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Learn What It Takes to Become a "Made in NY" PA at a Free Panel Discussion

August 2, 2010 - On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, the Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, in collaboration with Harlem Stage, will present “Made in NY” Production Assistants: A Peer-to-Peer Discussion at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse. The panel will give interested young New Yorkers the opportunity to hear first hand from other young people who have started their careers in TV and film production with the help of the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, which provides free job training for those otherwise lacking access to the entertainment industry. The panel is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6pm; the panel begins at 6:30 pm. The Harlem Stage Gatehouse is located at 150 Convent Avenue and West 135th Street in Manhattan.

Developed in partnership between the Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting and nonprofit Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (BWI), the “Made in NY” PA Training Program provides unemployed and low-income New Yorkers with four weeks of free, intensive training that prepares them to work on New York City sets and in production offices. Since its launch in 2006, more than 200 New Yorkers have been certified as “Made in NY” PAs and have worked on over 1,000 productions, including “30 Rock,” “Sesame Street,” “Gossip Girl,” Sex and the City, The Smurfs and Enchanted. Many graduates of the program have advanced to higher level positions in the locations and camera departments, among others.

“Made in NY” Production Assistants: A Peer-to-Peer Discussion will feature a panel of “Made in NY” PAs who will talk about their experiences working in the entertainment industry and the opportunities that they have received through their training. Representatives from BWI will also be on hand to answer questions about how to apply to the program.

“New York City is home to over 100,000 New Yorkers who make their living working behind the scenes,” said Commissioner Katherine Oliver. “Our office is committed to diversifying our local industry through workforce development programs, like the ‘Made in NY’ PA Training Program, so that more women, people of color, and economically disadvantaged New Yorkers have access to new opportunities in film and television production.” For more information about these programs, visit nyc.gov/film.

“We know there are many young New Yorkers ready to work hard and make their contribution to the industry, but they don’t know where to start,” said Katy Finch, the program’s director. “If you think a career in film might be right for you, we encourage you to come to the panel.” BWI provides two years of job placement and career counseling to certified “Made in NY” PAs, so they can not only find their first jobs, but move up the career ladder. For more information about BWI and the “Made in NY” PA Training Program, visit http://www.bwiny.org/.

“Made in NY” Production Assistants: A Peer-to-Peer Discussion begins at 6:30 pm. Doors open at 6 pm. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. RSVP to rsvp@film.nyc.gov by Friday, August 13. The Harlem Stage Gatehouse is located at 150 Convent Avenue and West 135th Street in Manhattan.

About the Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
As the first film commission in the country, the Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting is the one-stop shop for all production needs in New York City. The agency markets the City as a prime location, provides premiere customer service to production companies and facilitates production throughout the five boroughs. To learn more, visit www.nyc.gov/film.

About Brooklyn Workforce Innovations
Brooklyn Workforce Innovations helps jobless and working poor New Yorkers establish careers in sectors that offer good wages and opportunities for advancement. The nonprofit offers free training and job placement in film production, commercial driving, cable installation and woodworking. To learn more, visit www.bwiny.org.

About Harlem Stage
Since its inception, Harlem Stage (formerly Aaron Davis Hall, Inc.) has earned a local, national, and international reputation for world-class programming and commissioning of new works. Established in 1979 as part of The City College of New York, the organization became an independent non-profit in 1983. Harlem Stage has hosted legendary artists such as Harry Belafonte, Max Roach, Bill Cosby, Abbey Lincoln, Maya Angelou, and Tito Puente. Its primary mission is to perpetuate Harlem’s contributions to American culture by presenting and supporting the development of new work and the work of emerging artists, providing educational opportunities to thousands of public school children each year, and connecting programs to the community’s rich cultural traditions. Harlem Stage opened its new facility, the landmarked Gatehouse, in October 2006.

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