Austin Film Society’s Workforce Development Program, Creative Careers, Is Now Accepting Applications for Its Spring Cycle
Applications Will Remain Open From January 22–February 9, Helping Emerging Creatives Break Into the Film Industry
January 22, 2024, AUSTIN, TX— Today, the Austin Film Society opens applications for the 2024 spring cycle of AFS Creative Careers, its unique workforce development program targeting emerging creatives and those historically underrepresented in creative industries looking to break into the competitive film and creative media fields. Applications for the spring cycle of the AFS Internship Pathway and Immersive Training Pathway of Creative Careers will open Monday, January 22, and will remain open until February 9 at 11:59 p.m. CT. The program will also accept rolling applications for the Continuing Education Pathway beginning on March 5.
The Creative Careers program is designed to expand access to jobs for Austin-area creatives who are looking to break into the film and television industry. Creative Careers first launched in the fall of 2021 in partnership with the City of Austin and the GTOPs (Grant for Technology Opportunities Program) grant. The program is run through Austin Public, a state-of-the-art creative hub operated by AFS for the City of Austin.
To date, Creative Careers has served more than 85 participants at a graduation rate of 97%. The program is focused on supporting emerging artists from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the film industry nationally, including those who identify with the LGBTQAI+ community, a community of color, as a woman or as someone with a disability. Detailed demographic data is included in the addendum below.
By providing training, mentorship, and networking opportunities to participants, AFS is able to embed its graduates into the vibrant, creative workforce of Austin and Texas at large. The program is led by AFS’s Director of Community Education Rakeda L. Ervin. “Going into our third year of Creative Careers is special because we’ve now gotten to see several program cohorts complete the program and embed themselves in the local media production industry,” says Ervin. “We get to see them graduate and then leverage the connections they’ve made and the new skills they’ve learned through Creative Careers. It’s inspiring to see the impact of this program manifest in this way.”
To hear testimony from Creative Careers graduates about the impact of this program, click here or on the image below.
The Creative Careers program has three pathways that support candidates at different parts of their professional journeys: the AFS Internship Pathway is a six-month stipend-paid internship and training curriculum for 18-24-year-olds who want to pursue media production careers as an alternative to or in conjunction with a college degree; the Immersive Training pathway is also stipend-paid for three months followed by on-the-job opportunities to shadow professionals and work with mentors; and the Continuing Education Pathway is designed for those who already have a bit of industry experience, offering them free training beyond equipment certification to expand their skills toward career advancement.
While specific eligibility requirements are different for each pathway, all applicants must be at least 18 years of age, interested in the fields of film and creative media and be Austin-area residents living in either Travis, Williamson, Caldwell, Hays or Bastrop county. These qualifications help the Creative Careers program support emerging creatives locally while connecting them to professional networks in our communities, encouraging their success once they’ve completed the program.
About Creative Careers
The Creative Careers program is designed to expand access to jobs for Austin-area creatives who are looking to break into the film and television industry. The Creative Careers program has three pathways that meet candidates where they’re at in their professional journeys: the AFS Internship Pathway, a six-month stipend-paid internship and training curriculum for 18-24-year-olds; the Immersive Training pathway for those with a bit of existing media production experience (paid or unpaid), which is stipend-paid for three months followed by on-the-job opportunities; and the Continuing Education Pathway, for those with existing paid media-industry experience, offering free training beyond equipment certification. By providing training, mentorship, and networking opportunities to participants, AFS is able to embed its graduates into the vibrant, creative workforce of Austin and Texas at large. The program is focused on supporting emerging professionals from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the film industry nationally, including those who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, a community of color, as a woman, or as someone with a disability.
About Austin Film Society
Founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, AFS creates life-changing opportunities for filmmakers, catalyzes Austin and Texas as a creative hub, and brings the community together around great film. AFS is committed to racial equity and inclusion, with an objective to deliver programs that actively dismantle the structural racism, sexism and other bias in the screen industries. AFS supports filmmakers from all backgrounds towards career leaps, encouraging exceptional artistic projects with grants and support services. AFS operates Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, to attract and grow the creative media ecosystem. Austin Public, a space for our city’s diverse mediamakers to train and collaborate, provides many points of access to filmmaking and film careers. The AFS Cinema is an ambitiously programmed repertory and first run arthouse with broad community engagement. By hosting premieres, local and international industry events, and the Texas Film Awards, AFS shines the national spotlight on Texas filmmakers while connecting Austin and Texas to the wider film community. AFS is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
NOTE: PARTICIPANT DEMOGRAPHICS
The data we’re sharing has been provided to the Austin Film Society by the program participants directly. Note that some artists choose not to self-identify.
Program Participants: Since the Creative Careers program was started in 2021, it has served 87 participants. Out of the participants surveyed on demographic information, 45% of participants identify as women and 10% as non-binary or gender non-conforming. 70% of participants to date identify with a community of color and 32% of participants identify with the LGBTQAI+ community. In addition, 3% identify as having a disability.