The city of Los Angeles, industry leaders in entertainment and digital media, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions have come together to form the Evolve Entertainment Fund in aim of creating more opportunities and boosting diversity in the entertainment biz.

The public-private partnership was announced Feb. 12 by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, founder of Array Entertainment and Evolve Entertainment Fund Co-Chair, and producer Dan Lin, CEO of Rideback and an EEF advisory committee member. 

“When ‘Oscars So White’ and ‘Time’s Up’ put a spotlight on inequality in Hollywood, they captured the frustrations of people shut out of opportunity in what the world knows as L.A.’s signature industry,” Mayor Garcetti said in a statement. “We created the Evolve Entertainment Fund to give people in underserved communities a new opportunity to chase their dreams in Hollywood – whether they want to be the next award-winning director or screenwriter, or are looking to secure a future in below-the-line jobs that are the bedrock of this city’s middle class.”  


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Photo: Brandon Williams/Getty Images

Ava DuVernay - Film director Ava DuVernay speaks during the launch of The Evolve Entertainment Fund Feb. 12, 2018, in Los Angeles.  

With a focus on building careers in film, television and music for women, people of color and low-income Angelenos, the Evolve Entertainment Fund will offer paid internships, mentoring and an ongoing series of workshops and panels. 
 
So far, the fund has secured 150 paid summer internships for students participating in the HIRE LA’s Youth program with organizations including DreamWorks Animation, Ryan Murphy Television, Film Independent, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios, and Anonymous Content.
 
A representative for Live Nation told Pollstar that the company is also offering a number of paid internships for Angelenos hoping to get a start in the music industry.  
 
The Evolve Entertainment Fund has dozens of other partners on board including United Talent Agency, WME, Spotify, Grammy Museum, Amazon Studios, Interscope Geffen A&M, Issa Rae Productions, Buzzfeed, Shondaland, HBO, Lionsgate, Sundance Institute, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, IMAX Entertainment, Warner Bros, and Variety. 
 
The EEF – which is a program of the Mayor’s Fund of Los Angeles – expects to offer 250 paid internships by the end of 2018 and has a goal of 500 placements by 2020. The fund hopes to raise $5 million to finance programs through 2020.   
 
The fund will also provide grants to non-profits that pair underserved youth with top-level mentors and internships, as well as helping finance qualifying film, TV and new media projects to promote underrepresented filmmakers, storytellers and creatives. Additionally, EEF will provide students with educational opportunities and is partnering with the Center for a Competitive Workplace to help adapt the region’s community college courses and programs for the digital age. 
 
“As we radically reimagine Hollywood, it is critically important that young people are included in our vision,” DuVernay said. “Real change happens when we take tangible action – and that means giving young women and people of color opportunities in the industry early on, so they have the chance to shape its future. ARRAY is proud to be working with Mayor Garcetti on the Evolve Entertainment Fund, and we look forward to our collaboration on this effort.”??