LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Native Women in Film & Television

NWIFTV focuses on equality for Native & Indigenous women & girls in front of & behind the camera, trains & presents qualified candidates to help studios & producers who want to have more diverse inclusive talent for their productions. NWIFTV cohesive database for the industry addresses the lack of inclusion of NWIFTV which is directly linked to the epidemic of Murdered Missing Native Women & Girls. We connect underrepresented talent to hiring executives who practice inclusive outreach. We are seeding the next generation to empower themselves.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Access to Creative Industry Employment (sponsored by the Snap Foundation)

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA

West LA

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles


In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

NWIFTV seeks to address what mainstream media has long worked to silence; the voices of Native women in film & television. NWIFTV has worked to diversify the voices represented in all media while creating content that reflects the true experiences of Native women. Disheartening statistics regarding Indigenous representation in Hollywood continues. In 1977 the first Native actress carried a leading role in The Girl Called Hatter Fox & that opportunity was not afforded again until 2019 with Netflix's Chambers. Between 2003-2019, America did not see Native actresses on episodic TV. For 16 yrs, mainstream disregarded our narrative contributing to the dangerous epidemic of invisibility. We need to make sure that native women see themselves in all forms of media. RNCI requests support in order to realize our full capacity to serve as a vital foundational support agency for Native women in furthering the diversity of employment in the Los Angeles area entertainment industry.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

The RNCI's program NWIFTV engages 50-100 Native & Indigenous women creatives annually in a pathway program to learn the craft of storytelling in all media. The program includes training, masterclasses, hands-on instruction, live performances, mentoring while focusing on equal opportunities for Native & Indigenous women in front of and behind the camera, encouraging the creative narrative, exploring and empowering authentic and honest portrayals of Native and Indigenous women, expanding empowerment initiatives and campaigns in the arts, media, social justice, civic engagement, economic empowerment, research, training, professional development programs, grants and international relation. Location Managers Guild International 1st vice president, Alison A. Taylor states 'Joanelle's example is one that should be studied by every underrepresented group that has stories to tell'. AMC Networks states 'Its an honor to provide hands-on access, education and new mentoring opportunities to members of the Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI), program NWIFTV an organization that is at the forefront of bringing Native American and Indigenous creators into television and film.' NWIFTV provides qualified Native and Indigenous candidates in front of and behind the camera to help studios and producers who want more diverse and inclusive talent on their productions. We connect underrepresented talent to hiring executives who practice inclusive outreach.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Red Nation Celebration Institute is the Authentic Voice for American Indian & Indigenous Nations, founded in 1995. The Creative Enterprise by Native delivering to all people the stories that shape our world. RNCI is the longest standing Native Women-Led, Indigenous media, arts, and cultural pioneer nonprofit enterprise based Los Angeles with office in Santa Fe New Mexico, serving Indian Country & Entertainment Industry, representing over 570+ Native Nations in establishing a rich legacy of work by supporting 2700+ Native Indigenous filmmakers. As the first Native Indigenous nonprofit funded by the City of Los Angeles & founding the American Indian Heritage Month, RNCI will continue to infuse a diversity of our Matriarchs into the fabric of Los Angeles County arts & entertainment offerings & opportunities. Our vision of a successful Program will include the gainful employment of 50-100 Native Indigenous women creatives trained professionals within Los Angeles entertainment industry.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

RNCI defines and assesses the impact of our arts programming on the communities we serve by the following methods: 1) pre and post-surveys embedded online in digital formats for program participants to engage with, 2) measurement of levels of participation win all NWIFTV programs, 3) anecdotal feedback from participants on employment, 4) online tracking of website engagement and 5) online tracking of streaming content downloads. Results will be quantified and assessed in order to inform the development of future NWIFTV films, educational programs and events. As an example of our evaluation methods, NWIFTV program participants will be monitored, and evaluated based on their levels of participation, pre and post-surveys, assessments, and analysis of script writing projects, films, and mentor training, professional engagement and employment. These methods are applied to all NWIFTV programs and evaluation results are used to inform and revise all future programing.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 100

Indirect Impact: 150,000