For Immediate Release
November 12, 2020
Contact Information

For further information, contact Alliance Executive Director Wendy Levy, or Arthur Blank Foundation Program Officer Ayana Gabriel,


Arts2Work is a revolutionary blueprint for the future of creative work and a pathway for those most often excluded from opportunity. During National Apprenticeship Week, Coffee Bluff Pictures hires the first Georgia Arts2Work Apprentice.

(Black PR Wire) Atlanta, GA  -- The Alliance for Media Arts and Culture today announces a three-year, $900,000 dollar grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to support Arts2Work, an innovative creative workforce development initiative that includes the first federally-registered National Apprenticeship Program in media arts + creative technologies.


The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture is the national Program Sponsor for Arts2Work, a creative workforce program designed to provide new infrastructure and support for creative workers, businesses, organizations and cultural institutions across the United States.  In Atlanta, in addition to the Registered Apprenticeship program for Multimedia Producers and Digital Editors, The Alliance will develop city-wide Arts2Work Creative Studios for youth, Pre-Apprenticeship training opportunities, Advanced Creative Technology Labs and the Arts2Work Accelerator Fund, supporting creative entrepreneurship and advanced professional development for low-income and minority creative workers. Arts2Work also collaborates with industry employers to improve inclusive hiring practice and workplace culture, build new mentorship models, prioritize equal pay, and prevent sexual harassment.


Arts2Work partners in Atlanta include innovative media nonprofits re:imagine/ATL and cxmunnity, WorkSource Atlanta, and Georgia State University. The first Arts2Work Apprentice has been hired at local award-winning production company Coffee Bluff Pictures.  Coffee Bluff is an Atlanta-based independent film company that develops, produces and distributes compelling stories about the African American experience. Founded by advertising agency executive and filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper, Coffee Bluff's work explores under-represented characters, untold histories, and rich, complicated narratives of black life in the U.S. and around the world. Coffee Bluff has hired the first Arts2Work Apprentice in Atlanta. Says CEO Deborah Riley Draper, “I know and understand the struggle inherent in being a Black creative. Every project our company has produced has afforded people the opportunity to gain experience and work in roles that would have been out of reach based on experience or access. I believe in creating opportunities while creating stories. Apprenticeships are a vital part of transforming our industry.”


In addition to Atlanta, numerous cities are working with The Alliance to secure required state agency approvals and develop partnerships to support regional Arts2Work pilot programs. These include Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans, Austin, Spokane, Portland, Washington, DC and Milwaukee, among others. The grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is a game-changing commitment to catalyzing the creative economy in Georgia and centering equity and inclusion in a new model of reform for creative workforce development. 


This grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is a seminal investment in the Arts2Work ecosystem, strengthening a regional member network of media training centers and studios, community colleges, pre-apprenticeship programs, and employers ready to hire and mentor their next generation workforce,” says Alliance Executive Director Wendy Levy.  “Helping employers understand and activate around the benefits of Apprenticeship will take time – as well as a paradigm shift away from an entrenched culture of unpaid internships designed for those who can afford to work for free. In Atlanta, the media industry was thriving before COVID and is continuing to be extraordinarily resilient; if we can continue to attract companies and organizations committed to innovation, equity and inclusion – it will be a bold step towards fixing the broken system that has enabled and perpetuated #oscarssowhite and #metoo” says Levy.


For further information, contact Alliance Executive Director Wendy Levy, or Arthur Blank Foundation Program Officer Ayana Gabriel,