With a commitment to creativity, technology and social change, Open Signal makes media production possible for everyone. We provide skills, equipment, inspiration and we amplify local voices on five cable channels.

Open Signal builds upon the legacy of Portland Community Media (PCM), an organization that empowered thousands of Portlanders to access video and television technology during its 35-year history. 

About Our Scholarship Fund

Our scholarship fund is named in honor of Bob Hedlund, independent producer advocate.

Bob Hedlund was known for his commitment to the role of community media in society. Hedlund was more than a volunteer; he was a leader at Portland Community Media, now known as Open Signal.

For the past ten years Bob had been an important member of the Open Signal family. He created the Independent Producers’ Organization (IPO) and produced the IPO series, which continues to address topics such as media reform and legislation. He attended Open Signal board meetings to ensure the needs and views of independent producers were always included in discussion, and volunteered on numerous programs in support of other Open Signal producers.

Bob greeted everyone with a beaming, infectious smile and a warm hug. His presence will be missed very much by Open Signal staff and producers.

In honor of Bob and his commitment to producers, Open Signal named its Media Education Scholarship "The Bob Hedlund Memorial Scholarship Fund". The scholarship fund enables Portland-area residents to participate in Open Signal’s media education program at reduced rates or no charge.

How to Apply

To apply for the scholarship, please complete the application form and submit along with documentation of financial need. Please clearly specify your priority of first, second and third workshop choice and workshop dates on the application. 

Scholarships are reviewed on the 15th of every month and scholarships will be awarded on the 20th of every month. Scholarship applications that demonstrate a desire to create media work that will inspire, educate or bring awareness to the greater community, will be strongly considered.  

Submission of application does not guarantee a scholarship or enrollment in the class. If your application is approved and registration is full, you will be offered enrollment in the next available class. Applicants may be considered for one scholarship slot per term, with a maximum of 3 scholarships per calendar year.

Guidelines and Criteria

The following conditions must apply to be eligible for scholarship funds:

  • Scholarships are open to area residents within the city of Portland.  Underserved or underrepresented populations can be considered in the greater Portland area.
  • Applicant must demonstrate financial need by supplying documentation that supports his/her low-income status.  Accepted documents include: Pay Stubs, Income Tax Return, statement of benefits, documentation from DHS, etc. For your privacy please exercise caution when uploading sensitive documents. Social Security numbers should be blacked out. If documentation cannot be supplied, applicants must complete the application section explaining their financial situation. 
  • If documentation cannot be supplied, applicants must complete the application section explaining their financial situation. 

Applicants must agree to the following in order to be approved for a scholarship:

  • Must participate in Open Signal’s workshops with the intent to produce programming for Open Signal channels.

For support with your application or for more information about our scholarship fund please contact Open Signal's Media Education Department by email: education@opensignalpdx.org or by calling: (503) 288–1515.

About Open Signal

With a commitment to creativity, technology and social change, Open Signal makes media production possible for everyone. We provide skills, equipment and inspiration, amplifying local voices on five cable channels.

Partnerships and Resource Sharing

Partnerships with nearby schools, fellow non-profits and community organizations make up the heart of Open Signal and vary depending on the needs and goals of each organization. We believe in sharing resources for the greater good with partners that further our mission. We offer in-school, after-school and weekend instruction on digital storytelling, equipment lending, discounted trainings and more! 

Deadlines and Review Process 

We award partnerships based on alignment with our mission, available in-kind resources and overall capacity. There are 6-partnership sessions available to apply to a year. Applications are due 60 days prior to the proposed partnership start date. In order to accommodate partners that require advanced scheduling we have created early bird deadlines. Early applications will be reviewed 1-session in advanced if submitted by the early bird deadline listed below.

Request Deadlines:

  • September — October
    Early Bird Deadline: June 1.
    Deadline: Aug. 1.

  • November — December
    Early Bird Deadline: July 30.
    Deadline: Sept. 1.

  • January — February
    Early Bird Deadline: Sept. 1.
    Deadline: Nov. 5.

  • March — April
    Early Bird Deadline: Nov. 5.
    Deadline: Jan. 1.

  • May — June
    Early Bird Deadline: Jan. 1.
    Deadline: March 1.

  • July — August
    Early Bird Deadline: March 1.
    Final Deadline: May 1.

Review Process

Proposals are reviewed by Open Signal staff and community producers. Applicants will be notified within 7-business days of session review dates. 

