Night School opens to bring more diverse talent into creative industries

Night School: 2019 graduates will lead this year's curriculum
Night School: 2019 graduates will lead this year's curriculum

It is the second year of The Brooklyn Brothers' initiative to introduce ethnically diverse young people to creative careers.

Night School, an initiative from The Brooklyn Brothers to attract more diverse talent into the creative industries, is returning for a second year.

The free training and mentorship programme is now accepting applications until 15 October and is open to 18- to 25-year-olds nationwide from ethnically diverse backgrounds. It will begin on 9 November and run for six weeks.

This year, Night School will take a virtual format due to Covid-19 restrictions. Graduates from the class of 2019 will also lead the programme.

The sessions will feature guest tutors working across creative sectors such as advertising, film production, music, fashion and media. They will introduce types of creative roles and cover topics such as strategy, idea development, writing, design, production and PR.

Over the six weeks of training, each student will develop a personal manifesto to showcase their creative ambition. After graduation, they will receive mentors to help them progress into a creative career.

The Brooklyn Brothers launched a pilot of Night School last year in partnership with arts publication Yellowzine.

After 80% of the 14 graduates went on to secure paid employment in creative businesses, The Brooklyn Brothers asked them to “pay it forward” and lead the 2020 curriculum.

They include Saffron Renzullo, who has been a creative at The Brooklyn Brothers since January; Nana Owusu-Ansah, who was mentored by Rogue Films director Joe Connor and aims to get into film production in Berlin; and Saagar Kaushik, who worked at a media agency before transitioning to a copywriting role at We Are Social.

“I didn’t even know what a ‘creative’ was before Night School. That was the first time I was in a room of people who looked like me – other creatives of colour,” Renzullo said. “As soon as we started, there was an instant reassurance and that fear went away on the first day.”

Only 13.7% of UK advertising agency employees come from a black, Asian or ethnic-minority background, according to the IPA's 2019 Agency Census.

Applicants can submit their entries at https://thebrooklynbrothers.com/night-school.html.

Last month, The Financial Times and The Brooklyn Brothers launched News School, a two-week nightly education programme to introduce young people from diverse backgrounds to the news industry.

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