White Rising Voices Logo

About the program

Artists Cynthia Erivo, Janelle Monaé and Lena Waithe want to remove the traditional barriers to entry into careers in entertainment public relations. They approached ID’s Founder and CEO, Kelly Bush Novak, with a vision: a paid training program, led by ID’s team of experts, designed to launch candidates into the field without requiring the industry connections or college experience common to entry level programs. Known for its robust collegiate internship program which graduates over thirty interns a year from accredited academic programs including the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, ID welcomed the idea. Defining Moments is the result, an apprenticeship program for adults over 21 for whom a paid, part time, curated program makes entry into the industry possible. Erivo, Monaé and Waithe’s philanthropic and creative ventures (Edith’s Daughter, Wondaland and Hillman Grad Productions, respectively) and ID are funding this program. 

Four Apprentices for the inaugural program will be hand selected by Erivo, Monaé, Waithe and ID. Apprentices will join an immersive six months in ID’s team-focused culture, enjoying a comprehensive and focused introduction to the essential role of publicity with an emphasis on honing the specific administrative, research, organizational and creative skills necessary for success. Apprentices will develop the necessary research skills, be introduced to the media landscape and participate in the execution of campaign strategy and press relations. Apprentices will take part in active, hands-on substantive tasks and projects that will foster the development of written, verbal, interpersonal and analytical skills with the opportunity to translate theory into practice.  

The program will explore the evolving media landscape, the importance of strategic communications strategy and its fundamental tools through the lens of the working publicist. A full-service agency of communications strategists collaborating on behalf of talent, brands, philanthropic organizations, athletes, musicians and composers, writers, studios and networks, thought leaders, content creators and technology leaders, ID will introduce participants to the objectives, disciplines and mechanics of the role, culminating in practical experience observing client teams and campaigns. Program graduates will receive resumé coaching, interview training and introductions to industry partners for entry level job opportunities.

Defining Moments is subject to the following requirements:

Individuals must be at least 21 years of age, eligible for employment in the United States and available to participate for 26 weeks beginning on June 7, Monday through Friday with 29 hours per week during normal business hours (beginning entirely virtually but potentially involving attendance at ID’s offices in either NY or LA pending COVID-19 public safety guidelines). Individuals must submit a complete application through the Hillman Grad Productions website prior to 5pm Pacific time on the application deadline of April 29, 2021. Apprentices selected will receive technology support and a technology stipend for the program, in addition to hourly compensation.

Application Timeline
  • April 15, 2021: Application opens

  • April 29, 2021: Application closes

  • April 30-May 21, 2021: Selection process, culminating in interviews no later than the week of May 17

  • May 28, 2021: Apprentices confirmed and notified

  • June 7, 2021: 26-week program begins

  • December 10, 2021: Program concludes

 Frequently Asked Questions

What is ID?

Founded in 1993, ID remains the largest independently owned full-service communications agency in the entertainment industry with a team of 100 experts and offices in Los Angeles and New York.  

ID is a trusted partner for the world's most influential artists and performers, studios, networks, content creators, brands, philanthropic organizations, athletes and technology leaders on the planet. An innovative team of strategists, we build relationships, forge partnerships and shape conversations. We turn ideas into campaigns and issues into movements. We drive social, cultural and global awareness.

What is ID's mission?

Identity sets you apart and drives us.  

We embrace our clients’ vision, amplifying the reach and audience of their projects, passions and endeavors.

 Integrity is the driving force behind the clients we represent. As media experts, we enjoy longstanding press and industry relationships that enable the world’s most creative individuals, be they bright new talent or global icons, to experience groundbreaking and lasting cultural impact. Capturing the media cycle for major launches, personal projects and business endeavors, we curate and tailor our publicity strategy to each client —propelling media moments that are original, nuanced and memorable.  

