Are you Latino and want a career in the arts but don’t know where to start? Try these programs
Latinos love Hollywood.
The 2021 Motion Picture Assn. “THEME Report,” a comprehensive analysis and survey of the theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market environment, found that Latinos in the U.S. went to movie theaters at a higher rate than any other ethnic group.
But Hollywood doesn’t always show love to Latinos.
According to UCLA’s 2021 Hollywood Diversity Report, Latino actors accounted for only 7.1% of lead roles, and 6.3% of all roles, on broadcast scripted shows during the 2019-2020 season. Latino actors fared no better in scripted cable and digital TV, where they played 5.7% and 5.5% of all roles, respectively, and fewer than 5% of leads. These numbers fall far short of reflecting the U.S. population, 18.5% of which identifies as Hispanic or Latino.
Our inaugural LA Vanguardia class is an amazing array of Latino talent shaping the movies, TV, music, fine arts and literary scene of today — and tomorrow.
The data about those behind the camera is even more damning. The study estimates that Latino directors helmed just 5.4% of episodes on broadcast TV, 3.5% of those on cable and 3% of digital TV episodes. And, given that TV is considered a writer’s medium, the lack of Latino representation among credited writers is particularly glaring: Latino writers accounted for just 4.8% of those credited in broadcast, 4.7% in cable and 4.3% in digital TV shows.
In other areas of the arts, Latinos aren’t faring much better.
But the good news is that opportunities abound for artistically minded Latinos to find their way into these highly selective, exclusive and often inaccessible circles.
Here is a beginners (and not at all fully comprehensive) list of some of those opportunities in the Los Angeles area.
*Note: The applications are slated to open winter 2022 for summer 2023 positions.
Intern positions are available for both the Getty Museum and the Getty Villa, and span many different areas of concentration.
The program aims to provide full-time summer work opportunities for college undergraduates from backgrounds that have traditionally been underrepresented in the arts.
- Communications: Interns assist in media relations, marketing, analytics and digital engagement.
- Conservation: Interns assist in scientific research, hands-on treatments, preventative conservation and field projects related to the conservation of works of art and cultural heritage.
- Curatorship: Interns assist in research, documentation and tasks related to the acquisition, exhibition and interpretation of works of art.
- Digital Projects: Assist in the development of databases and electronic resources, digitization of collections or other digital projects.
- Exhibitions/Collections Management: Assist with planning, budgeting, research or other projects related to the Getty’s collections and exhibition program.
- Library Collections/Photo Cataloguing: Assist with archival processing, cataloguing, imaging and digitization, research or other projects related to the Getty’s research library and special collections.
- Museum Education: Assist with education programs designed for school, community, teen and adult groups.
- Philanthropy: Assist with research, database and content management and other administrative activities related to grantmaking in the arts.
- Public Programs: Assist with the planning and execution of programming and special events for all audiences.
- Publications: Assist with museum, academic and digital publishing and other activities related to a publication’s life cycle, such as permissions, editing, design, production and book marketing.
- Be from a group underrepresented in museums and visual arts organizations, including but not limited to individuals of African American, Asian, Latino/Latina/Latinx/Hispanic, Native American or Pacific Islander descent.
- Be currently enrolled as full-time undergraduates (bachelor’s degree program or associate degree program).
- Reside or attend college in Los Angeles County; and
- Be a United States citizen or permanent resident (noncitizen authorized to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis; also known as a “green card” holder). Students with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) status valid through the internship period are also eligible.
The NHMC was founded in 1986 to address the lack of Latinx representation in film and television and to create opportunities both in front of and behind the camera.
“We do this because how [Latinx people] are perceived is how we are treated, and we are not treated well across the country right now,” then NHMC President and Chief Executive Alex Nogales told The Times in 2019. “If we’re absent from mainstream media, we are always going to be looked down on. And if we’re stereotyped, it’s just as bad.”
The NHMC has two programs designed to kickstart aspiring Latinx writers’ careers.
The Latinx Stream Showcase, formerly the Latino Scene Showcase, is a program that highlights the work of Latinx creators in front of and behind the camera through a series of several short films starring, directed and written by Latinx talent. The showcase allows the talent to perform in front of industry executives, agents, talent managers and casting directors.
To apply, applicants must submit a prerecorded scene, written for two characters, with a running time of 2 ½ to three minutes.
After the selection committee chooses the winners, the writers of the winning scenes will receive a mentor who will help them sharpen their scenes.
Requirements: Applicants must be at least 18 years old. U.S. citizenship is not required. A résumé, a short bio and an up-to-date headshot must be submitted along with the video submission.
