Contact: Wendy Levy 510 406 8623
THE ALLIANCE FOR MEDIA ARTS + CULTURE RECEIVES $900,000 GRANT
FROM THE ARTHUR M. BLANK FAMILY FOUNDATION
FOR ATLANTA-BASED CREATIVE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Arts2Work is a revolutionary blueprint for the future of creative work and a pathway for those most often excluded from opportunity. During National Apprenticeship Week, Coffee Bluff Pictures hires the first Georgia Arts2Work Apprentice.
Atlanta, GA (November 9, 2020 — The Alliance for Media Arts and Culture today announces a three-year, $900,000 dollar grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to support Arts2Work, an innovative creative workforce development initiative that includes the first federally-registered National Apprenticeship Program in media arts + creative technologies.
The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture is the national Program Sponsor for Arts2Work, a creative workforce program designed to provide new infrastructure and support for creative workers, businesses, organizations and cultural institutions across the United States. In Atlanta, in addition to the Registered Apprenticeship program for Multimedia Producers and Digital Editors, The Alliance will develop city-wide Arts2Work Creative Studios for youth, Pre-Apprenticeship training opportunities, Advanced Creative Technology Labs and the Arts2Work Accelerator Fund, supporting creative entrepreneurship and advanced professional development for low income and minority creative workers. Arts2Work also collaborates with industry employers to improve inclusive hiring practice and workplace culture, build new mentorship models, prioritize equal pay, and prevent sexual harassment.
Arts2Work partners in Atlanta include innovative media nonprofits re:imagine/ATL and cxmunnity, WorkSource Atlanta, and Georgia State University. The first Arts2Work Apprentice has been hired at local award-winning production company Coffee Bluff Pictures. Coffee Bluff is an Atlanta-based independent film company that develops, produces and distributes compelling stories about the African American experience. Founded by advertising agency executive and filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper, Coffee Bluff’s work explores under-represented characters, untold histories, and rich, complicated narratives of black life in the U.S. and around the world. Coffee Bluff has hired the first Arts2Work Apprentice in Atlanta. Says CEO Deborah Riley Draper, “I know and understand the struggle inherent in being a Black creative. Every project our company has produced has afforded people the opportunity to gain experience and work in roles that would have been out of reach based on experience or access. I believe in creating opportunities while creating stories. Apprenticeships are a vital part of transforming our industry.”
In addition to Atlanta, numerous cities are working with The Alliance to secure required state agency approvals and develop partnerships to support regional Arts2Work pilot programs. These include:
Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans, Austin, Spokane, Portland, Washington, DC and Milwaukee, among others. The grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is a game-changing commitment to catalyzing the creative economy in Georgia and centering equity and inclusion in a new model of reform for creative workforce development. “This grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is a seminal investment in the Arts2Work ecosystem, strengthening a regional member network of media training centers and studios, community colleges, pre-apprenticeship programs, and employers ready to hire and mentor their next generation workforce,” says Alliance Executive Director Wendy Levy. “Helping employers understand and activate around the benefits of Apprenticeship will take time – as well as a paradigm shift away from an entrenched culture of unpaid internships designed for those who can afford to work for free. In Atlanta, the media industry was thriving before COVID and is continuing to be extraordinarily resilient; if we can continue to attract companies and organizations committed to innovation, equity and inclusion – it will be a bold step towards fixing the broken system that has enabled and perpetuated #oscarssowhite and #metoo” says Levy.
About The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture
The Alliance was founded by an eclectic group of media arts organization leaders who realized they could strengthen their social and cultural impact by working as a united force. Their idea was as bold as it was simple: to create a national organization that would provide support services to its institutional members, and advocate for the field as a whole. Since its founding, The Alliance has worked to raise the profile and influence of the media arts on behalf of its growing and changing membership. Today, The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture represents a broad community of over 7,000 members, subscribers and partners in 25 states and 7 countries. The National Board of Directors of The Alliance includes industry leaders from Google, Microsoft, National Public Radio, Sesame Workshop, SiriusXM, California College of the Arts and others. In addition to the field-building programs offered throughout the year, The Alliance also offers grants to artists and organizations, conducts and publishes research, and advocates on behalf of the media arts field on pressing issues including funding, diversity and inclusion, ethics, fair use, and a free and open internet.
About the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Formed in 1995, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes innovative solutions to transform the lives of youth and their families, seeking results that move communities beyond what seems possible today. The Foundation invests in education, parks and greenspace, youth development, community redevelopment, and the arts, and leads giving programs for each of the Blank Family of Businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, PGA TOUR Superstore, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, West Creek Ranch, and Paradise Valley Ranch. Mr. Blank, chairman of the Foundation, co-founded The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, in 1978 and retired from the company as co-chairman in 2001. Through the foundation and his family’s personal giving, Mr. Blank has granted more than $800 million to various charitable organizations.