For Immediate Release
October 17, 2014
Contact Information

Media Arts Institute of Alabama
Leon Burnette
Founder & CEO
(256) 525-1203


- HBCU Students To Film 2015 Rose Parade and Bowl Game Documentary -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – HUNTSVILLE, AL October 15, 2014 "• The Media Arts Institute of Alabama (MAIA) headquartered in Huntsville, AL, just launched the Laser Sharp Project, a Digital Media and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) Workforce Initiative to connect digital media, engineering, and communication students from Alabama’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU), with jobs, internships, research fellowships, and mentoring opportunities in the Billion Dollar Hollywood Media, Music, Entertainment and Photonics industries.

Twelve outstanding students from Alabama A&M University (AAMU) have been selected for the flagship Laser Sharp Project. The student film crew is the first ever HBCU to be invited by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade, to produce a real-time film documentary about the pageantry of the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl called Huntsville 2 Hollywood: Searching For the Secrets to Success.

Spearheaded by Leon Burnette, founder of the Media Arts Institute of Alabama, MAIA has formed strategic partnerships with a network of organizations, industrial partners, and digital media technology companies across the United States that will engage minority students in a variety of live entertainment and digital media production activities that utilize photonics applications, optics technology, and engineering.

Burnette says they need financial support to reach their goal of $50,000 by November 15, 2014, to help pay expenses for these film students from Alabama A&M University, and five adult chaperones who will accompany them. They also seek long-term corporate sponsorships to help make these types of hands-on, interactive projects ongoing.

“Having the opportunity to work in Hollywood on a real film project is a dream for most of these kids, and I am delighted to coordinate such a life-altering experience and possibly career-changing opportunity for these twelve special kids and many more in the future,” Burnette says.

“These are exceptional students who are raising much of the money themselves, but in order to keep the Initiative alive, we need a higher level of long-term funding.”

They will visit Hollywood TV studios, tour digital media technology companies and interact with accomplished music and film executives and producers who will give them career advice and tips for success.

For more information about the Huntsville 2 Hollywood project, to donate to MAIA’s Laser Sharp Workforce Initiative, contact Leon Burnette at (256) 525-1203 or visit