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Work Light Productions and Mama Foundation for the Arts Announce Initiative to Recruit and Encourage BIPOC Talent

Backstage with Work Light Productions will begin with four webinars commencing September 22.

Work Light Productions and Mama Foundation for the Arts Announce Initiative to Recruit and Encourage BIPOC Talent

Work Light Productions and Mama Foundation for the Arts are partnering on a new program called "Backstage" that will recruit, train, and employ BIPOC talent in multiple departments of Work Light's theatrical operation. Commencing next week, Mama Foundation participants will learn from industry leaders in behind-the-scenes roles, including general/company management, stage management, technical direction/crew, and creative and residency positions. Selected participants will then have the opportunity to apply acquired skills once theatres reopen in paid production assistant ("P.A.") positions on Work Light tours, including Ain't Too Proud, Jesus Christ Superstar, An Officer and a Gentleman, and RENT - 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour.

Mama Foundation for the Arts strives to present, preserve, and promote the history and fundamentals of gospel, jazz, and R&B music for current and future generations, and the Foundation maintains a cultural space in Harlem where youth and adults have access to quality training and employment as performing artists at no cost. Backstage with Work Light Productions will begin with four webinars commencing September 22, followed by more in-depth training sessions to help candidates prepare for the P.A. positions.

"At Mama Foundation, we have always focused on nourishing, encouraging, and fine-tuning the talents of young people," says founder and executive director, Vy Higginsen. "We are dedicated to educating our young students - primarily BIPOC youth and young adults - while providing them with experience in the arts. Under our 'Mama's Access to Opportunities' initiative, we continue to strive to open more doors in the industry for our students and alumni. This partnership with Work Light Productions, and the efforts of Stephen and Nancy Gabriel, make this dream of opening more doors a reality."

"As a young professional, I learned by watching and listening to experienced managers and producers as they made decisions around the production table. That table needs to reflect our society and all its voices," said Work Light president, Stephen Gabriel. "The first step is finding the young talent and bringing them into the room. We couldn't be more thrilled to be working with the Mama Foundation on this endeavor."

For more information about the program and how to get involved, visit www.mamafoundation.org/backstage or contact backstage@mamafoundation.org.

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