OAKLAND, Calif. — The Center for Cultural Power, formerly CultureStrike, in partnership with 5050by2020 announced the launch of The Disruptors Fellowship — a five-month program that will be awarded to 10 artists of color who identify as transgender and/or non-binary, disabled, undocumented and/or formerly undocumented immigrants.
The Disruptors Fellowship was created to support emerging television writers. “With 91 percent of TV show creators being white and 78 percent being men, it is crucial to empower and provide the right tools to storytellers who can speak to different perspectives,” explained Favianna Rodriguez, president of The Center for Cultural Power. “It is of the utmost importance to diversify the voices in Hollywood, and one of the best ways to do that is to provide opportunities for these writers to get a chance to be in the writers’ room.”
Jill Soloway, “Transparent” producer and director and co-founder of 5050by2020, strongly believes that it is imperative to create an industry in Hollywood that reflects the diversity of the population. Creating a fellowship that supports and empowers writers of color is a clear path to achieving change, “There has never been a fellowship quite like this. It is intersectional, it is disruptive, it elevates the most marginalized of voices and says, hey, these stories matter, and we are going to invest in them to change Hollywood. I am so proud 5050 is partnering with The Center for Cultural Power and I look forward to being personally involved in championing these artists and their work.”
By creating this program, The Center for Cultural Power supports artists that share their values, specifically Artist Disruptors, a term the center uses for artists committed to expanding their artistic practice and using their creative powers to move culture towards empathy, social justice and ecological harmony.
The fellowship, designed in partnership with Young Entertainment Activists and Original Media Ventures will include master classes, one-on-one coaching and feedback, peer support and community consciousness-raising, culminating in an industry reading of a pilot excerpt. Mentors, panelists and master class leaders will include industry veterans and fresh voices like Rafael Agustin (“Jane the Virgin”), Katherine Beattie (“NCIS”), Shantira Jackson (“Saved by the Bell” Reboot, “Busy Tonight”, Thomas Page McBee (“The L Word,” “Tales of the City”), Soloway, Ryan O’Connell (“Special”), Jenny Yang (“Last Man Standing,” “Busy Tonight”) and Trey Callaway (“Rush Hour,” “CSI: NY”).
The submissions will be juried by a panel that includes Nick Adams from GLAAD, Christine Bruno (chair of the NY SAG-AFTRA Performers with Disabilities) and select staff from The Center for Cultural Power and 5050by2020. Deadline for submission is March 13. The program will announce its fellows in April.