We believe that embracing and encouraging diversity while establishing equity and inclusion at ID is essential to our continued growth and success. Through education, strategic initiatives, partnerships, policy review and development, we will continue to drive the evolution of our culture — creating an environment where diversity, multiculturalism and individuality is celebrated and every voice is heard, acknowledged and valued. We are dedicated to providing a supportive space where we share tools and resources to learn and discuss topics related to diversity and identity, actively seeking to understand the complex yet rich identities of self and other. This is a journey on which we will, both collectively and individually, embark. We commit to always keeping open minds, celebrating our unique differences, learning from one another and always treating each other with civility and respect. We have a shared responsibility to make this mission a reality.

What are the submission requirements?

All applicants must submit a complete application, including responses to five (5) short answer questions. Applicants are invited to submit any other relevant information (resumé, writing sample, etc.) for consideration.

What are the age requirements?

Individuals must be at least 21 years of age and eligible for employment in the United States.

When do applications close?

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on April 29th for consideration.

Do I need past experience in PR to be eligible for the program?

Applicants are not required to have past PR experience to be considered for the program.

How many apprentices will be accepted into the program?

Four (4) apprentices will be accepted into the inaugural program.

Apply Now
Apply Now

Advisory Board

Lena Waithe Headshot

Lena Waithe

Emmy-Award winning writer and CEO of Hillman Grad Productions

Emmy Award-winning writer, creator and actor, Lena Waithe, has established herself as talent to be reckoned with, who only continues to grow her body of work with diversity and charisma.

Waithe and her production company, Hillman Grad Productions, have become champions of spotlighting unrepresented voices, and in a short time, they have produced groundbreaking pieces of art such as the critically acclaimed debut film from Radha Blank, THE FORTY YEAR OLD VERSION, which has earned Blank the “Directing Award” at Sundance, “Best First Film” at NYFCC Awards, “Directors to Watch” at PSIFF, “Next Generation Award,” at LAFCA Awards and “Best Screenplay” at the Gotham Awards. Waithe and Hillman Grad Productions have also produced: the landmark semi-autobiographical BET series, TWENTIES, which featured the first masculine presenting Queer woman of color in a lead role; Waithe’s feature film screenwriting debut for Universal, QUEEN & SLIM, starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith and directed by Melina Matsoukas; BET’s television revival of the classic film, BOOMERANG; the short-form sneakerhead culture docuseries, YOU AIN’T GOT THESE; and the award-winning Showtime series, THE CHI.

For her success and massive efforts to elevate marginalized POC and LGBTQIA storytellers, Waithe was presented with Variety’s 2020 “Creative Impact in Producing Award” and The Hollywood Reporter’s 2020 “TV Producer of the Year,” making her the youngest to receive the honor. Waithe previously made history for being the first Black woman to win an Emmy in the category of “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series” on behalf of her episode “Thanksgiving,” which was inspired by her own powerful story of coming out to her mother. Upcoming projects for Waithe include: Amazon’s highly anticipated horror anthology series, THEM; a Sammy Davis Jr. biopic for MGM based on the 1996 biography “Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father,” the directorial debut of A.V Rockwell, A THOUSAND AND ONE; an original Amazon series based on Obehi Janice’s play FUFU & OREOS; Universal’s upcoming drama, TALENT SHOW; and the launch of The Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab, which provides opportunities for aspiring creatives to connect, grow, and accelerate their careers in television and film.

On the acting side, Waithe was most recently seen in HBO’s award-winning series, WESTWORLD, the Sundance favorite and Hulu horror satire, BAD HAIR and heard in Netflix’s beloved animated series, BIG MOUTH.

Rishi Rajani Headshot

Kelly Bush Novak

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ID

Kelly Bush Novak launched her company in 1993 with three unknown clients and a surplus of now legendary tenacity.  Renamed ID a year later, her agency celebrated its 28th anniversary in 2021, representing over 1500 high-profile clients supported by a dedicated team of one hundred in New York and Los Angeles, including the most respected publicists in the industry. 

Achieving her vision of a full-service agency of communications strategists collaborating on behalf of ID the world's most influential artists and performers, studios, networks, content creators, brands, philanthropic organizations, athletes and technology leaders on the planet, she continues to oversee all aspects of ID's business. Her innovative, team-focused company culture attracts the most talented of her peers to join her in what is now the industry's largest independently owned and operated public relations firm.

