A fund that aims to create employment opportunities in the entertainment industry for women, people of color and low-income Angelenos was unveiled Monday by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, filmmaker Ava DuVernay and producer Dan Lin.
The Evolve Entertainment Fund is a public-private partnership between the city of Los Angeles, entertainment industry organizations, non-profits and educational institutions.
“When `Oscars So White’ and `Time’s Up’ put a spotlight on inequality in Hollywood, they captured the frustrations of people shut out of opportunity in what the world knows as L.A.’s signature industry,” Garcetti said. “We created the Evolve Entertainment Fund to give people in underserved communities a new opportunity to chase their dreams in Hollywood — whether they want to be the next award-winning director or screenwriter, or are looking to secure a future in below-the-line jobs that are the bedrock of this city’s middle class.”
Garcetti’s office said the EEF has already secured 150 paid summer internships for students participating in the HIRE LA’s Youth program at organizations that include DreamWorks Animation, Ryan Murphy Television, Film Independent, Creative Artists Agency, Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios, and Anonymous Content, and that number is expected to grow to 250 by the end of 2018, with a goal of 500 placements by 2020.
“As we radically reimagine Hollywood, it is critically important that young people are included in our vision,” said DuVernay, founder of Array Entertainment and EEF co-chair. “Real change happens when we take tangible action — and that means giving young women and people of color opportunities in the industry early on, so they have the chance to shape its future.”
Garcetti’s office said the fund will also promote the work of underrepresented artists by offering mini-grants to existing non-profits and also provide students with educational opportunities. The first group of students will be heavily drawn from Los Angeles community colleges and Los Angeles Unified School District high schools, and students from low-income communities who are attending four-year colleges.
“Rideback is proud to join Mayor Garcetti and EEF to increase diversity in the entertainment industry,” said Lin, CEO of Rideback and an EEF Advisory Committee member. “A more diverse mix of people and stories is essential for the future of our industry. We look forward to working alongside our colleagues to make EEF flourish and to launching new opportunities for young people of all backgrounds to join our industry.”
The first EEF grant recipient is the Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program backed by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Hollywood Reporter.
–City News Service
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