Amazon Studios and Howard University have once again banded together for the Howard Entertainment program. The effort is meant to diversify the entertainment industry by creating a pipeline for Black and other underrepresented students into its ranks, according to a statement from the partners. This marks the program’s third year. The window for applications opened today.
The program is divided into two parts: a spring semester wherein students take courses related to the business and a summer semester that sees them working in the field via an internship. Students may focus on film and TV, public relations, business, law, fine arts, theater arts administration, theater tech or the music business. Courses count toward students’ graduation requirements.
“Over the past two years, we have made great strides with our initiatives to create new diverse pipeline programs in the entertainment industry,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “As we enter our third year, we are more committed than ever to helping new voices join the conversation and continuing to mentor our Howard Entertainment students. We know these programs will benefit our industry as a whole and create future leaders.”
Latasha Gillespie, Amazon Studios’ global head of diversity, equity and inclusion said, “As an industry, we have a responsibility to create opportunities and foster new voices across all disciplines. Together with Howard University, we are able to put action behind our words and help the next generation of aspiring industry leaders forge a pathway to the future. It’s both rewarding and exciting to empower the next generation of leaders as they begin their careers in entertainment.
“We are very grateful to Amazon Studios for their continued partnership in the Howard Entertainment program,” said Howard University Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D. “It has been a pleasure to watch Howard students engage with this program, build their network, and gain exposure to opportunities in the entertainment business.”
Guest lecturers have included showrunner Anthony Sparks, actress and writer Ashleigh Hairston, actress Michael Hyatt, producer Logan Coles, actress Wendy Raquel Robinson, writer Christina Hamm and writer James Tyler.
The program’s second year included externship placements with Amazon partners, such as Viola Davis’ JuVee, Tracy Oliver’s Tracy Yvonne Productions (TYP), Rachel Brosnahan’s Scrap Paper Pictures, and Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions. Past students have gone on to secure jobs at such companies as Gravillis, UTA, and Warner Bros.
The Howard Entertainment program was inaugurated in 2019. This year’s installment of the program will begin on January 10, 2022.
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