The Caucus Foundation, a not-for-profit 501[c]3 charitable organization, was established in the year 2000 to promote diversity in the entertainment industry, in terms of both content and personnel behind the camera. The Foundation works towards this goal by helping to launch the professional careers of student filmmakers (television, film and streaming) from groups currently underrepresented in the industry. The Foundation provides these women and minority students with a range of services, including awarding grants that defray the costs of completing their student (undergraduate and graduate) "portfolio" films, securing in-kind contributions for these projects, and offering intensive mentoring services by industry professionals who are also Caucus Foundation members.
The Caucus Foundation also provides a Television/New Media Award that is conferred on one representative submission by a university/college cinema/television department based on one submission of either a Pilot, a Series Episode or a Webisode from an Internet series. The award will be presented to the institution to distribute to the Producer, Writer and Director of the submission.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
I am honored and humbled to have been voted as the President of The Caucus Foundation. My predecessors Dennis Doty, Lee Miller and Foundation Co-Founder and Executive VP, Chuck Fries have built a remarkable organization dedicated to the education and skill building of the next generation of storytellers and content creators. My mission along with an outstanding Board will be to continue a commitment to the education and the enrichment of future Producers, Writers and Directors.
The main focus of the Foundation is, of course, the student grant awards. Twice each year we accept entries from film and television schools around the country. Each round of grants brings in between 10 and 20 entries, which are screened by a judging committee. This committee is made up of The Foundation Board and The Caucus membership. These screenings take many hours of their time and I thank each of them for viewing and judging these many entries.
Those selected in this screening are then given completion grants so that their project may be finished. The selected grantees are then judged a second time each fall and two are selected for the Gold Circle Awards announced at our year end annual Caucus Awards Dinner.
In the past 19 years the Foundation has given nearly $2 million in financial grants and in-kind services to over 185 leading Film Students across the country to complete their Student Films. The Foundation has been fortunate to have the support of the entertainment industry. Bob Harvey of Panavision and Jim Hardy of illuminate Hollywood have been instrumental in supporting The Caucus Foundation with an annual Panavision Camera Package and an annual Post Production package, respectively. We are equally fortunate to have the financial support of outstanding foundations; The Annenberg Foundation and the Angell Foundation.
The Caucus Foundation's Television and New Media Award adds another element of student grants. This award is presented to a university's creative team for their best submission of a project of a pilot, an episode of a series which can be a comedy, drama, reality, documentary or news program or a representative webisode. Submissions are again judged by The Caucus Foundation Board members and announced at The Caucus Annual Awards Dinner.
We have also formed an alumni group of the grantees known as CFAN (Caucus Foundation Alumni Network). This is an active group meeting for seminars, dinners, and other networking events to both interact with The Caucus members and to further their own careers. One of the interesting facts of CFAN is that approximately 75% of them are working in our industry. They are the next generation and we are most proud to be playing a part in their early career moves.
To each of you who have been involved in this process either as a judge, or a financial donor, or simply a cheerleader, we thank you for your ongoing support. We will continue to reach out to new colleges and universities to extend the work of The Foundation.
These are amazingly gifted young men and women and to be able to extend a hand as they enter the swirling waters of today's media, is a gift we all share.
Sharon Arnett, President
The Caucus Foundation
CAUCUS FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President - Sharon Arnett
Executive Vice Presidents - Co-Founders Chuck Fries & Jerry Isenberg
First Vice President - Vin Di Bona
Vice President CFAN Liaison - Syd Vinnedge
Vice President Grants, In Kind Awards - Jake Rademacher
Vice President Cultural Diversity - Gary Grossman
Treasurer - Dennis Doty
Secretary - Michele Nasraway
Ex Officio Board Member, Caucus Co-Chair - Robert Papazian
Ex Officio Board Member, Caucus Co-Chair - James Hirsch
Michael J. Berk
Chas. Floyd Johnson
Norman S. Powell
Randall P. Dark
John C. Moffitt
Frank von Zerneck