Howard University is expanding its entertainment program further into Hollywood.
Howard and Amazon Studios have announced they are launching Howard Entertainment, a program they describe as “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 program will launch in January 2020.
With Howard Entertainment, the university will provide students with “a unique interdisciplinary curriculum, coupled with hands-on work experiences and networking with Amazon’s industry partners.” The program,” as Latasha Gillespie, Amazon Studios’ Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, said, “is part of Howard’s focus on being intentional about increasing and preparing the next generation of African American, Latinx and Native American storytellers, casts, crews, and executives working on these projects.”
The new entertainment outlet is part of Howard University’s two-semester experience that gives Howard students the ability to take their academic courses during the spring semester and take part in a summer semester entertainment industry fellowship in Los Angeles.
Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, talked about Amazon’s partnership with Howard in a statement. “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,” she said.
Students must be enrolled at Howard to qualify and must be an upperclassman or graduate student. Those interested will also have to complete an application and interview for consideration. Students chosen for the program will be taught by Howard faculty with support from employees of Amazon Studios. Other professionals in the entertainment industry who have been invited by Amazon will also be on hand to provide support. Between hands-on networking, skill development and coursework, students will be able to have real-world experience before graduating and entering the workforce.
The partnership is Howard’s latest expansion into the industry. In April, Howard teamed up with Lionsgate to provide students with film and television internships.
Photo credit: Howard University, Amazon Studios
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