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Skidmore College
Grants at Skidmore College

The Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations: The Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations works in partnership with Skidmore College's faculty, administration, alumni and friends to secure external funding from national, regional and local foundations and corporations for campus priorities and programs. The work that we do helps the College to offer new and innovative programs, support faculty-driven initiatives, expand the curriculum, enhance the physical plant and improve the quality of life for our community.

Office of Sponsored Research: The mission of the Office of Sponsored Research is to provide faculty members with the support and resources needed to fund and manage their creative, scholarly, and research endeavors. The Office provides high-quality services to the Skidmore community with the goal of increasing externally sponsored funding for individual faculty research while also ensuring compliance with College and sponsor policies and regulations.


The $25,000 grant from the Ford Foundation supports the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS), in particular the Storytellers' Institute and Forum. Founded in 2014, the annual MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute is a five-week residency hosted on Skidmore College’s campus. For the month of June, the Institute welcomes its Fellows to work on independent documentary projects and engage with the annual theme. The institute typically brings together professional documentary practitioners (Visiting Fellows), Skidmore College students, and Skidmore faculty and staff members (Skidmore Fellows) in an intellectually and creatively rigorous community. Our goals are to create a stimulating environment that fosters a connection between the Skidmore College campus and the greater documentary community. The Storytellers’ Institute offers Skidmore’s students, faculty and staff an opportunity to hone their documentary skills while being in community with high-level documentary practitioners who are at the forefront of their craft. Visiting Fellows are afforded the time, space, and resources to further their work in an intellectual and creative community that is deeply concerned with documentary ethics and theory, as well as craft. Our aim is that the Institute develops and broadens new ideas, in connection with the annual theme and documentary practice, and that it produces new knowledge and work that further pushes the bounds of creative practice and expression in the discipline of documentary.  Opportunities for public presentations of current or past work are offered to Visiting Fellows during the annual MDOCS Forum, a weekend of events grounded in the annual theme and its relationship to documentary practice. Occurring at the beginning of the Storytellers’ Institute, and drawing hundreds of documentarians, Skidmore community members and Capital Region residents, the Forum offers a chance for presenters and attendees to engage in lively and thought-provoking conversation and inspiration with the Institute’s Fellows and Forum presenters. These screenings, performances, and presentations are all free and open to the public. Aligning with our 2020 theme Co-creation and its Discontents, and the Ford Foundation’s priority to promote creativity and free expression by supporting “artist-driven projects and organizations that include deep and meaningful engagement with communities,” the Ford Foundation grant will specifically fund additional Visiting Fellows who are working in collaborative pairs and shorter residencies for artist collectives during the Storytellers' Institute and Forum.

PROJECT Personnel Profile:        SARAH FRIEDLAND


Sarah Friedland received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and the International School of Film and Television in Cuba and her MFA from the Integrated Media Art Program at Hunter College. Her documentary films and installations are concerned with personal stories that reveal larger histories and intricacies about place and society. Friedland's works have screened widely in the US and abroad and have been supported by grants including the Jerome Foundation, the Paul Newman Foundation, the Ford Foundation Just Films, and the New York State Council on the Arts. In 2009, after the debut of her feature documentary Thing With No Name, she was named one of the "Top 10 Independent Filmmakers to Watch" by the Independent Magazine. She is a recipient of the 2014 Paul Robeson award from the Newark Museum for her feature documentary The Rink, which aired on PBS (WNET/NJTV) in 2017. Her documentary Jeepney (directed by Esy Casey produced by Esy Casey and Sarah Friedland) was broadcast on PBS (World Channel) in 2015. She is currently working on a feature documentary titled Lyd In Exile, which she is co-directing with Rami Younis, and which was selected to pitch at the DocCorner Market at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. She has received residencies and fellowships from the Center of Contemporary Art in Pont- Aven, the LABA House of Study, the MacDowell Colony, and The Palestinian American Research Center. Friedland is a member of the Meerkat Media Collective and the Director of the MDOCS Storyteller's Institute at Skidmore College.

SPONSOR PROFILE:                            THE FORD FOUNDATION      

Ford Foundation

Mission                                                                                        We believe in the inherent dignity of all people. But around the world, too many people are excluded from the political, economic, and social institutions that shape their lives. 

In addressing this reality, we are guided by a vision of social justice—a world in which all individuals, communities, and peoples work toward the protection and full expression of their human rights; are active participants in the decisions that affect them; share equitably in the knowledge, wealth, and resources of society; and are free to achieve their full potential. Across eight decades, our mission has been to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.

Our Approaches                                                                     We believe that social movements are built upon individual leadership, strong institutions, and innovative, often high-risk ideas. While the specifics of what we work on have evolved over the years, investments in these three areas have remained the touchstones of everything we do and are central to our theory of how change happens in the world. These approaches have long distinguished the Ford Foundation, and they have had a profound cumulative impact. 

To learn more about The Ford Foundation, visit

Upcoming Opportunities

April 2020

National Endowment for the Humanities

American Society for Theatre Research

National Science Foundation

May 2020

National Endowment for the Humanities

June 2020

National Science Foundation

National Institutes of Health

Rolling Deadlines

Bringing Theory to Practice

Central New York Humanities Corridor


From the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR): "Institutional and Agency Responses to COVID-19 and Additional Resources"

This contains a listing of agency guidance specific to federal award impact, institutional guidance, additional resources, and COGR's FAQs and Resources on COVID-19's Impact to federal awards.

Click here to view this information. 

From Science, 3/26/20: "Congress pumps up NSF program to fast-track COVID-19 research"

Roxane Silver studies the health effects of traumatic life events. So it was a no-brainer for the social psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, to ask the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund a study of how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic would affect the well-being of Americans.

Click here to read the rest of the article. 

From Philanthropy News Digest, 3/21/20: "Foundations Pledge Flexible Funding in Wake of COVID-19 Crisis"

Over forty foundations have signed a pledge to provide more flexible funding to help their grantees meet emergency needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to read the rest of the article. 

From STAT, 3/14/20: "Coronavirus pandemic forces some research labs to shut down, with uncertain futures for scientific projects"

Scientists who study coronaviruses or design antiviral therapies are grinding away at their research like never before. But some of their counterparts in other academic laboratories are winding their work down, as the coronavirus pandemic leads to institutional shuttering and people avoiding working in close contact.

Click here to read the rest of the article.