The Signal to Noise Award celebrates creative work that synthesizes audio documentary and experimental sound design. This award provides an opportunity for audio projects to come to life by giving one applicant a production grant to pursue their project or series.

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The award includes…

  • $5,000 for production, plus production consultation and technical support from Gilded Audio Design

  • Editorial consultation from the staff of UnionDocs

  • Promotional support to UnionDocs and Gilded Audio communities

  • Celebratory event at the UnionDocs in Brooklyn at the culmination of the project

Application requirements

The proposed project must use creative or experimental sound design to help support the message of the project.  All projects must be considered a work of documentary or expanded documentary art. Fiction or hybrid projects will be considered as long as some aspect can be considered non-fiction.


A spectrum of audio production will be considered: radio, podcast, installations, theatre, exhibitions and more!


If you have any questions, please contact Samiah Adams at [email protected]


DEADLINE: August 31 2020

Past Recipients


Naeema Torres

The 2020 Signal to Noise is awarded to Naeema Torres for her project Land of Lincoln. Land of Lincoln, will examine the way Black History has been documented and put on display in the United States through the legacy of The Crenshaw House, also known as the Old Slave House. The audio documentary will cover the folklore surrounding the Crenshaw house, its relationship to slavery and its hand in the flourishing of Illinois, local free black communities, and the ghost stories that still permeate the area.



The 2019 award was given to Sylvia Ryerson to support Melting the ICE / Derritiendo el Hielo, a bilingual podcast and radio show dedicated to sharing testimonio from people directly impacted by ICE detention, and to literally broadcast messages of love, solidarity and support to people currently held behind ICE detention center walls.

“The Signal to Noise Award provided crucial support for this project in a pivotal moment.” – Sylvia Ryerson


Ariana Martinez was awarded the 2018 Signal to Noise Award for her project, Para Cruzar el Agua/To Cross the Water. To Cross the Water works to document the hopes, fears, and expressions of love that Puerto Ricans share from both the island and the U.S. mainland. It worked with New York City’s historic and thriving Puerto Rican communities to create a series of audio postcards that were shared between NYC and Puerto Rico.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the ways that the Signal to Noise Award has enabled my creative practice and my ability to reconnect with my own culture and history. The work I have begun to make thanks to this award is the kind of deep, long term work that will sustain me through the next stage in my career.” – Ariana Martinez