The 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge is here! We're giving away $1 million to make LA the best place to live, learn, play, create, and connect.

Learn more

create / 2016

Represent: FREE acting & media arts school for diverse media makers!

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Represent

A FREE, LA-based, acting & media arts school for diverse, aspiring media makers!

Please describe your project proposal.

Represent will create Represent School of Acting & Media Arts – a new LA-based arts establishment training aspiring, diverse media makers for employment in the entertainment industry free of charge. We will provide professional technical training in acting, TV, screen & playwriting, & filmmaking. Additionally, we will give students opportunities to produce their own projects, showcase their talents, and connect them with industry mentors and agents to jumpstart their careers.

Which of the create metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Arts establishments
  • Employment in the creative industries
  • Minority- and women-owned firms

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to create?

Represent School of Acting & Media Arts (RSAMA) will help make LA the best place to create by making the city home to the only nonprofit school focused on launching the careers of the next generation of diverse actors, screenwriters, playwrights, & filmmakers free of charge.

LA is the Entertainment Capitol of the World, consistently attracting talent from across the globe. The LA County Economic Development Corporation, in their 2012 analysis of the entertainment industry & the LA economy, noted that the entertainment industry is one of the largest & most economically significant industries in the county, & unique in its reliance on freelance talent such as actors, writers, & agents.

Unfortunately, according to the Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative of USC Annenburg’s September 2016 report, women, people of color, the LGBT community, & folks with disabilities are underrepresented & often misrepresented in media. This inequality is further exacerbated because costs to enter the industry, especially professional & technical training, are significant barriers to individuals from diverse backgrounds.

In order to diversify the entertainment industry & reach equal media representation in film, TV, & theater for the LGBT community, women, people of color, folks with disabilities, & all those living at the intersection of these identities, RSAMA will educate & empower the next generation of diverse media makers to gain employment in the creative industries.

As a new arts establishment, RSAMA will provide free intermediate & advanced courses in the fields of acting, TV, screen & playwriting, & filmmaking to diverse, aspiring media makers. During the 8-month course, our experienced instructors will deliver a top-notch curriculum & mentor students, grooming them for their future careers. Additionally, industry professionals will teach master classes on acting, TV, screen & playwriting, & filmmaking, which will be open to the public.

In order to empower our students to gain employment in the creative arts, RSAMA will create a pipeline to employment. We will provide students with professional headshots, opportunities to produce their own projects, representation by experienced agents at our End of Year Showcase, referrals to pro bono entertainment law services to help ink their first deals, & the promotion & community support instrumental to building & sustaining a successful career in the entertainment industry.

Each diverse graduate of RSAMA, as independent & freelance actors, writers & filmmakers, will have the skills & talent to employ agents & managers, build their brands as independent art establishments, & help change the face of entertainment.

By providing free media training & creating a pipeline to employment in the entertainment industry for historically underrepresented groups, RSAMA will help grow & diversify one of the largest industries in LA County & help make LA the best place to create.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Represent School of Acting & Media Arts will work to educate diverse, aspiring media makers in the fields of acting, TV, screen & playwriting, & filmmaking & empower them by creating a pipeline for employment in the entertainment industry. Our goal is to place as many diverse individuals as possible in front of and behind the cameras.

With these goals in mind, we will use the following as metrics for evaluating success of the program: •Number of applicants •Number of students that participate in the program •Percentage of students completing each respective course •Percentage of intermediate students that go on to the advanced course •Number of public attendees at master classes •Number of agents that participate in the End of Year Showcases •Percentage of students gaining representation by an agent after the End of Year Showcases •Percentage of students who gain agent representation and also earn employment in their respective fields within 6 months to 1 year of program completion (i.e. book acting jobs, sell scripts, etc.) •Percentage of students still working in the entertainment industry 3-5 years post program completion

Additionally, we will solicit feedback via surveys and interviews of students, instructors, & partnering agents & firms prior to, during, and post program.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Advisors/board members
  • Staff
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
  • Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
  • Network/relationship support