GCI to promote native art and culture

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) An effort is underway to help two Alaskans live a dream in Hollywood.

    GCI is collaborating with the Walter Kaitz Foundation to offer a fellowship program to two Alaska Native content creators—from directors to producers to playwrights— as part of an effort to promote Alaska Native culture and content in films, television and online entertainment. Through the month of November, GCI will accept applications for the program which provides exclusive entry to the Walter Kaitz Foundation’s 9th Hollywood Creative Forum in Los Angeles, California, with the goal of helping them establish lifelong industry connections that often help propel professional careers in television, film and digital.


    “As an Alaska-born-and-raised company, GCI works hard to support and promote Alaska Native culture, whether it’s through the programs and services we offer or by advocating for more diverse representation in our industry,” said Heather Handyside, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at GCI. “This new collaboration with the Walter Kaitz Foundation is something we’re extremely proud of, as it will provide two experienced Alaskan content creators with a unique opportunity to advance their professional careers and further promote the need for diversity in Hollywood.”


    The agenda for the Hollywood Creative Forum includes keynote speakers and discussion panels on diversity, as well as a mentoring luncheon that will match guests with network executives who can help provide guidance on how to attract studios and production companies. Alaskans interested in applying can find out more about the application and selection criteria at www.gci.com/why-gci/walter-kaitz-foundation. Finalists will be selected based, in part, by their experience, existing body of work, biography, cover letter, artistic statement, creativity, and their ability to articulate how the forum will help them further their career. Applications are due by Nov. 30, 2017.


    “This is an incredible opportunity for indigenous Alaskans to make direct connections with people in the industry who may ultimately change the course of their career,” said David Porter, executive director of the Walter Kaitz Foundation. “We are grateful that GCI is supporting the Walter Kaitz Foundation’s mission to increase diversity in the industry.”


    Finalists will be announced at the Anchorage Film festival in early December. In addition to attending the Hollywood Creative Forum, which takes place Feb. 13-14 in Los Angeles, finalists will also be provided with roundtrip airfare and hotel expenses covered by GCI; invitations to a private dinner with Hollywood development and programming executives; and a GCI welcome package. Finalists will also be featured on GCI and Walter Kaitz Foundation’s social media platforms, Channel 907, the Anchorage International Film Festival and Alaska Federation of Natives Convention.


    About Walter Kaitz Foundation

    The Walter Kaitz Foundation is a nonprofit committed to advancing diversity within the cable industry, specifically the contributions of women and multi-ethnic cable professionals. The foundation serves as a catalyst for increasing diversity in the cable industry’s workforce, its supplier base and its programming. 


    About GCI

    GCI is the largest communications provider in Alaska, providing data, wireless, video, voice and managed services to consumer and business customers throughout Alaska and nationwide. Headquartered in Alaska, GCI has delivered services for nearly 40 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com.



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