Latinos are more likely to subscribe to multiple streaming services than the average American, according to a recent report but Latinos are rarely depicted on screen despite being avid TV consumers and outspending other racial and ethnic groups in movie ticket purchases. Two recent cancellations illustrate how the television and film industry fails Latino-led productions, advocates say. READ MORE AT AXIOS
It wasn’t a great week for Latinos in Hollywood, but I’m sure many of you knew that already. Between Warner Bros. axing the release of “Batgirl” starring Leslie Grace, HBO Max canceling the coming-of-age comedy TV series “The Gordita Chronicles” and James Franco being cast as Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in an upcoming feature, Latinos are being mercilessly discarded and overlooked in the entertainment business. Worse yet, not many seem to care. READ MORE AT VARIETY
YouTube TV now offers a streaming plan featuring only Spanish-language channels and is also beefing up the lineup of Spanish-language content with a new add-on for the virtual MVPD’s base package.
The new option, called Spanish Plan, costs $34.99 per month (with an intro rate of $24.99 per month for the first six) and features 28 channels in Spanish including ESPN Deportes, Fox, Cine Latino, CNN Español, Discovery en Español, Tastemade en Español, Nat Geo Mundo, and Estrella TV, among others. Users of the Spanish Plan don’t need to subscribe to a basic YouTube TV plan. READ MORE AT FIERCE VIDEO
The Chicago Film Office, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) developed a 8-week hands-on skill-based program in partnership with local production, costumes, and camera industry unions and post-production.
The 25 students selected to participate have begun attending virtual and onsite instruction. Each participant is developing specific skill sets in production, editing, accounting, hair/make-up, costumes, grip, lighting, camera and many more industry pathways. A few students have also had the opportunity to work on the set of local productions, shadowing working professionals. One of those students is Jane Georges. A resident artist of the Chicago Art Department in Pilsen. Jane is a student in our set decorator pathway. She receives regular instruction at Big City Sets onsite at MK Studios provided by I.A.T.S.E. Local 476 - Chicago Studio Mechanics union trainers. Jim Hartnett Jr. 476 Training Coordinator says, "The students participating in the ChicagoMade program are displaying a strong desire to learn and work in our industry, and the instructors have all made mention of their positive attitudes and willingness to learn."
Brianna Cokley and Jubril Adeagbo are also ChicagoMade students who have participated in an onset production utilizing their new camera skills during pre-production on a new episodic series from FX. Brianna and Jubril also contributed to the preparation and shooting of a TV commercial. Over the last four weeks both students attended on-site classes at equipment rental houses - Keslow Camera and Panavision Chicago, instructed by International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600 trainers. Peter Kuttner, a Chicago-based Local 600 camera technician with over 45 years of feature and TV experience acts as a liaison between IATSE Local 600 and the ChicagoMade program. “ChicagoMade has been a longtime coming. As a lifelong Chicagoan, I am proud that my city sees the need to diversify our workforce in a very real way by paving a path to employment.”
As graduation approaches, students are preparing for upcoming internships and employment opportunities. The Chicago Film Office is coordinating partnerships with independent filmmakers as well as big budget studio productions like Netflix, NBC, and Disney starting this Spring.
The ChicagoMade program is managed by XD Technology Industry. A 10 year old latino owned MBE firm that has been responsible for delivering innovative workforce development solutions in the form of sustainable skill-based programs. Aimed at servicing the economic development needs of local residents throughout Chicago’s under-resourced neighborhoods. XD Tech CEO Xavier Hernandez states “Our goal is to transform this region's TV and Film industry into one of America’s most competitive sectors by 2025.” For more information and partnership connections please visit www.xdtechindustry.com/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 10, 2021
DCASE Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamey Lundblad, Jamey.Lundblad@cityofchicago.org
MAYOR LIGHTFOOT AND DCASE ANNOUNCE NEW “CHICAGO MADE” INITIATIVE TO STRENGTHEN CHICAGO’S TV & FILM INDUSTRY
Innovative workforce development program and public awareness campaign are outcomes of Mayor Lightfoot’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force
CHICAGO—Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced a new initiative to strengthen Chicago’s TV and film industry. The new “Chicago Made” workforce development program and public awareness campaign are based on recommendations from the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force outlined in the Forward Together advisory report. “This initiative will play an important role in the resurgence of our city’s TV and film industry, which remains one of the largest and most diverse in the country,” said Mayor Lightfoot.
