RE:IMAGINE started as a platform to connect youth through storytelling. In 2021, they launched EMERGE, a training/apprenticeship/paid work program specifically geared toward minority youth filmmakers.
Julie Straw, Executive Director for RE:IMAGINE, says the program works to get the apprentices ready through on-set experience and portfolio development. “Our partners are recognizing the Gen Z talent, and they’re hungry for it,” says Straw. As a component of the program, all apprentices receive small group instruction and individual career coaching from a team of Teaching Artists who are professional filmmakers. They also receive a stipend, financial literacy training, and support with transportation.
Apprentices are exposed to on-set experiences, use them to create a portfolio, and make professional connections that often result in future work opportunities. As a result, most apprentices end up with regular, ongoing paid work as they continue the apprenticeship.
Straw says they’ve also expanded the initial 9-week course to 12-weeks.
Straw says many apprentices have chosen this field because they want to see more stories representing them on screen. 90% of the students who enroll in a program are people of color, and roughly 12% identify as queer.
- The Alliance for Media Arts & Culture
- The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
- Warner Bros. Discovery
- A Pledge Agencies
- Beam Imagination
- WITH Agency
“We are continuing to learn the importance of holding time and space for additional support services such as mental health resources to help manage the stressors of transitioning from youth to adulthood,” says Straw.
“We’ve learned the value of a whole person approach as our students go through this journey of self-discovery.”
– JULIE STRAW, Executive Director
When Workforce Works is an opportunity to tell and highlight successful workforce programs, projects, and initiatives from the MAIP Partner network. These aren’t just any stories about workforce programs, but stories of programs that really get it right – putting industry first, engaging career seekers, and developing deep partnerships – the workforce “secret sauce”.