Press Release

Pace University’s Writing for Diversity and Equity in Theater and Media Program Receives Grant from The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation

October 6, 2022

Pace University’s Bachelor of Arts in Writing for Diversity and Equity in Theater and Media Arts, housed in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, has received a two-year, $609,000 grant from The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation that continues its support of the program.

S Brian Jones

The only program of its kind in the tri-state area, the BA in Writing for Diversity and Equity in Theater and Media is one of Dyson College’s newest programs. The major provides a unique opportunity for students who wish to develop their own voices as writers through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to produce content for film, television, theater, streaming, and narrative gaming.

Providing a truly unique experience, the program supports the student in both developing top-notch writing and content creation skills, as well as learning how to navigate the media landscape for success. “The student in this major will develop creative content not ascribing for a seat at the writers’ table but build their own table where their unique voice will be valued, developed, and heard,” said S. Brian Jones, assistant dean of Diversity and Equity in the Arts at Dyson College.

“Students will benefit from a 360-degree, immersive academic program that enhances their academic learning with connections to professional development and career readiness opportunities, including workshops with local and national writers, tours of local New York City theater companies, and discourse on the intersection of writing and DEI with industry professionals,” Jones explains.

As an interdisciplinary program, it combines courses from Film and Screen Studies, English, and American Studies, including specific wholistic DEI courses on gender, race, class, disability, and LGTBQ+IA identity. This fall, students will take masterclasses with award-winning playwright Jonathan Payne and the only African-American woman serving as a narrative director in narrative gaming Novera King.

Through the combination of the program’s theoretical foundations and industry-specific learning experiences, students graduating from the program will be prepared to understand and have access to avenues through which to have their work produced, share their writing portfolios to obtain an agent or manager, apply to grants and fellowships as independent artists, or go on to further study.

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation has supported the program since its beginning in 2018. At that time, the program sought to enroll five students. It now has more than doubled its goal as interest in the major has grown quickly, with 11 students enrolled this fall.

“We are so proud of the unique and inspiring experiences this program has developed for students in just a few short years,” said Tresmaine R. Grimes, PhD, Dean of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education. “The additional funding from The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation is a testament to the program’s progress and its bright future that lies ahead.”

About The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation
The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation’s mission includes “harnessing legacy, promoting excellence, catalyzing change, and building an inclusive society” through building philanthropic partnerships. Through a business mindset that focuses on strategic thinking, The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation supports projects in arts, entrepreneurship, health, and education, aiming to impact the public good.

About Pace University
Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success because of its unique programs that combine immersive academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College, offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as many courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices.

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