“Chicago’s growing film industry not only ranks our city first in the Midwest for production, it also highlights the diverse culture and immense talent
found throughout our 77 neighborhoods.” The Chicago Film Office at DCASE has partnered with management consulting firm XD-TECH to deliver an innovative workforce development program that aims to transform the region’s TV and film workforce — by offering job training and placement to Chicago residents ages 24 to 50, primarily from underserved areas of our city, to help meet the industry’s increasing demand for skilled workers. Many of the positions are entry-level and do not require a college degree including carpenter, costumer, grip, lighting tech, production assistant and set decorator.
Twenty-five participants will be selected for the first cohort, across 12 career pathways. More than 20 industry partners are providing training or other supports for the program. Chicagoans interested in this opportunity should register for a virtual info session on Friday, December 10 at 6pm CST and can learn more (including eligibility criteria and pre-requisite requirements) at XDTechIndustry.com/ChicagoMade. Applications to participate in this free program are due by December 15.*
*Participants with previous training and/or specific pre-requisite skillsets will be prioritized in order to maximize the effectiveness of the condensed training period.
“Chicago film production is on track to hit an all-time high this year,” said Kwame Amoaku, Director of the Chicago Film Office. “The new ‘Chicago Made’ initiatives will increase our capacity to serve and accelerate the growth of the local industry — building our workforce while supporting residents in every neighborhood.”
The Chicago Film Office led the City’s efforts to bring a record 15 productions to Chicago this summer, at an estimated economic value of well over $700 million this year alone. In 2019, the Illinois film industry employed 20,000 people and 51% of local crew hires were women or minorities. NBCUniversal, Netflix, The Walt Disney Company and WarnerMedia will provide onset training for the workforce development program. The following partners consulted on the curriculum and will provide direct training support: Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) Midwest; Brittanni Perkins, production
accountant; Chicago Filmmakers; Essanay Studio & Lighting Co.; IATSE Local 476; IATSE Local 600; IATSE TWU Local 769; Keslow Camera; Last Looks Chicago; The Mill; ONE at Optimus; Panavision Chicago; and Periscope Post & Audio.
Additionally, BTECH Studios and Creative Cypher are working with XD-TECH on program outreach and implementation. Bloomberg Associates, Columbia College Chicago and Kennedy-King College provided consultation support. Additionally, DCASE is launching an ongoing public awareness campaign using the “Chicago Made” brand to highlight the vital role Chicago’s TV and film industry plays in the city — benefiting Chicago residents in all 50 wards (both residents affected by filming in their neighborhood and Chicagoans interested in film production jobs) as well as industry stakeholders. The campaign will showcase the industry’s enormous economic impact, introduce local film workers as neighbors and friends and
highlight the diversity of “reel” jobs available across our city. The campaign’s creative will emphasize the grit and authenticity of Chicago’s film industry and its unique style of filmmaking — via digital billboards, advertising on CTA trains and busses, advertising at O’Hare, social media, community news and more. Learn more at ChicagoMade.us (launching soon; Music and other creative industries to be added in 2022) and join the conversation on social media using #ChicagoMade.
# # #
Chicago Film Office
The Chicago Film Office is part of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and leads the City’s efforts to attract and enhance the production of feature films, television series, commercials, documentaries and all forms of local screen entertainment. For filmmakers, it is a one-stop liaison for all City of Chicago production needs, including permits, City services and logistical support. For more information, visit chicagofilmoffice.us.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit chicago.gov/dcase.
