are also accepted.

Visit the Purpose Prize Web site for complete program guidelines.