Her strategic press campaigns, wise counsel, crisis acumen and close media relationships offer Kelly the opportunity to personally represent exceptional talent including Pamela Adlon, Javier Bardem, Chance the Rapper, Alfonso Cuarón, Cynthia Erivo, Hannah Gadsby, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Janaya “Future” Kahn, John Legend, Madonna, Janelle Monáe, David Oyelowo, Seth Rogen, Joey Soloway, Lena Waithe and Serena Williams.  A trusted mentor, she advocates for her clients with are solute focus on the strength and longevity of their careers.

Kelly and her Content Team have been instrumental in the press and awards campaigns for acclaimed television from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Desus &MeroYellowstone as well as Finding Your Roots. Theatrical press campaigns under Novak and team include Academy Award winning films Parasite (2019), Roma (2018), I,Tonya (2017) and The Revenant (2015).

In 2006, Kelly led the company into brand representation with the landmark launch of Starbucks Entertainment.Today, ID's powerful brands team represents an array of prestigious clients including CORE, Nintendo, Peloton, Universal Music Group, Reddit, Stand Up To Cancer and the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

An early advocate of the power of social media, Kelly established a robust digital department, exponentially extending ID's clients' reach across both influential and nascent platforms with limitless opportunities for integrated marketing, promotions and strategic partnerships. ID's digital fluency makes all of ID's strategists experts in the social media landscape.

In 2008, Kelly founded VIEEntertainment, where she manages Oscar® nominated actor, producer and activist Elliot Page. Under the VIE banner, Kelly executive produced the feature adaptation of Jean Hegland’s novel Into the Forest and Freeheld, starring Page and Academy Award® winning actress Julianne Moore. Her previous producing credits include the Emmy® nominated HBO special, ThePee-wee Herman Show on Broadway, which marked the return of Paul Reubens’ beloved character. She was instrumental in bringing Pee-wee Herman back to audiences and set the stage for the Netflix feature, Pee-wee’s BigHoliday, produced by Judd Apatow.

A passionate voice for marriage equality, she secured the breakthrough coverage of Ellen DeGeneres' wedding on the cover of People magazine. 

She continues to represent her first major client, acclaimed actor Sir Patrick Stewart, whom she introduced to the social media landscape with unprecedented results. Not one to miss an opportunity, she encourages you to follow him @sirpatstew.   

Cynthia Erivo

Actress, Singer & Producer

Cynthia Erivo isa Grammy® Emmy® and Tony® Award-winning actress, singer and producer, as well as an Academy Award®, Golden Globe®, and SAG nominee. Erivo burst onto West End and Broadway stages in “The Color Purple,” and has since taken the world by storm.

Erivo can now be seen as Aretha Franklin in National Geographic’s Emmy-winning global anthology series GENIUS: ARETHA This upcoming season will be the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of the universally acclaimed Queen of Soul. The series premiered on NationalGeographic on March 21. 

In addition to her illustrious acting career, Erivo is a Grammy®-nominated songwriter and performer, often headlining sold-out shows, symphonies, and music spaces including the Kennedy Center Honors, the 2020 Academy Awards, the 2017 Governor’s Ball and the 2017 Grammy Awards. Erivo is currently working on her debut album with Verve/Universal Music Group, which she plans to release in the Summer of2021.

In February 2021, Erivo announced that she will be releasing a children’s book titled, Remember to Dream, Ebere on September 28. The book follows a young girl named, Ebere whose mother encourages her to dream as big as possible. Erivo wrote the book as an ode to a child’s imagination, a parent’s love and the big dreams shared by both.