Maybe you first heard about National Hispanic Heritage Month from a friend or scrolled across an informational post about it on social media. You're familiar with the celebratory month, but if you had to take a pop quiz on the subject? Let's just say... you probably wouldn't walk out with an A+.
These facts about National Hispanic Heritage Month will not only deepen your knowledge of this celebration, but enrich your life overall. READ MORE AT WOMEN'S HEALTH
While Black workers make up about 20% of New York City’s workforce, they account for less than 10% of workers in fashion, architecture, creative goods such as pottery and furniture and similar industries.
This disparity comes despite the fact that Black and Hispanic students make up 76% of New York City high schools centered on the arts. READ MORE AT NYNMEDIA
In the history of Hollywood, is America Ferrera the only young actress to have launched a successful career by hitching herself to the word “ugly”?
A 27-year-old Californian actress with no formal training, Ferrera made her name as the star of Ugly Betty, the hit American television comedy series which followed her frumpy character’s unlikely rise at a New York fashion magazine. It ran for four years and won her a Screen Actors Guild award, an Emmy and a Golden Globe.
Ferrera, who took her first acting jobs while reading International Relations at the University of Southern California, had already tackled the issue of body image as Ana Garcia, a Mexican-American girl rebelling against an overbearing, weight-obsessed mother in the 2002 film Real Women Have Curves. She was only 17 when she landed the role, and her performance won her the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002.
“I don’t think I meant to challenge an industry as a whole,” she says, sitting in the empty auditorium at New York’s Ambassador Theatre where she is rehearsing for her new role, as murderous showgirl Roxie Hart in the London production of Chicago. “I didn’t see any fear in playing Betty.” READ MORE
It’s shaping up to be a really competitive awards season with films like Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln and Life of Pi already garnering serious Oscar buzz in the acting categories, as well as those behind-the-scenes.
And since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences opened voting for Academy Award nominations to its members last week, we’ve decided to shine a spotlight on this award season’s 15 Latino Oscar hopefuls. Without further ado, here are the Latinos who have a shot at getting a golden guy next year! READ MORE
MacArthur, Boeing, Others Provide $500,000+ for New Business Model for Arts Organizations
CHICAGO—The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), embarking upon its third decade as the world’s first year-round presenter of American tap dance and contemporary percussive arts, has announced the establishment of the Collaborative Space for Sustainable Development (CSSD—working title), which will serve as a shared, affordable and eventually self-sufficient education, rehearsal and administrative facility.
CHRP’s CSSD has secured financial support of more than $500,000 to date. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is providing $275,000 over four years toward the CSSD’s development and implementation. This crucial contribution follows lead support for program development from The Boeing Company, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Pamela Crutchfield and the Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development. Most recently, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation approved $120,000 of support, and the James S. Kemper Foundation and the Polk Bros. Foundation committed funding. Jenner & Block LLP and ProTen Realty Group are providing pro bono support.
CHRP’s mission and 21 years of program development are rooted in community organizing and collaborative action. “The gift from MacArthur, which may be the largest ever to an institution dedicated to American tap, is significant in a national and international context for the tap dance field,” commented CHRP Founder/Director Lane Alexander, who was appointed last week to Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s Arts and Culture transition team. “It demonstrates that the funding community has confidence in the singular value of this new initiative and is comfortable with a non-mainstream institution leading the way.”
About the Collaborative Space for Sustainable Development
CHRP’s CSSD will centralize and professionalize the administrative, rehearsal and education space needs of several resident companies, as well as numerous additional arts space users. The facility will maximize space, equipment and shared service use through a well-designed suite of facility and service options customized and economized for each participant.
