Howard, the Washington D.C.-based historically black university, has joined forces with Amazon Studios in a bid to diversify the talent pool across today’s entertainment industry. A new program called Howard Entertainment will enable African American students enrolled at Howard — as well as members of other marginalized groups — to study and train alongside established Hollywood executives, thus serving as a pipeline of sorts for nascent talent and aspiring industry players.
Kicking off in Jan. 2020, the program will comprise an interdisciplinary curriculum, hands-on work experience, and networking with Amazon executives as well as the streamer’s industry partners. The two-semester venture will take place in Los Angeles, and will comprise one semester of academic courses (taught by Howard faculty, which will be applied toward graduation requirements) and an embedded fellowship in the second.
To apply, students must be enrolled at Howard as an upperclassman or graduate student. Interested parties are advised to contact HowardEntertainment@Howard.edu. Howard and Amazon announced the program during Howard’s annual ‘Homecoming‘ celebration week, as Amazon is sponsoring this year’s Annual Yardfest — a concert series that has previously featured appearances from Drake, Ludacris, and Rick Ross.
“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,” Howard president Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a statement. “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.”
“As we strive to delight our Prime Video customers,” added Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, “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.”