• Media Rise Team

Meet the Winners of the Media Rise Festival Pitch Night

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 29, 2013) – The Media Rise Festival today announced the winners of its Pitch Night, held on September 27. The evening showcase gave media creators a chance to make a 3-minute pitch on how to advance positive social change through media for a chance to win cash prizes sponsored by D.C.’s top design firms, Free Range Studios, Huge, Threespot and Weber Shandwick.


The $1,000 Grand Prize was awarded to Clarence Wardell, the founder of tinyGive, a web application that empowers individuals to donate to causes on Twitter.


“We plan to use the money to host a Twitter-based giving competition for nonprofit organizations using our platform,” Wardell said. “The motive behind hosting the competition is to not only increase awareness about our platform, but to also incentivize nonprofits to experiment with fundraising and engagement on Twitter in a new way.”


The $250 runner-up prize was awarded to Shannon Carroll, a New York-based artist and documentary storyteller, for her project Southside Stories, an audio walk into the southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


The prize money will be used to create postcards and stickers to promote the project.

“There are tons of exciting ideas out there to promote social good through media, but they need support and resources to happen,” Carroll said. “Pitch Night competitions like at the Media Rise Festival are integral to help grow a supportive community and be the spark that turns a producer’s idea into a reality.”


The winner of the $380 People’s Choice Award, pooled together from a portion of ticket sales, was Matthew Malzkuhn, co-producer of ASL for the People, a mobile app that introduces and teaches American Sign Language (ASL). The funds will be used for sound editing and production.


The pitch night included 3-minute presentations from 7 other finalists:

Finalists were rated on clarity, feasibility, passion and potential for impact.

The panel of judges included leading experts in communications, design and technology for social impact. They included Nicole Aguirre, CEO of Worn Creative; Darius Graham, founder and director of the DC Social Innovation Project; and Kate Watts, managing director of Huge DC.


The Pitch Night was immediately followed by the Media Rise Festival Opening Party, hosted against a beautiful backdrop of meaningful visual art and music contributed by cause-oriented creatives. The party coincided with the Grand Opening of The 25 Project, a pop-up art exhibition and fundraiser, presented by No Kings Collective in support of The District of Columbia Arts Center.


For more photos, view the coverage at Brightest Young Things.

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