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  • Harvardwood Presents: A Conversation with Below the Line Agent Alex Franklin

    Monday, October 18, 2021 at 07:30 PM - PDT · $10.00 USD

    7:30 pm PST / 10:30 pm EST

    Join Harvardwood for a conversation with Alex Franklin, head of the Below the Line department of Zero Gravity Management!

    Alex Franklin was a Studio Executive for several years, starting at New Line Cinema with executive stints at Artisan Entertainment, Lionsgate Films and Dimension Films. In his studio development years he focused primarily on genre films and comic book adaptations, working on the Saw and Halloween franchises as well as working with Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios on an adaptation of The Punisher starring Tom Jane and John Travolta. His last film as a Studio Executive was Youth In Revolt starring Michael Cera. He then shifted into representation, first overseeing the below the line department at Partos Company for several years before moving over to Zero Gravity.

    Mr. Franklin is also lecturer at the UCLA Department of Film, Television and Digital Media where he teaches graduate-level courses about the development and production of feature films and television projects. He also teaches several courses for the UCLA Summer Institute, for the Undergraduate Honors Collegium and the Department of Global Studies at the UCLA International Institute. His courses include “Hollywood and Cultural Diversity in America,” “Hollywood and Global Responsibility” and “Hollywood and America’s Global Image.” In these classes, students explore Hollywood’s portrayals and representations of different countries, races and groups, and their impact on our culture. In 2018, Franklin was awarded the Eugen Weber Honors Program Distinguished Teaching Award for his work with the Honors Program at UCLA.


    Register for this event at the link below. Harvardwood members, friends, and non-members are ALL welcome, but every attendee must register for themselves individually. So if you're inviting others to join you for this panel, please forward them the link to this page so they can sign themselves up. Thank you!

    Members, Register Here

    Purchase ticket   $5.00 Members & Friends

    If you can't access the RSVP button for dues-paying Harvardwood members, make 
    sure you're logged in. If you still have issues accessing the page, your membership 
    has lapsed, so renew your dues as a Full Member or Friend of Harvardwood.

  • Harvardwood Heads To... Managing Cash Flow Graduate Group

    Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 09:00 AM - PDT

    9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST

    A monthly group providing ongoing support for graduates of Managing Cash Flow at The Actors Fund. Participants receive guidance and troubleshoot individual challenges, while building community and continuing their financial growth and education through discussions, guest speakers, and a financial book club.

    This group meets the third Tuesday of each month except July and December; in January, June and November we will meet on Wednesday evenings.

    PREREQUISITE: Participants must have completed both Budgeting Nuts & Bolts and Managing Cash Flow.

    More info HERE

  • Harvardwood Heads To... Money Matters: Managing Debt & Credit

    Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 01:00 PM - PDT

    1:00pm PST / 4:00pm EST

    Two-part workshop - Tuesday October 19 & 26

    Debt is a fact of life for many entertainment industry professionals. This workshop will help you navigate common pitfalls and begin to engage in best practices so you can manage your debt successfully and with confidence. 

    In this two-part workshop, they will cover the basics of consumer debt, including: debt relief options, understanding and improving your credit and strategies for paying off debt with variable income. Other types of debt (student loans, mortgages, etc.) will also be addressed. 

    More info HERE

  • 6:00pm PST / 9:00pm EST

    Gloria Calderón Kellett and Mike Royce will co-host the 2021 Sentinel Awards, which this year honors NBC’s medical drama New Amsterdam with the “Imagining a Culture of Health Award” for the show’s entire body of work during its third season.

    In addition to New Amsterdam, 11 other shows are being celebrated, including The Good Doctor, Euphoria, Pose, The Handmaid’s Tale, This Is Us and Grey’s Anatomy (full list here). Their storylines covered such topics as Covid-19, abortion, mental health, addiction and racism—mirroring a tumultuous year in American life. Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, will present the awards event virtually on Oct. 20, 2021.

    More info HERE.

  • 11:00am PST / 2:00pm EST

    Virtually join other performing arts and entertainment industry professionals from across the country to discuss the ups and downs of navigating and working in the industry. This 6-week group is a way to connect with others in the community and reflect on participating in this unique, dynamic and challenging industry. This supportive space will allow you to share and listen with others going through similar experiences and give you a chance to build community and discuss coping strategies. 

    Please note that this is not a psychotherapy group and does not provide mental health treatment. If you are in need of mental health support, please reach out to The Actors Fund: actorsfund.org/MentalHealth

    This group is open to performing arts and entertainment professionals currently residing in the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. 

    Recurrence: The Entertainment Support Group meets Thursdays from 11 am-12:30pmPST /2 pm–3:30 pm ET starting September 23.

    More info HERE

  • Harvardwood Heads To... The Harvard Computers: Staged Reading

    Monday, October 25, 2021 at 06:00 PM - EDT

    6:00pm EST

    Join Pioneer Works on October 25 for a staged reading of the pilot episode of The Harvard Computers—an original television series written by Graham Sack and executive produced by Jennifer 8 Lee, recipients of the 2021 Sundance Institute / Sloan Foundation Episodic Fellowship.

