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Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Oct. 18, 2001 – A young minority student has a great idea for a film, something that he's sure hasn't been done before. He can write, and he wants to direct, but he doesn't know how to make a film. So, he finds a friend who does, and who will work with him. And he isn't sure how to mesh it all together, so he needs some ongoing advice. But where can he go from here? Save his money up from an after-school job? Wait until he finishes college and can afford time off from a career? Dream?
Now there is a possibility for him. There's an opportunity for minority students with talent in writing, directing and filmmaking who are interested in the media and entertainment industries to qualify for an ABC Television-Walt Disney Company New Talent Development scholarship grant.
This grant program, now in its second year, is offered in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus' efforts to increase minority participation in those industries, according to a release from Delegate to Congress Donna Christian Christensen's office.
"This offer comes as a direct result of a CBC meeting with industry officials this past summer," Christiansen said.
The program is to assist high school and college students and members of designated nonprofit arts institutions by providing financial and mentoring support to develop a new, or to complete an existing, creative idea. The goal is to reach individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds, and nurture their aspirations.
The applicant criteria includes a resume, an essay of 500 to 800 words describing career goals and interest in the field, a signed legal agreement, and the proposed project for consideration that must include a project budget and samples. The application form suggests screenplay, video or television script. "Only emerging artists who show promise, have strong vision, originality, creative energy, and perseverance in their respective media will be awarded these scholarships and grants," the release said.
Applications must be made through high schools, colleges, or a designated nonprofit organization by December 30, 2001. The agency will then forward their nominees' applications to ABC for review.
Notification of awards for the grants will be in June 2002. Chosen participants will be paired with mentors, and the mentorship program will start in the fall of 2002.
At the completion of the program participants take part in a three-day workshop in Los Angeles at ABC Entertainment and Walt Disney Studios.
Financial support levels are flexible. No information about the number of acceptances is available. Application information is available at the Delegate's offices in St. Thomas, 774-4408, or St. Croix, 778-5900.

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