Howard University and Amazon Studios have teamed to launch Howard Entertainment, a program designed to diversify the entertainment industry by creating a pipeline for African-American students and other marginalized populations to train and study alongside entertainment executives.
The immersive program, which kicks off January 2020, will be two semesters and take place in Los Angeles. It will include a unique interdisciplinary curriculum and will also include hands-on work as well as an opprotunity to network with Amazon’s industry partners. It will offer Howard University students the opportunity to take academic courses during the spring semester and participate in a fellowship embedded in the entertainment industry during the summer semester. The coursework will be applied to the student’s graduation requirements.
“The vision of Howard Entertainment is to offer a one-of-a-kind experience for students interested in all aspects of entertainment, from project greenlighting, to PR and marketing, to entertainment law and finance,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA. “This relationship aligns with Howard’s strategic goals of enhancing academic excellence and inspiring new knowledge. Collaborating with Amazon Studios will enable us to marry academia and industry efforts to build a robust workforce of diverse entertainment industry leaders. With Howard’s proven track record of developing some of Hollywood’s most notable actors, comedians and musicians, this next level collaboration will enable us to have even greater impact.”
“Amazon Studios has been working to create new pathways into the industry for talented students of all backgrounds and we are proud to team with Howard on this new program supporting aspiring entertainment leaders” adds Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “As we strive to delight our Prime Video customers, we’re ensuring there are diverse perspectives and experiences around the table to help us make the best decisions in all aspects of the business.”
To qualify, students must be enrolled as a Howard University student, must be an upperclassman or graduate student and will have to complete an application and interview to be considered for the program. Students will be taught by Howard faculty who will be supported by Amazon Studios employees and other industry professionals invited by Amazon. This will give students to work in projects that offer “real world” application and will help students develop “work ready” skills prior to graduating.