Passionate storytellers attending Howard University have received a helping hand from the Walt Disney Company through a five-year program to support the next generation of Black artists.
The media and entertainment giant launched the Disney Storytellers Fund to open career opportunities for Black storytellers and innovators.
Announced during the Essence Festival of Culture last Saturday, the fund will provide stipends over five years for projects dealing with storytelling on platforms including animation, gaming, live-action, product, and visual design, and virtual reality.
As a bonus, the company will also host speakers, mentors, and internship opportunities for those in the program.
“Across Disney brands, we are working to amplify underrepresented voices and untold stories. The Disney Storytellers Fund at Howard will help us support students and the innovation and creativity that the university has cultivated for more than 150 years,” said Disney’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, Jennifer Cohen.
Dean of Howard’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts Phylicia Rashad released a statement to acknowledge the tremendous gift to the school.
“Our students at the College of Fine Arts find their creative expression in many ways — in the performing arts, in animation, in the design of products that we use in life,” Rashad said. “The Disney Storytellers Fund is a great support for our emerging artists as they explore and develop their potential within and across disciplines.”
Disney is also set to finance a collaborative creative space co-located at Boseman College and the Cathy Hughes School of Communication.