Winners of Elevate for Podcasters grant programme announced

Spotify-funded programme awards $12,500 grants to disabled podcasters

Inevitable Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to supporting disabled writers and filmmakers, has announced the recipients of its Elevate for Podcasters funding program

The program, supported by Spotify, aims to support the professional development of disabled narrative fiction and non-fiction podcasters by awarding them a $12,500 grant which can go towards essentials such as show marketing, equipment, IP licensing, accommodation, and more. 

The eight winners of this year’s program include Ella Watts, co-creator of fiction podcast Doctor Who: Redacted, Bibi June, writer of Queer audio drama Folxlore, Lou Mensah, Shade podcast founder and host, Anna Maguire, writer of fiction podcast Find Us Alive, Sara McCrea, writer and producer of McCartney: A Life in Lyrics, Glowing in Tech podcast creator Jessie Belle Auguste, Chad Chenail, co-founder of the Girl Tales podcast, and Sarah Kaufman & Shane Dittmar, audio drama writing duo. 

“We’re very excited to welcome Ella Watts, Bibi June, Lou Mensah, Anna Maguire, Sara McCrea, Jessie Belle Auguste, Chad Chenail, and Sarah Kaufman & Shane Dittmar to the Inevitable Foundation family, who bring a diverse range of stories and skill sets to their work, ” said Inevitable Foundation co-founders Richie Siegel and Marisa Torelli-Pedevska in a joint statement.

Mensah spoke to PodPod in an earlier episode of the podcast about how the industry needs to do better when it comes to supporting people with disabilities, both hidden and visible, when it comes to areas such as networking and awards. Although, she added that podcasting is still one of the most accessible mediums for people with disabilities compared to others. 

“I thought that podcasting was the perfect medium because you can really set up for very little money, you can have a mic or not a mic … and just have your laptop or even your phone,” she added. “So I didn't have to go to a studio, which I couldn't afford and I wasn't able to go to, I could do it around my other commitments looking after my daughter, and it could be immediate.”

This is the first program from Inevitable Foundation that is focused specifically on disabled narrative fiction and non-fiction podcasters. The non-profit has supported a number of disabled creatives since its launch in 2021 through programs like the Accelerate Fellowship, Elevate for Podcasters, and Emergency Relief Fund.

Supporters of the foundation include Netflix, Disney, STARZ/Lionsgate, Sony, Spotify, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Pop Culture Collaborative, and others.