    The Harvard Computers tells the true story of a group of extraordinary women who braved gender and class discrimination to become America’s first female astronomers, shattering the glass ceiling in science and higher education.

    The reading will be followed by a conversation with Graham SackJennifer 8. LeeJanna Levin, and other special guests.

    You can read more about the project in Harvard Magazine and The Harvard CrimsonThey will be announcing the full cast closer to the event and they will be recognizable faces from TV and movies. 

    More info HERE. 

  • 5:30pm PST / 8:30pm EST

    Harvardwood, Color of Change, ACLU of Southern California and the LA DA Accountability Coalition, invite you to join us for a virtual discussion on how crime and legal TV series impact the public perception of crime, racial injustice and the criminal legal system. We ask the question: How can we, as writers and showrunners, do better?

    We hope this event will inspire writers who want to be part of telling stories that share a more authentic understanding of the characters, forces and factors that shape the criminal legal system, and in a way that helps viewers reckon responsibly with all the complicated issues bound up in it. As a growing number of police-related shows are cancelled due to public pressure. And writers have been increasingly called to discuss the changing landscape of the crime TV genre, one of the most popular TV show genres. Our goal is to provide people both inside and outside the industry with a framework for assessing where the genre stands today and how it can evolve more quickly and more responsibly.

    Keynote Speaker

    Patrisse Cullors

    PatrissCullors is a New York Times bestselling author, educator,  artist, and abolitionist from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Patrisse has been on the frontlines of abolitionist organizing for 20 years. Since she began the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, it has expanded into a global foundation supporting Black-led movements in the US, UK,and Canada, and has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. The significance of the Black Lives Matter movement has been recognized by The New York Times as the “largest movement in US history.” TIME 100 also named Patrisse as one of the 100 most influential people in 2020. Patrisse has led multiple Los Angeles-based organizations, including Dignity and Power Now, Justice LA, and Reform LA Jails. These organizations have won progressive ballot measures, fought against a $3.5 billion jail plan, and implemented the first-ever Civilian Oversight Commission of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. 

    Patrisse is also the faculty director of Arizona’s Prescott College, a new Social and Environmental Arts Practice MFA program, which she developed nesting a curriculum focused on the intersection of art, social justice, and community organizing that is the first of its kind in the nation. As an outspoken abolitionist and artist, Patrisse combined these two passions in early February 2020 when she teamed up with Noé Olivas and Alexandre Dorriz to serve as co-founder of the Crenshaw Dairy Mart, a reimagined art gallery and studio dedicated to shifting the trauma-induced conditions of poverty and economic injustice, bridging cultural work and advocacy, and investigating ancestries through the lens of Inglewood and its community. Not stopping there, Patrisse is also a former staff writer on Freeform’s Good Trouble series as well as an actress on the show. She also co-produced the 12-part YouTube Originals series titled RESIST, which premiered November 18, 2020. In 2020, Patrisse signed an overall production deal with Warner Brothers, where she intends to continue to uplift Black stories, talent, and creators that are transforming the world of art and culture. Photo credit: Ryan Pfluger


    Panelists

    Jane Dorotik is an R.N. and healthcare professional who worked for many years in Community Mental Health Administration. She had been incarcerated for 20 years on a wrongful conviction and, thanks to the amazing work by Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent, her conviction was overturned in July 2020.

    She is a member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP), a current member of the Board of Directors of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), and a former board member of Justice Now. She also founded Compassionate Companions, an organization within CIW that provides kindness and compassion to any incarcerated woman experiencing any catastrophic emotional event, and provides vigils and care for terminally ill incarcerated women. She founded and published for eight years the CIW newsletter, Strive High.

    She advocates for prison abolition as well as dignity and compassion for all incarcerated individuals.


    LaNaisha Edwards is the Lead Chapter Coordinator for Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and co-chair for the Los Angeles District Attorney Office Crime Victims Advisory Board. Her work is formed through her lived experience. After the murders of her young brothers in 2010 and 2016, LaNaisha started her journey to healing by turning her pain into power. Working with organizations across California and supporting programs that focus on reducing community and gang violence. She has worked with Los Angeles Gang Reduction Youth Development (GRYD) program and Urban Peace Institute where she is a violence interruption training facilitators. LaNaisha is a consultant for the Office of Violence Prevention, and the Co-Founding Director of United Communities for Peace. Edwards received a BA in Human Service with a minor in Public Administration from California State University and is currently earning a Master Certificate in Restore Justice at Vermont Law school.


