Flourishing filmmaker Ava DuVernay teamed up with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and launched a $5 million diversity program on Monday that will hopefully bring some much-needed color to the lily-white business of Hollywood.
The new program, called the Evolve Entertainment Fund, is set to begin this summer and will initially assist 150 interns for the coming summer, with the goal to increase the number to 500 by 2020. The money will not use tax dollars but will be financed through fundraising.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the program will dispense grants to entertainment companies and organizations around L.A. The first grant recipient will be the Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program, a joint venture between Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Hollywood Reporter.
DuVernay on Monday pressed entertainment execs to diversify their ranks.
“Real change happens when we take tangible action,” said the L.A. native, who reportedly joked that she was tired of attending diversity panels.
Garcetti said that the new program will look for candidates from Los Angeles neighborhoods that ain’t Hollywood, including Watts, Boyle Heights and Pacoima.
With Hollywood driving so much of the revenue to Los Angeles in particular, it’s a no-brainer that diversity is important everywhere.
“It matters on the screen and it matters behind the scenes as well,” Garcetti said.