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Be Here: Baltimore – Call for Proposals

Be Here: Baltimore – call for proposals

Calling all storytellers!

Be nimble, be quick: Submit your proposals no later than July 10, 2016; win $1,000 and publish your mobile stories by August 15!

WHAT: We want to hear your stories of the history, culture, and people of Baltimore in order to connect the city’s many voices with global and local audiences. Find out more about the Be Here: Baltimore project here.

WHY: Be Here: Baltimore aims to catalyze a mobile storytelling eco-system that helps sustain creators (individuals as well as organizations) by making Baltimore’s culture and heritage more visible, relevant, and accessible to local and global audiences.

HOW: With sponsorship from izi.TRAVEL, MuseWeb is offering $25,000 in funding to help you tell your stories through open mobile platforms. 20 projects will be granted $1,000 each to create location-based digital content about Baltimore’s cultural heritage and collections designed for mobile users. After the delivery of the projects on August 15, a further $5,000 in matching grants will be divided among the most successful projects for creating additional content and expanding the mobile experiences.

MuseWeb will provide awardees support and training on successful mobile experience creation and digital publishing to the recommended open platforms in the form of workshops and online help materials. Two grant-writing workshops will also be held in June-July to help storytellers write the best project proposals possible.

WHEN: By August 15, awardees will create one or more mobile experiences that guide audiences through Baltimore’s cultural heritage, including its museums, neighborhoods, parks and urban landscapes. Awardees will upload their digital content to a number of free and open platforms, including but not limited to: Wikimedia Commons, YouTube, Soundcloud, and izi.TRAVEL: the storytelling platform, and submit links to their projects’ online locations through this Be Here proposal submission website. Be Here: Baltimore projects will be considered complete when they are available for use on at least 3 free and open platforms, including izi.TRAVEL, and the project report form provided to awardees has been filled out in full.

You are welcome to submit multiple proposals.


Jun 11: Call for proposals

June-July: Workshops on writing successful Be Here proposals (dates tbc)

July 10: Proposals due by 11:59pm EDT

July 11-14: Reviewers respond to the proposals through MW’s online system.

July 15: Project awards announced

July-Aug: Workshops and training in mobile storytelling and publishing (dates tbc)

Aug 15: Projects published and project reports due; fund disbursed to completed projects

Aug 19: Top projects awarded additional funds to add content by Sept 5

Sep 5: Submission of additional content; matching funds disbursed

Sep 9 (tbc): Be Here: Baltimore Open Story-tell-a-thon to present all projects and invite new participants to record and publish their mobile stories about Baltimore culture.

Selection Process:

Awardees will be selected by a committee of cultural leaders, MuseWeb and izi.TRAVEL representatives.

Awardees will be notified July 15 and will have one month (until August 15) to deliver their projects.

Projects selected for additional funding will have a further two weeks to create more content.

Funds will be paid to awardees when their completed projects are submitted.

Selection Criteria:

Successful proposals will provide plans for complete mobile experiences that immerse audiences in a place, time, and/or cultural context. Formats can include tours or scavenger hunts through Baltimore museums, cultural sites, architecture or neighborhoods – or introduce a whole new genre of mobile participatory experiences to the city. Proposals will be judged on quantity as well as quality of content planned for the experience (i.e. more is better, and better is better!). You are welcome to propose previously created content, with or without enhancements, but we are also excited to have your proposals for completely new experiences that capture your perspective and voice today!

We’re looking for:

Connected cultural storytelling: Mobile digital experiences that create a storytelling network across Baltimore by connecting points of interest, communities, and the city’s cultural institutions.

New voices for new audiences: Stories that help make Baltimore’s histories, collections and communities relevant and engaging for new and expanded audiences of both locals and visitors.

Mobile media: We expect audio to be the primary medium for the mobile experiences, but images, text and video can also play a part.

Location-based: Every story should be submitted with a precise geographic location (geo-tag) where it is designed to be experienced. The location can be provided in the form of a lat/long, street address, or tagged to an object in a collection (e.g. in a museum or gallery). In the case of object-based stories, we understand that the objects can be moved so specifying the object and institution or collection to which it belongs is sufficient. In all cases, the geo-location for the story should be accessible by the general public (i.e. on public display and not in a restricted area).

Mobile user-friendly duration: The length of the stories should take into account the physical comfort and available attention of mobile users (e.g. not require listeners to stand in one place for too long, nor distract them from the immediate environment to a dangerous degree). Stories can be divided into segments, and typically each story segment or “stop” along a tour route or itinerary will have an average length of 1 minute.

Potential for growth and sustainability: After its launch through this program, how will your project be maintained and grow? Projects that include a plan for expansion and sustainability will be preferred.

Partners and matching sponsors: A further $5,000 in matching grants will be divided among the most successful projects submitted on August 15th to enable the creation of more content and the expansion of the mobile experience, so include mention of possible project partners and sponsors who could provide matching funds or in-kind support in your project proposal.

Please submit your proposal.

Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected]


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