Applications for The Disruptors, the annual fellowship for emerging television writers of color who identify as trans, gender non-binary, undocumented/formerly undocumented or with disabilities, are now open for the 2022 programming season.
Taking place from August to November this year, The Disruptors will provide mentorship, compensation, community, and virtual and in-person space, when safe to do so, for Fellows to create the material they need to enter the industry.
According to the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California, 91% of TV show creators are white and 81% are male. The Disruptors began in 2020 to shift that landscape to include creatives of color from different backgrounds and normalize historically underrepresented narratives on television, beginning by investing in these screenwriters from the very beginning of their careers.
Co-created by Julio Salgado and Kat Evasco, The Disruptors is a program of the Center for Cultural Power and was designed to fill a critical gap in the Hollywood talent pool and provide training, support, time and connections to black people. , Indigenous and writers of color, who otherwise lack access to these essential resources early in their careers. Masterclass instructors and mentors include Shantira Jackson (Big Mouth, the Amber Ruffin show), Zackery Alexzander Stephens (Our flag means death, Q-Force), Victor Duenas (East Los High, BUNK’D), Zenzele Prize (WeCrashed, Kindred) and Jennifer Yale (Dexter, the Stranger). This year’s partners supporting the program include Final Draft, Popshift and Young Entertainment Activists.
“We are thrilled to announce our third iteration of The Disruptors Fellowship. As new research continues to provide insight into the lack of diversity in media – highlighting the demand for underrepresented content creators in front of and behind the camera, The Disruptors seeks to bridge the gap to create a sustainable pipeline of talented, emerging television writers of color and provide these breakthrough opportunities,” said Julio Salgado, program director at the Center for Cultural Power.
In its third iteration, the three-month program will select 10 Los Angeles-based TV screenwriters to participate. Each scholar will receive a stipend of $6,000. During the program, each scholar:
- Be matched with a mentor who is currently working as a writer in the industry.
- Attend masterclasses with experts in playwriting, comedy writing, crime drama writing, and pilot pitching.
- Workshop a pilot for the duration of the fellowship.
- Receive writing structure and storytelling coaching to help them with their pilot development.
- Pitch their pilot project to a panel of industry experts.
- Take part in a two-day virtual showcase featuring showrunners, producers, agents, reps and other industry experts.
“Diverse communities often struggle to break into the industry, which is why we equip our fellows with the tools to succeed – by being matched with a mentor who will help them organize their own pilot project, a supportive community of voices BIPOC and a treatment. Over the past few years, we have seen how beneficial this program has been for fellows as they walk away with professional and personal growth and the instruments to improve the portrayal and portrayal of BIPOC communities in the media,” said said Julio Salgado, program manager at The Center for Cultural Power.
Applications are open until June 3, 2022. The application and more information can be found at https://www.artistdisruptors.org/.