Open Signal is proud to partner with the following organizations, which give under-served groups access to media technology:

Open Signal offers Test-Out Certification for experienced filmmakers to access our resources without having to complete a certification course. Filmmakers who meet one of the follow qualifications are welcome to apply: a.) an advanced degree; b.) a certification with another access facility; or c.) more than two years work experience in the video, television or media production industry.

Available Test-Outs:

Intro to Video Production (includes standard JVC 600 cameras and field production gear - (audio and lighting) - $160
Canon C100 - $90
Sony FS7 - $90
JVC 850 - $50
Editing (Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere) - $135
Field Production gear (audio and lighting) - $50
iPad Activist Filmmaking Kit (includes iPad, two lenses, light, two mics)
- $45

We have a staff member available by appointment for test-outs on the Sony FS7.

NOTE: Canon C100 and Sony FS7 test-outs do not include certification for field production gear such as audio recording equipment and lighting. If you need access to field equipment, you can add on the Field Production test-out for $50. 

Test-Out Certification Guidelines:
  • Selected based on qualifications and ability to submit content within 2-month period. 
  • Attend an in-person test-out and new producer orientation.
  • If failure to pass, the full fee will be offered in workshop credit to be used within 1 year of test-out date. 
  • Content created with gear must be completed and submitted within 2-months. 
  • Equipment reservation rights will be revoked if you fail to submit content within 2-month time period and you will be asked to take an Independent Video Producer, Level 1 certification course if you wish to continue accessing Open Signal's equipment library and producer amenities. 

Open Signal's New Media Fellowship provides time, space, and resources for Portland based artists and media-makers to create new works of socially engaged, innovative digital media. During the New Media Fellowship, artists will produce and complete new work on-site with Open Signal equipment, staff support and community input.

Applications are now open for the 2018 - 2019 New Media Fellowship term.

Proposals are due March 5, 2018 at 11:59pm PST.

New Media Fellowship Resources:

Each Fellow receives a stipend of $2,000 and an invitation to participate in a 4-month residency on-site at Open Signal. Fellows receive priority access to a private workspace, a $500 scholarship for Open Signal workshops and personalized input from a mentor within the field. Fellowships support two artists per term. Open Signal does not provide room and board for New Media Fellows.

New Media Fellowship Dates:

Summer Term: June 4, 2018 – September 28, 2018

Winter Term: October 1, 2018 – February 1, 2019

Spring Term: February 4, 2019 – May 31, 2019

Project Based Fellowship:

This project-based fellowship helps Portland artists create new digital media work. This can extend far beyond video work, and may include immersive digital installation, VR/AR, performance, virtual art, software art, electronic art, and beyond.  New Media Fellowship mentors provide feedback to enrich and support artists’ work.  New Media Fellows projects should be socially or civically minded in their process and product. Chosen artists act as anchors of their own community on-site and actively engage with the Open Signal community during their residencies. To help facilitate public engagement, the fellowship includes three public events.  Each New Media Fellow gives an artist talk, teaches a workshop, and presents a their new work in a public presentation.

Selection Criteria:

Applications will only be accepted from individual artists, not collectives or collaborators.

Open Signal does not require Fellows to hold a specific amount of hours on-site, but we encourage artists to spend time at our center to engage with our community. Candidates should be in present in Portland for the entirety of the Fellowship they are applying for.

New Media Fellows are emerging or established Portland, Oregon area based artists who:

  • Are committed to experimentation in digital media.

  • Make works that are innately educational, well researched, and technically rigorous.

  • Have a commitment to community building, collaboration, and are open to sharing skills and knowledge.

With a commitment to equity in providing support for underrepresented artists in the digital media field, Open Signal seeks New Media Fellows who:

  • Experience living and working in diverse environments

  • Have demonstrated experience with, or commitment to, presenting the perspective of historically underserved or underprivileged populations

  • Seek professional development in their practice as an artist

How to Apply:

The New Media Fellowship application is on submittable.com. Applications are due March 5, 2018 at 11:59pm PST.

A panel of New Media Art professionals will select winning proposals. Selected artists will be notified by email by April 5, 2018.

Information Session:

Have questions about applying for the New Media Fellowship? Attend our information session on Monday, February 12 at 6:00pm, at Open Signal.

Past New Media Fellowship artists have included Hannah Piper Burns, DB Amorin, Fernanda D’Agostino, Ariella Tai, Alan Page, and manuel arturo abreu.


Please email Open Signal Art + Social Impact Curator, Sarah Turner, sarah@opensignalpdx.org.

Please note: This opportunity is not open to Open Signal staff or family members.