Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
KPBS Explore San Diego Banner

Supporting Local Content For San Diego

CLOSED as of September 1, 2021

Jump to:


Local Content is at the Heart of KPBS. It increases our sense of place, connects audiences over shared experiences and reflects our diverse community. The KPBS Explore Local Content Project was launched in 2012 as a way to create more local programming for our viewers. Since the project’s inception, we’ve collaborated with over 25 local producers on new ideas for programs that make us think, help us dream, and keep us connected.

Every two years the KPBS Explore Local Content Project sends out a community-wide call for the next big content idea and will pledge seed funding to the most promising proposals.

The 2021 Call for Submissions closed as of September 1, 2021

Selected proposals will undergo a three-tiered process that will culminate in a final Proof of Concept.

Round One

Participants will be asked to submit an idea synopsis for a podcast, TV series, documentary or web series that will fit well into KPBS’ current stable of content. Submitted ideas will be reviewed and assessed for uniqueness, originality, sense of place, diversity, audience and potential for use across multiple platforms. Content creators with promising ideas will advance to Round 2.

The 2021 Call for Submissions is accepting ideas through September 1, 2021.

Round Two

Advancing content creators will submit a complete proposal that will include a treatment, budget, production deliverables timeline, professional resume, and samples of previous work. To be selected for Round 3, content creators must have past experience in content creation and a proven track record of successfully executing project ideas on time.

Selected proposals will undergo a three-tiered process that will culminate in a final Proof of Concept.

Round Three

In the third and final round, selected projects will receive a stipend to produce a Proof of Concept. This Proof of Concept may take the form of a pilot episode, a program or series trailer, or a scene excerpted from the project. The goal here is to convey the vision and concept, as well as demonstrate the executability of the idea. At the completion of the Proof of Concept production period and after all selected projects have been reviewed, one or more finalists will be selected to receive seed funding.

Judging Criteria

Selected proposals will be evaluated through a rigorous committee selection process and rated on the following:

Executability: Of primary importance is your ability to execute your project using the funds and timeframe detailed in your proposal. Our committee is comprised of industry professionals who will evaluate your budget and ability to complete your program on time. While the Explore project is fueled by aspirations, it is essential that you can execute your project.

Explorer Spirit: How will your project embody the "Explorer Spirit"? Public media invites audiences from all walks of life to explore new worlds, discover new ideas and broaden their horizons. We are inclusive, diverse and respectful of our audience. Our audience is smart, connected and idealistic. How will your project engage them?

Sense of Place: How will you establish a sense of place in your project? We are looking for content that is uniquely local, that tells a story or shared experience about our community. A sense of place comes from many things: language, food, culture, music, travel, geography, heritage, education, art, science, hobbies, passions, media, etc. How will you tell San Diego’s stories?

Elements of Craft: To the extent possible, you will need to demonstrate your ability in crafting content: i.e. lighting, framing, audio, scripting, editing, etc. Because of the relatively short production schedule, KPBS Explore works best for people who have prior experience in production and can act quickly to solve problems along the way.

Elements of Diversity: How will your project reflect the diversity in our community? Keep in mind that diversity can take many forms, which means that we are looking for your unique perspective.

Seed funding will be provided to the producer who best demonstrates:

  1. An innovative idea that aligns with the judging criteria
  2. A firm understanding of how to create content using public media sensibilities
  3. A track record of executing content projects on deadline
  4. A realistic budget and plan for raising the remaining production funds


What content formats are accepted?
All content formats are accepted: Podcast, Web Series, TV Series, Feature Documentary, but we are particularly interested in ideas for Podcasts and TV Series.

How will my idea be judged?
Finalists will be selected on the completeness of their proof of concept, originality, craft, executability and how the project fits into the overall KPBS program strategy.

Are points or percentages used within the established evaluation rubric? Do all sections have the same weight?
Points are used in the evaluation rubric as a starting place for evaluation. Each project is considered on its individual merits.

Who can I contact for more info on the submission process?
Jodi Cilley | Founder and President, Film Consortium San Diego619.512.2403 /

How much seed money will be given?
Up to $30,000 total will be awarded among project finalists based on scale and at the sole discretion of KPBS.

Where can I learn more about other sources of project funding? Past projects have raised additional funds through corporate or business underwriting, individual donors and crowd-funding campaigns.

More information is available through the links below:

FCC Underwriting and Donor Acknowledgement Guidelines

PBS Funding Standards and Practices

(The PBS document is in PDF format and requires Adobe Acrobat to open. If you do not have it installed, first install Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

Jump to Top



Round One - Request for Ideas (RFI)
RFP Opens

Explore RFP Submission Orientation

Final Day to Submit Ideas
Selected Ideas Notified of Advancement


Advancing Ideas, Full Proposal Submissions
Final Day to Submit Full Proposals
Selected Proposals Notified of Advancement
In-Person Project Pitches
Selected Project Pitches Notified of Advancement


Proof of Concept Production Period
Proof of Concepts Due
Proof of Concept Finalists Notified


KPBS Interim AGM Content
(619) 594-3037

Submission Admin and Consultant:
Founder and President of
Film Consortium San Diego

For Media and Partnership Inquiries:
KPBS Director of Communications
(619) 594-4985


KPBS Public Media
5200 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
(619) 594-1515

Printer-friendly directions and map