The Avid Learning Collective Awards aim to assist groups advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion

Avid Community Association

Avid and its Avid Community Association have announced the first six winners of its inaugural Avid Learning Collective Awards.

Chosen for their work advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, Boston Arts Academy, Ghetto Film School, Girls Make Beats, Immersive & Inclusive Audio Institute, MAMA Youth Project and The Last Mile will all be gifted video and audio creation technologies and training.

The recipients gain membership of the global Avid Learning Partner program for the next three years, which brings licenses for Avid creative tools, teacher training and course materials for students as well as peer and professional networking to cultivate visibility, mentoring and job opportunities for students.

Helen Killeen, director of production for non-scripted UK, ITV Studios, and an Avid Community Association executive board vice chair, said: “Our profession can do a lot more to think outside the box to ensure that opportunity reaches the people and communities helped by the extraordinary, sharply focused Avid Learning Collective participants. It’s exciting to see how rapidly this program will marshal the care and influence of my colleagues to expose the talents of creative people whose ambitions and experiences go largely unseen.”

Bob Clarke, CEO of the MAMA Youth Project, added: “We are honored to be recognized by Avid as a high-performing learning initiative and really appreciative of their support. From a personal perspective, this is a special collaboration as Avid represents much more than a world class technology provider to me. It may not be widely known that the ‘MAMA’ in MAMA Youth Project stands for ‘Me And My Avid.’ It’s thanks to the loan of Avid equipment many years ago that I was able to break into the industry myself as a young man from an underrepresented and challenging background.

“The outcome was a successful career as a freelance video editor, enabling me to self-fund the setup of a charity that to date has helped more than 700 young people with limited opportunity for employment get a start in the media. I’m really excited to have the company that has been an integral part of our story along-side us now, in our mission to continue positively impacting young people and making our industry an inclusive environment for all.”

Applications for the 2022 awards are now open, with a deadline of 15 February 2022. A diverse committee of accomplished music, film and television professionals who sit on the ACA executive board, as well as Avid employees, will judge the entries, with the winners to be announced in late spring. Criteria and the application form can be found here.

Avid Learning Collectives Awards winners

Boston Arts Academy, Boston’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts, offers pathways to success to urban students who otherwise might not have access to both formal arts training and a college preparatory education. Students reflect the diversity of the city of Boston and graduates enter university at rates that are higher than the Boston Public Schools average and higher than the Massachusetts state average.

Ghetto Film School trains young people from New York, Los Angeles and London in the essentials of visual storytelling, offering introductory education to high school students and early-career support for alumni and young professionals. Since its founding in 2000, the school has educated 11,000 artists and placed 800 in jobs and internships; 98 percent of participants graduate high school on time and 92 percent go on to university, with 76 percent pursuing creative professions.

Girls Make Beats, founded by certified audio engineer Tiffany ’Delilah’ Miranda, empowers girls by expanding the presence of female music producers, DJs and audio engineers. The organization focuses on girls ages 5-17 and hosts educational seminars, summer camps, industry panels and networking events, and provides scholarships to students in underserved communities.

Immersive & Inclusive Audio, CIC, created by audio engineer and educator Leslie Gaston-Bird in collaboration with the University of Surrey, will offer training opportunities in audio and immersive sound for women and underrepresented groups. The institute will offer an immersive sound lab, remote classes and certification in Dolby Atmos to increase accessibility.

MAMA Youth Project is a registered charity specializing in broadcast and digital media training, set up to provide opportunities to young people from society’s underrepresented groups including minority ethnic and white working-class backgrounds. The charity is committed to working within the media to help the industry become more diverse and therefore more representative of the audiences it serves. MAMA Youth provides practical training where candidates produce professional content as well as ongoing support to its alumni to secure long-term, fulfilling employment. Career placement rates consistently track above 95% for young people in paid work a year after completing the training.

The Last Mile (TLM) provides opportunities for personal and professional growth through education and technology training for people in prison. TLM’s web development curriculum is active in 16 prisons across the U.S. and, using its nomination, TLM is launching an audio and video production program with industry partnerships and a best-in-class curriculum. The goal of the program is to provide the skills and content knowledge necessary for participants to become audio technicians and video editors, leading to employment opportunities after release. The employment rate for TLM’s returned citizens is 90 percent six months after their release, a key factor of successful reentry.