LAVC Foundation receives $40,000 grant for media arts scholarships

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave a sizable grant to the Foundation to establish a new scholarship program for cinema and broadcast television students.

By Gabriel Arizon, Editor-in-Chief

The Valley College Foundation was awarded a $40,000 grant by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in mid-October to create a new scholarship program for media arts students.

“It is great that the HFPA recognizes the need to support future filmmakers and artists from all backgrounds, and LAVC students [will] benefit the most,” said Department Chair of Media Arts Eric Swelstad. “It will look terrific on a student’s resume and future job progress.”

In a press release, it was announced that the HFPA Charitable Trust had given the college a $40,000 grant to create a new Fellowship Program for the benefit of cinema and broadcast television students. According to Allison Holton, an employee at the Foundation, the grant will support a total of 31 $1,000 scholarships, which will be made available in the fall and spring semesters. Additionally, the grant also establishes a new HFPA Endowed Scholarship that will be offered annually. The latter will be awarded separately.

The fall deadline to apply for scholarships has just passed and the applications are currently being reviewed by the selection committee. To have been eligible, students needed to be enrolled in nine units in the fall cinema/media arts or television broadcasting program, have completed at least nine units of prerequisites in either program, have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and demonstrate financial need. The Foundation will release the spring application early next semester to eligible students.

“The Foundation will reapply for another grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press early next year with the hope to continue to offer the program next school year and grow the endowed scholarship,” said Holton.

There is only one other media arts scholarship that’s awarded each year through the Foundation: the Cindy Sardo Broadcast Scholarship. It is named after the former public relations director at Valley, who spent her professional career in the broadcasting field as a TV news anchor, reporter, producer, interviewer and radio reporter.

According to the HFPA website, the Charitable Trust has bestowed more than $29 million in fellowships and grants to film schools and non-profit organizations over the past 31 years. The funding for the trust is derived from the organization’s income from the Golden Globe Awards. The HFPA’s Fellowship Program provides annual grants to a selected group of higher educational institutions with film schools that have national stature or regional importance in the Los Angeles area.

“We are honored to receive this grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association supporting our film and television students,” said Valley President Barry Gribbons. “This new program will help foster the next generation of diverse filmmakers and storytellers, as well as supporting the local entertainment industry’s workforce.”