About WDF
Partners Program
Full Funding
Adoption: A Gathering
Working Stiff
Living With Suicide
Dark Museum

Development Funding
The Blurring Test
Teen Screen
Postwar Central America


Web Development Fund


The Web Development Fund is an open call for proposals conducted periodically. In the first two rounds of WDF, more than 700 proposals were submitted from all over the United States and numerous foreign countries.

After an extensive evaluation process, a handful of projects are awarded either full or development funding. Web Lab works closely with the production teams, and the completed sites are launched with PBS promotional support. Some of the Web's most innovative thinkers and producers have submitted proposals, and over the last two years the WDF has funded 11 projects. See below for in-depth information and creators' bios on full and development funded WDF projects.

Full Funding

Adoption: A Gathering  [Launched October 1998]
This evergreened project of the Web Development Fund brought together the often isolated triad of adoption -- birth families, adoptive families, and adoptees - to explore their common experience.

Working Stiff  [Launched June 1998]
This evergreened project of the Web Development Fund offered working people a place to ask advice, seek support and learn more about their rights in the workplace (and lack thereof).

Living with Suicide  [Launched June 1998]
Living with Suicide: Shared Experiences and Voices of Loss (June 1998) Created by John Keefe, this active project of the Web Development Fund broke the silence around a difficult topic and has created a place for people touched by suicide to share their stories and find one another.

The Dark Museum  [Discontinued]
The Dark Museum is an on-line cultural museum about the toxic effects of the Cold War on American society, presented as a combination of dramatic stories, self-guided tours, and original comic art from some of the leading underground artists of our time. With ground-breaking design, the site will include film noir, cold war politics, drug lords, dark fiction, and Thanksgiving Day Parade-type balloons of cultural icons like Annette Funnicello.

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Development Funding

The Blurring Test  [In Development]
A playful take on the Turing Test for Artificial Intelligence, this site challenges visitors to convince a bot that they are human. Conceived by artist Peggy Weil, this project received development funding through the Web Development Fund.

Cataclysm: Glimpses of the End of the World  [Discontinued]
Cataclysm: Glimpses of the End of the World is an interactive online theater piece exploring the collective fears of humanity at the turn of the millennium and what these fears tell us about ourselves. Through an innovative combination of the Web and MUDspace, visitors join one or more "morality plays" where, as in Colonial Williamsburg, they can interrogate the actors, wander about the sets, handle the props, and become a part of the story.

Teen Screen  [Discontinued after Prototype]
While the Web provides a level of grass roots participation not seen before in other media, large segments of our population are still dramatically under-represented. Working with an experienced communications firm, kids from inner-city Philadelphia will create their own web site, from graphics and stories to the nuts and bolts of programming, while building life skills for the future.

Postwar Central America  [Discontinued]
Ever imagined you might have an opportunity to exchange views with a Nobel Peace Prize-winner? Ten years after Oscar Arias's Peace Plan paved the way to end armed conflicts (in which the U.S. government ardently took sides), Postwar Central America will engage former leaders and ex-combatants of the region with North Americans in an unprecedented people-to-people dialogue about issues like refugees, reconciliation, NAFTA and the best role for U.S. foreign policy.

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