CSSD will be managed as a CHRP program initially, with collaborating resident companies to include:
Jump Rhythm Jazz Project
Kalapriya, Center for Indian Performing Arts
Luna Negra Dance Theater
Ping Pong Productions, which facilitates collaborations between Chinese and international artists
River North Dance Chicago
CSSD is creating a physical space for smaller and mid-sized organizations to stabilize operations and pursue facility-centric program growth opportunities as resourcefully and cost-effectively as possible. CSSD will provide a long-term platform for stability and growth in several key areas by:
responding to the near-universal need among small and mid-sized dance and other arts organizations for professional administrative, rehearsal and education spaces as well as a desire to unify as many organizational functions as possible in a single location creating a venue that will allow arts organizations to develop and maximize earned income from tuition-based education programs while lessening reliance on subsidies
enabling longer-term program planning as well as enhancing the potential scope and impact of tuition-based education programs managing the facility, mitigating many users’ current space management burdens Initial funding has supported the hiring of respected arts administrator Suellen Burns as program director. CSSD has a lead space option in downtown Chicago and continues to pursue additional funding, which would facilitate a development timeline culminating in a grand opening in fall 2011.
The brainchild of CHRP Founder and Director Lane Alexander, CSSD grew from CHRP’s two-year strategic planning process, led by then-Board Chair Susan Oppenheimer (Ph.D., organizational development), which produced a plan for 2010–12 focusing on long-term opportunities for collaborative space and earned income development. In cultivating other prospective resident companies, CHRP found many groups that cited similar priorities, as well as the need to streamline operations and reduce overhead, as both fundamental challenges and untapped opportunities.
Most cultural institutions in the United States, regardless of size, have experienced declining ticket revenue while education programs have held steady or grown. The medium- to long-term trend may require cultural institutions to recalibrate the balance between performance and education, and CSSD will create a sustainable platform for that purpose. In studies funded by the Chicago Community Trust and the MacArthur Foundation, as well as from a market survey donated to CHRP by the Boston Consulting Group and CSSD’s more informal information-gathering, there was a strong desire for centralized space for meetings, performances and classes.
“We are proposing to alter the traditional business model by offering arts groups the opportunity to shift their reliance on earned revenue from ticket sales and contributed income to self-sustaining revenue via educational programming,” commented Alexander.
About CSSD Program Director Suellen Burns
Suellen Burns was program manager, then executive director, of Arts Bridge, the nation’s first business incubator for the arts, which doubled the number of groups it served during her eight years. Burns led Arts Bridge’s 1997 facility project, developing and securing a new home for its Incubator Program as anchor tenant in the Athenaeum Theatre Building, a multi-purpose arts complex. Burns’ experience also includes positions with Friends of the Chicago River, Suzuki-Orff School for Young Musicians and Guild Complex. She has lectured on organizational development and arts stabilization at dozens of local and national forums. She served as project leader, contributing author and contributing editor for Incubating the Arts, a book published by the National Business Incubation Association in 2000.
About Chicago Human Rhythm Project
Founded in 1990, Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) builds community by presenting American tap dance and contemporary percussive arts in world-class and innovative performance, education and community outreach programs. During the last 20 years, CHRP has produced multiple community-based collaborations including shared revenue programs, concerts and touring opportunities, including:
annual National Tap Dance Day concerts, featuring an array of tap and percussive dance artists a shared revenue program designed to assist Chicago’s budding tap community to build capacity through audience development, created in 2001
Thanks 4 Giving, another innovative shared revenue program launched in 2005 as part of its annual Global Rhythms concerts at the Harris Theater, through which CHRP has partnered with more than 100 Chicago-based nonprofits to raise funds for a wide variety of service agencies participation in the 5th Anniversary Beijing International Dance Festival, assembling 70 artists to represent the United States CHRP’s vision is to establish the first global center for American tap and percussive arts (The American Rhythm Center), which will create a complete ecosystem of education, performance, creation and community in a state-of-the-art facility uniting generations of diverse artists and the general public.
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places and understand how technology is affecting children and society.
Note: this page contains paid content.
Please, subscribe to get an access.