The NHMC Series Scriptwriters Program selects 10 writers each year for an intensive seven-week writer workshop. During the program, writers work with a professional writing mentor and meet with professional writers. At the end of the program, the writers will pitch their original series pilots to TV developers, beginning with program partners ABC and NBC.
The organization boasts that program alumni have gone on to write for Netflix, the CW, NBCUniversal, HBO Max, Hulu, ViacomCBS, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and more.
Applicants must submit their scripts in one of the following formats: one-hour (maximum 59 pages), half-hour (maximum 35 pages) or feature (maximum 110 pages).
Applicants must be at least 18 years old. U.S. citizenship is not necessary.
The LALIFF Inclusion Fellowship centers on building a more inclusive and equitable entertainment industry. The fellowship is awarded to 10 writer-directors: five Indigenous Latino and five Afro/Black Latino. Each selected participant will receive $30,000, along with access to educational opportunities and mentorship from industry professionals. All 10 short films will premiere at LALIFF 2023. (Submissions are closed for the 2023 fellowships.)
Requirements: Applicants must be 21 years or older, and live and be eligible to work in the U.S. Applicants must submit a bio, narrative short film script (10-12 pages maximum) in English, a logline, a synopsis, a director’s statement, a video essay, a preliminary budget and previous work samples.
This fellowship looks to mold and source writing talent from writers with diverse racial, ethnic and cultural identities.
Writers will receive hands-on writing experience guided by “Sesame Street” creators and other media industry leaders. Each participant will develop and write a pilot script for their own original kids concept.
Selected applicants will sit in on eight three-hour sessions where they will learn from industry writers, producers, agents and executives about the process of creating a show.
Requirements: Applicants must be at least 21 years old, come from a diverse racial, ethnic or cultural background and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Applicants must submit a résumé, a personal statement and an original script sample.
This program aims to uplift voices in screenwriting from communities that are underrepresented in Hollywood, including writers of color, women writers, writers with disabilities, writers over 40 and writers in the LGBTQ+ community.
Those selected for the program participate in a long weekend filled with writing workshops, mentorship calls with working writers and general meetings with studio executives, literary reps and more. After the weekend, winners get continued mentorship from WeScreenplay.
Requirements: Applicants must be 18 years or older. Submissions are accepted from all over the world, so U.S. citizenship is not required.
This program looks to create career opportunities in the museum field for members of underrepresented communities, including people who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color, women, immigrants, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, people who were formerly incarcerated and foster youth.
By the end of the program, participants will be familiar with preparators (art handlers) and their practices after working closely with experienced mentors/supervisors and program staff. Apprentices are taught a variety of skills, including how to pack, handle and install artwork and artifacts. They also learn how to maintain galleries, assist preparators and collections managers, properly use tools and follow safety protocols.
Apprentices receive diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility (DEIA) training so that they can better navigate predominantly white workspaces. They also are given the opportunity to participate in career development workshops that focus on job acquisition, such as résumé and cover letter writing and mock interviews.
The apprenticeship lasts nine months and apprentices are expected to work 40-hour weeks at a $17.75 hourly wage. They are eligible for medical, vision and dental benefits through the Broad for the duration of the program.
Requirements: Applicants must be at least 18 years old and eligible to work in the U.S.
This yearlong program is designed to support emerging Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian or other writers of color who do not have an MFA and are not currently enrolled in a degree-granting creative writing program.
Epiphany will give participants “new, hospitable contacts in the literary world; a demystified and holistic understanding of the publication process and operations of a small nonprofit literary journal; and a sense of empowerment, with which they will feel invigorated to participate in their writing life however they may choose.”
The winner is paid a $2,000 stipend and must attend a six- to eight-week creative writing workshop of the fellow’s choice.
Requirements: Applicants must submit work samples, an artist statement and a statement of interest.
This hands-on program helps economically and/or socially disadvantaged young minority men and women to create ethnic diversity in commercial, feature and television production by providing job training as a production assistant. The program is taught by industry professionals and is aimed at entry-level candidates.
According to the organization’s website, participants “learn everything from walkie-talkies to petty cash reconciliation, from lock-up to Who’s Who on the job, as well as office and on-set practices and protocols.”
The goal of the program is to help candidates get their foot in the door in the entertainment industry.
Requirements: Applicants must be at least 20 years old, live in or near Los Angeles County, have a car and car insurance, and be classified as low-income. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation from current or former employers.
The IAMA Theatre Company is a collection of L.A.-based artists who are dedicated to cultivating new voices and talents in an inclusive writing community.
The Emerging Playwrights Lab will train early-career writers through a one-year residency, in which writers meet on a monthly basis to share and develop a full-length play in a peer-guided format. Members of the cohort will receive mentorship from IAMA staff.
For more information about program eligibility and requirements, interested individuals can email email@example.com.
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