Erivo will soon be starring in Apple’sROAR, an anthology series of darkly comic feminist fables, as well as the Disney remake of PINOCCHIO. She will also star in Universal’s TALENT SHOW, directed by Gandja Monteiro and written by Lena Waithe. TALENT SHOW is the story of a failed songwriter (Erivo) who returns home toChicago to lead a group of at-risk youth in their annual talent show. It was recently announced that Erivo will produce and star in a biopic about Sara Forbes Bonnetta, a 19th-century Nigerian princess who was"gifted" to Queen Victoria after being liberated from slavery.

Erivo recently starred in the HBO series THE OUTSIDER, which premiered on January 12, 2020. Thes eries is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. The series follows an unorthodox investigator and a seasoned cop investigating a gruesome murder of a local boy. 

In 2019, Erivo starred in Kasi Lemmons’ HARRIET, where she brought the legacy of Harriet Tubmanto the big screen.  Focus Features released the film in theaters on November 1,2019, and Erivo's performance was met with critical acclaim. Additionally, Erivo lent her voice to the movie’s title song, “Stand Up,” for which she co-wrote. “Stand Up” won “Best Original Song” at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Both Cynthia and “Stand Up” were nominated for two Academy Awards as well as two Golden Globe Awards in the categories of “Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” and “Best OriginalSong” respectively. Additionally, “Stand Up” received a nomination for aGrammy Award in the category of “Best Song Written for Visual Media.” The film also garnered ten NAACP nominations as well as AAFCA and Society of Composers & Lyricists Award wins.

In August 2020, Erivo launched her production company, Edith’s Daughter, and announced her first-look dea lwith MRC Television & Civic Center Media. Edith’s Daughter focuses on projects that express the beauty in the stories and people who are often overlooked and underrepresented. Erivo named Solome Williams as Vice President of the company.     

Paul Hunter Headshot

Janelle Monáe

Actor, Singer, Songwriter, Producer & Activist

Janelle Monáe is one of the most celebrated artists of our time. An 8-time Grammy-nominated singer ,songwriter, producer, performer, activist, and fashion icon, she is known worldwide for her inimitable style and visionary sound, which celebrates the spectrum of identity. Monáe’s album ‘Dirty Computer’ was nominated for two Grammy awards in the categories of ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best MusicVideo’. As a humanitarian, her position as a co-chair for When We All Vote, and her Fem the Future initiative, empowering other female filmmakers inspires and empowers not only fellow creatives but society as a whole.

In fall 2020, Janelle released her latest single “Turntables” which she wrote for the documentary “All In: TheFight for Democracy” with Stacey Abrams. The song is meant to be an anthem and inspiration for Stacey and other activists fighting for civil rights and equality. In February 2021, “Turntables” was one of the 15 songs that received the honor of being included on 93rd AcademyAwards® Shortlist for Original song.

As an actor, Janelle headlined the dramatic thriller ANTEBELLUM from the acclaimed writing and directing team, Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, which premiered on PVOD on September 18th, 2020 in the US and premieres in the UK on Friday, April 2, 2021 also on PVOD. Janelle can also recently be seen in the Gloria Steinem biopic, THE GLORIAS: A LIFE ON THE ROAD, as Dorothy Pitman Hughes. The film was released by Roadside Attractions on September 25th, 2020. In Spring 2020, Janelle starred in the second season of Amazon’s critically acclaimed series, HOMECOMING which was released in May 2020. Janelle was recently on the big screen in Kasi Lemmon’s HARRIET (Cynthia Erivo) for Focus Features, andJanelle voices the role of the wise-cracking pound dog “Peg” and performs two original songs in Disney’s remake of LADY AND THE TRAMP, in collaboration with her Wondaland Arts Society team.

In January 2021, Janelle officially announced her non-profit Fem The Future which aims to provide young womxn and girls with the resources and support they need to overcome the challenges associated with growing up in under-resourced communities of color and expand their world of opportunities by supporting and creating after-school and summer enrichment activities that increase exposure and access to a variety of careers.  

White 271 Films Logo
White 271 Films Logo
White 271 Films Logo
Heart iconcoffee icon

A Large Heading

Quam sed mus sed gravida at quis maecenas duis. Id nunc, et cras pretium nullam nunc nec, massa accumsan.

white upward arrow