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Chicago State University and the Illinois Film Office will Host Film Workforce Training Event

Last updated: August 10, 2022

Chicago State University is partnering with the Illinois Film Office and DCEO to host the Illinois Film Industry Workforce Training Conference on August 10th. 

The featured speakers will include prominent film industry leaders Ashley Rice, President & Co-Managing Partner of Cinespace Studios; Peter Hawley, Director of the Illinois Film Office; Thavary Krouch, Chicago Film Office; Lisa Masseur, Executive Producer/Founder of TESSA, Natalia Salazar, Marketing & Partnerships, Independent Film Alliance;  Anthony J. Barracca, Business Manager of IATSE Local 476 & Jennifer Jobst, President of 769(Studio Mechanics and Chicago Theatrical Unions) and Michael Scott Jr., Director of Industry and Community Relations at Cinespace Studios.  The event will take place at Chicago State University.

The conference is designed to provide access to film industry experts for the most recent participants of the Illinois Film Workforce Training Pilot Program.  Funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the program was created to address the short falls in the number of trained crew for film production in Illinois. 

In June, the Governor of Illinois and Mayor of Chicago announced Illinois was on track to exceed the 2021 record breaking revenue of $630 million from film production in the state. 

According to Dr. Christine List, Chair of the Department of Communications, Media Arts & Theatre at Chicago State University, “The workforce training program addresses the need for underrepresented voices to gain experience and education in this field.”

Crystal Barnes, Director of the pilot program explains the mission: “The Illinois Film Office along with Chicago State University have been tasked with overseeing seven agencies that have developed curricula to educate Illinois citizens who have a passion for film but are missing the necessary access to training in communities that have not been traditionally at the forefront of filmmaking.”

CSU’s Department of Communication Media Arts & Theatre is a key player in providing a media education to a diverse student population in the Chicago area.  CSU has developed partnerships and paid internships with both local and global media companies including Cinespace Studios and Leo Burnett Advertising. Last year, CSU hosted a Black Media and Entertainment Industry Conference, bringing together industry leaders for a 4-day event.

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