Shondaland Opens Doors in Hollywood


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July 9, 2023—I have always admired award-winning producer, writer and director Shonda Rhimes for her programming prowess; creative mastery of television, and the successful and exciting shows that come out of her studio, Shondaland, which feature the most diverse casts on television and streaming services.

Ms. Rhimes, who is the CEO of the studio, has also been a big supporter of community projects. For example, she made it possible for the legendary director, actor, choreographer and dancer Debbie Allen to move her dance academy to a new state-of-the-art building—the Rhimes Performing Arts Center.

In line with its ongoing commitment to expand diversity, equity, inclusion and access to opportunities in the television, streaming and film industries, last year Shondaland announced two programs in partnership with Netflix. The Producers Inclusion Initiative and The Ladder aim to expand the pipeline for behind-the-scenes talent, including producers, art directors, hair and makeup professionals, costume designers, set designers, etc. The programs are a continuation of the Shondaland legacy of championing underrepresented voices both in front of and behind the camera.

Recently, Shondaland’s newsletter included an update: “How Shondaland’s Inclusion Initiatives Are Changing Hollywood and Lives.” As the political backlash against EDI&A programs, I am encouraged that Champions for the Arts are pushing back to ensure that the doors of opportunity stay open.

I hope the readers of Arts & Culture Connections will check out the update at this link. As always, I would like to know what you think. I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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