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Empire State Development Hosts Fifth New York State Multicultural Creativity Virtual Summit To Encourage Broader Diversity And Inclusion Within State’s Entertainment Industry

Annual Event Co-hosted with the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and Urbanworld Virtual Forum Enables Diverse Content Creators to Connect with Entertainment Industry Leaders for Career Advice and Guidance

Empire State Development (ESD) today co-hosted the fifth annual New York State Multicultural Creativity Summit, an all-virtual interactive workshop that guides content creators of diverse backgrounds to better understand and advance their careers within the film and television industry. Hosted by the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development and the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in partnership with Urbanworld, the Summit is another example of New York State’s commitment to promote the inclusion of diverse voices in the entertainment industry.  

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate Hope Knight. “At Empire State Development, we are committed to helping increase diversity and inclusion throughout all industries in New York State. The Multicultural Creativity Summit is a way to highlight the strides we have made in the film and television industry and to learn how we can do more.  I want to thank our partners, the Motion Picture Association and Urbanworld, for their collaboration as we work for a brighter future for every New Yorker who wishes to work and grow this industry, which is vital to New York State’s economy.”

The Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development (MPTV) works closely with studios, non-profit organizations and film festival curators to promote New York State’s talent and help expand pathways for aspiring filmmakers, writers and producers. The interactive workshop featured panel discussions that provided advice and guidance for diverse content creators looking to advance their careers in the film and television industry. 

Speakers at the event included: Karen Home, Senior VP Equality and Inclusion, Programs, WarnerMedia; Brett King, Vice President, Creative Programming, Diversity & Inclusion, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Emerlynn Lampitoc, VP of Creative Talent & Content, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group; Axel Caballero, Head of WarnerMedia OneFifty & VP of Artistic and Cultural Innovations; Jinny Howe, VP, Drama Series Development, Netflix; and others.  

This is the fifth Multicultural Creativity Summit. The first three events were hosted in May 2017 (HBO Theatre); October 2018 (HBO Theatre), and December 2019 (SkySquare Conference Center at Viacom) – all in New York City. In November 2020, the event was presented virtually for the first time.  

“Over the course of our diversity, equity, and inclusion program’s 10-year history, the Motion Picture Association has established partnerships and programs that have expanded opportunities for a more inclusive group of creators in front of and behind the camera,” said Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association. “We are proud to once again co-host the New York State Multicultural Creativity Summit with Empire State Development and Urbanworld as a part of our overall effort to support inclusive storytelling in New York and throughout the film, television, and streaming industry.”  

“Urbanworld is celebrating a 25-year legacy of advancing the inclusion and impact of diverse content creators in New York and around the world,” said Gabrielle Glore, Festival Director and Head of Programming at Urbanworld.  “It is our mission-aligned collaborations with the Motion Picture Association and Empire State Development that enable us to continue thriving, while providing essential platforms for storytellers as they navigate the industry and make their mark.” 

Today’s Summit is part of a larger statewide initiative to increase diversity and inclusion and create equal opportunities in the film and television industry. New York State is home to  the first-in-the-nation New York Entertainment Workforce Diversity Grant Program. Launched in April 2021, the program provides financial assistance in the form of grants for job creation and training programs that support efforts to recruit, hire, promote, retain, develop and train a diverse and inclusive workforce for the motion picture and television production and post-production industries in New York State. Additionally, the Film & TV Diverse Suppliers Directory was created in 2017 to increase diversity throughout New York’s thriving entertainment industry; connecting productions with quality vendors throughout the state and helping local businesses reap the benefits of working with this rapidly growing industry 

 About the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development 

The New York State Governor's Office of Motion Picture & Television Development, a division of Empire State Development, aims to grow and support the film, television and commercial industry by guiding filmmakers through the many programs and assets New York State has to offer, promoting and publicizing the state’s infrastructure, talent and film production, post-production, and commercial tax incentives for qualified expenditures in New York State. The office also serves as a liaison between production companies and city and local governments, state agencies, a network of statewide contacts, local film offices and professional location scouts and managers. More information on filming in New York State or the Film Production and Post Production Tax Credit Programs can be found here.  

About Empire State Development 

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov


Kristin Devoe (ESD) | [email protected] | (518) 414-1087

ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313