    Amity PayeAmity Paye is Interim Director of Storytelling & Marketing and the Senior Director of Communications at Color Of Change. She oversees the organization's media strategy and partnerships to make Color Of Change a household name and build their brand. She uses media coverage to drive some of the organization’s most important victories on tech, changing Hollywood, and criminal justice reform. She was pivotal in the #StopHateForProfit campaign, where Color Of Change convinced more than 100 corporations to pull $7B in advertising from Facebook for its failure to reign in racist propaganda. Her team runs The Black Response, a resource site with calls to action, resources, and interviews to help Black people stay safe through the pandemic.

    Since joining the organization in early 2020, Amity has tripled Color Of Change’s press reach. and has been instrumental in holding corporations to their pledges to support Black lives after the murders of George Floyd, Breyonna Taylor and so many others.

    Before joining Color Of Change, she led strategic communications for the Black Youth Project and the labor union 32BJ SEIU and spent a decade as a journalist reporting on Black youth and social justice for The Nation, NBC, The Root, Jet Magazine and the Amsterdam News. Amity serves on the board of Samara Collective, a women-led communications coop. She is a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She currently lives in upstate New York on land she and her husband are turning into a communal gardening and artist space.


    Nikki Toscano - Recognized by Entertainment Weekly as one of the Top Ten People to Watch Behind the Scenes, Nikki Toscano is currently the writer, showrunner and executive producer of Paramount Plus’ The Offer, a limited series about the making of The Godfather.

    Toscano also has a pilot with Ellen Pompeo and Regina King at Netflix, a pilot at Paramount Plus with Academy Award winners Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman, and another pilot with Keri Russell based on the best-selling novel Long Bright River. Before that, Toscano was co-showrunner and executive producer of HUNTERS, the Jordan Peele-produced Nazi hunting drama at Amazon. Prior to that, she was on back-to-back overall deals at 20th Century Fox and Universal. During her tenure at 20th and Universal, she wrote and executive produced two pilots, Behind Enemy Lines for FOX/20th and Red Zone for CBS/Universal as well as wrote four others.

    Toscano got her start hawking a pilot to CBS/Paramount, which was loosely based on her life (she fostered and adopted a 12-year-old kid from a children’s home when she was 25). She has since developed and sold pilots to such outlets as Apple, Netflix, FX, Paramount Plus, FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC.

    On the staffing side, she has written and produced for various series, including A&E’s “Bates Motel,” FOX’s “24,” NBC’s “Shades of Blue,” ABC’s “Detroit 187,” and ABC’s “Revenge” to name a few.

    Hailing from the DC suburbs, Toscano lives in Los Feliz, California and is the mother of three children.


    Alexis Wilkinson is a Wisconsin-born writer who specializes in humor, copy, video and film. She's written award-winning television, pieces for national magazines, and created content for multiple brands. Her TV credits include: Brooklyn Nine Nine and Veep, among others. She graduated from Harvard College in 2015 with a degree in economics and a secondary in psychology. During her time there, she was the first black female President of the Harvard Lampoon

     


    In Partnership With:

     

    SPECIAL NOTE: For attendees requesting Spanish translation or support for the hearing impaired, please email [email protected]

  • 11:00am PST / 2:00pm EST

    Virtually join other performing arts and entertainment industry professionals from across the country to discuss the ups and downs of navigating and working in the industry. This 6-week group is a way to connect with others in the community and reflect on participating in this unique, dynamic and challenging industry. This supportive space will allow you to share and listen with others going through similar experiences and give you a chance to build community and discuss coping strategies. 

    Please note that this is not a psychotherapy group and does not provide mental health treatment. If you are in need of mental health support, please reach out to The Actors Fund: actorsfund.org/MentalHealth

    This group is open to performing arts and entertainment professionals currently residing in the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. 

    Recurrence: The Entertainment Support Group meets Thursdays from 11 am-12:30pmPST /2 pm–3:30 pm ET starting September 23.

    More info HERE

  • Harvardwood Heads To... How to Job Search During a Pandemic, Part 1

    Tuesday, November 02, 2021 at 10:00 AM - PDT

    10:00am PST / 1:00pm EST

    Are you interested in learning how to navigate your job search during a pandemic? Do you need to discuss challenges the pandemic has burdened you with as a job seeker? If so, you're in the right place! 

    In How to Job Search During a Pandemic, Part 1 you will: 

    • Review important points to consider before initiating a job search amid these unprecedented times 
    • Discuss areas where you should be focusing your energy and how to manage your time  
    • Take a deeper dive into prioritizing your wants and needs

    Please Note: This workshop series is not sequential. Participants can take Parts 1 and 2 in any order. For more information on Part 2, click here. 

    More info HERE.

  • 12:00pm PST / 3:00pm EST

    This gathering will take place the first Tuesday of each month!

    In response to the troubling rise of violence and hostility against members of the AAPI community, The Actors Fund is offering a monthly virtual gathering for Asian American and Pacific Islander performing arts and entertainment professionals to come together for supportive conversation. Together they will explore how to balance and navigate everyone's feelings and support and celebrate the group's resilience.

    PREREQUISITE: 

    Free and confidential to all performing arts and entertainment industry professionals nationwide that are part of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

    More info HERE.

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