Entertainment Industry Leaders Partner with MPAC to Cultivate Opportunities in Television in Houston

— MPAC welcomes representatives from WeTV, TVOne, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television, Will Packer Television, some of television’s most popular shows, along with local journalists and other major players for a two-day forum —

Houston, TXMack Performing Arts Collective (MPAC) welcomed aspiring media leaders, including local high school students and teachers, on February 17th for a two-day TV Forum examining television broadcast and digital content from development to distribution. The event, which is free for high schoolers, is part of the organization’s “It’s a Wrap” education program, and was held at the University of Houston. It is designed to empower individuals who aspire to work in the television industry, giving them access to knowledge, skills, invaluable contacts and greater confidence.

The event was underwritten by The Wayne Duddlesten Foundation and is aligned with efforts by local political leaders to grow the city’s entertainment industry. In recent months, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has consistently championed industry growth in order to spur economic development and retain local creative talent by providing them with world class, competitive opportunities.

“Through significant partnerships between business, entertainment, nonprofit and political leaders and the provision of quality resources and training, we can empower Houston residents currently working in the entertainment industry and help cultivate the next generation of talent,” said Mayor Turner. “I am thrilled that MPAC shares our mission and commitment to prepare local talent to work and excel here at home. The young men and women who had an opportunity to attend the two-day forum had a remarkable experience.”

During the forum, panels were convened on “Reality TV: The Reality of Developing & Producing Unscripted Programming,” “From the News Desk: Covering the Story,” “Daytime TV: Developing and Producing Talk Shows & Court TV” and other topics. A long list of industry players offered insights and expert opinions, including Kim Gagne, Emmy Award-winning senior producer of the “Steve Harvey Show,” Kathy Sapp, executive producer of “Judge Faith,” Datari Turner, executive producer of “Growing Up Hip Hop,” Korin Huggins, executive producer of “Uncle Buck”, Kenneth Ware, a publicity and digital media director at Warner Bros. Worldwide Television and cast members from “Sisters in Law,” and “Snapped,” among others.

Teachers in attendance had an opportunity to earn TEA Approved CPE credit hours. Additionally, they received encouragement from Senator Boris Miles who attended the event to speak with the attendees and congratulate Jalene Mack, founder of MPAC on the event’s success.

“The TV Forum provides attendees with a wealth of information and gives them access to industry executives and producers who have the power and resources to green light projects,” said Mack, an entertainment attorney. “This year, attendees learned the importance of networking, protecting their ideas and being persistent in seeing their projects through. The lessons they learned will be key as they pursue opportunities in the entertainment industry for years to come.”

MPAC’s two-day TV Forum was executed with the help of Gary B. Wilkins, managing director of MPAC. Sponsors included D-Mars Business Journal, Houston Television, Houston Film Commission, ThinkZILLA PR Group, Ebony Magazine, Microsoft, Bella Jolie Salon & Boutique, Lamik, Thomas Jones, Lloyd Family Foundation, Digital Radio Tracker and KYND AM 1520 Radio.

For more information about MPAC and upcoming events, including sponsorship opportunities, visit www.mpac-arts.org and follow @houstonmpac on all social media.

Pictured: (left to right) Velma Trayham, Award Winning Business Expert/CEO of ThinKZILLA PR Group; Debra Duncan, Great Day Houston Host; Kim Gagne, Steve Harvey Show Former Senior Producer; Kathy Sapp- Judge Faith, Twentieth Century Fox, Exec Producer; Tera Roberson Stidum, Dr. Phil former producer, KPRC NBC Local 2 Producer; and Jerri Moore, Riding High Executive Producer

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