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Northwestern School of Communication

Media Arts Grant

The Media Arts Grant (or MAG) is a funding system administered through the Department of Radio/Television/Film to support student-driven filmmaking experiences.

Media Arts Grants enable students to create short films and other media projects that demonstrate experimentation, creative growth, and the artistic fundamentals that are the cornerstone to our academic program. The funding and selection process ensures each student proposal is considered with equal weight, and no preferential treatment is given on any basis other than artistic merit.

As the MAG model continues to evolve to meet the needs of our students, we are excited to offer incentives that foster the creative experience in a way that is both fair and helpful in fulfilling the potential of our creative economy’s future leaders. The Radio-TV-Film Department’s Media Arts Grants provides funding and equipment checkout for RTF undergraduates developing individual, original media projects in any recorded/moving image medium. Proposals are assessed, and grants awarded, by a committee of faculty and students.

Students who earn MAGS enjoy additional mentoring from our faculty — many of whom are leaders in the media arts. Additionally, at the discretion extracurricular groups, students receiving a MAG may partner with student media arts organizations (i.e. Studio 22, NUWFA, MultiCultural Collective, etc.) after the grant is awarded. These producing organizations are also funded by SoC, which provides the resources they need to sustain their operations and organize screenings and other special events. They have their own independent pitching and grant application processes, and students are encouraged to research the opportunities they offer, in addition to MAG and curricular filmmaking.

Application Information

The primary criteria for judging proposals are:

  • Clarity and originality of project and script
  • Rationale for the project
  • Adaptability of the project for safety: if pandemic restrictions are imposed again, how do you plan to adapt it for a smaller crew and less or even no Cage equipment availability, working within Covid Best Practices Guidelines? We hope not to return to quarantine, but we want you to succeed even if safety concerns limit all of our activity again.
  • Feasibility of the project, and prospect for completion (including, e.g. scale/scope of production; budget; equipment; etc.)
  • Quality of prior work (Applications must include a link to previous work)

Submit Proposals

Download applications:


Email applications to by 5pm, May 8, 2024.

COVID-19 Update

The policies and practices of all media productions at NU–including those given MAG Awards–are subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety procedures, as determined by the University administration and RTVF in response to state and national health authorities. Changes to Covid safety policy are announced regularly by the University, and updated in the RTVF department’s Covid Best Practices guidelines. As any questions about safety for your shoot arise, please reach out to RTVF department administrators for guidance.