THE TWO POWERHOUSE ORGANIZATIONS WORK TOGETHER TO MEET THE DISABILITY INCLUSION HIRING NEEDS OF ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY EMPLOYERS
Los Angeles, Calif. (April 22, 2022)–Yes I Can Unity Through Music and Education (YIC) and 1500 Sound Academy, a state-of-the art music school that offers comprehensive courses in music production, mixing, songwriting, musicianship, business management, entrepreneurship, and artist branding to aspiring professionals, have partnered to provide creatives with disabilities the opportunity to learn music production skills in an innovative and fully inclusive learning environment.
YIC and 1500 Sound Academy have joined forces to open doors for the disabled, and are committed to driving necessary and long-overdue changes in the music industry for all underrepresented communities. Through the YIC paid internship program, participants receive music production skills training to enable them to pursue careers within the entertainment industry. With these partnerships, YIC is able to reimburse entertainment employers payroll expenses for interns up to 1,040 hours for each intern placed to cover all internship costs, including wages, payroll, and employer mandated costs, such as taxes and insurance.
To quote YIC Student/1500 Sound Academy graduate Logan Sheppard, an aspiring musician/audio engineer who attended the school alongside YIC classmates Jordan Katz and Brandon Kelman, “’Yes I Can’s’ internship has been a phenomenal experience! I feel like I have changed not only as a person, but as a human being, with all of the guest speakers and their inspiring stories. It makes me feel like I have a chance, too.” YIC features weekly entertainment industry professional guest speakers online where guests discuss their jobs, education, career road maps, but also the life lessons they have learned along the way. Each session ends with a question and answer segment allowing students to network and find mentorship.
Participants have a choice of Live Online or On-Campus courses on the 1500 Sound Academy campus located in Inglewood, California. 1500 Sound Academy’s courses provided to participants is contemporary in its approach, and imparts relevant technical and creative skills for composers, songwriters and sound engineers. Through integrated training and projects, participants learn and apply practical knowledge of music theory, sound design and composition into their own projects. Students who successfully complete the Music & Industry Fundamentals Program will earn a certificate of completion from 1500 Sound Academy.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to join forces, work and collaborate with the 1500 Sound Academy Volume Ventures. We are all innovators in our approach to education, and to better prepare young adults for careers in the music industry, all while leveling out the playing field for those who have limited access to jobs in the entertainment industry,” says Bret Lieberman, Executive Director of YIC. He continues, “From our first meeting, we addressed the problem of those with disabilities who have unique creative abilities being under-represented in the workforce and came together as a team to change these statistics.” People with disabilities represent one of the largest minority groups seeking employment in today’s marketplace.
Adds Fauntleroy, Dopson & True: “We at 1500 Sound Academy were looking for a fruitful way to help students with special needs have a chance at learning the music industry, and most importantly, have the same opportunities as others to maximize their career potential. Collaborating with YIC to fulfill this vision has been an amazing experience, and we’re honored that they have chosen to unite with 1500 for this purpose. We look forward to many years of working together for this very important cause.”
Los Angeles, California, has the highest concentration of entertainment workers in the country, and is considered the epicenter of the multi-billion dollar U.S. entertainment industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations will grow faster than the average for all occupations. Although jobs in entertainment are plentiful in Los Angeles, Yes I Can Unity Through Music and Education (YIC) founders Lieberman and Kirsten Fitzpatrick identified the lack of programs available for creatives with disabilities to be able to pursue careers within the field of entertainment. The Institute on Disability reports over a half a million working age people with disabilities live in the Los Angeles metro area. The employment rate of Angelenos with disabilities is only 22.8 percent, compared to 63.1 percent of Angelenos without disabilities.
For more information please visit: https://www.yicunity.org/