AICE & AMP partner on post/music mentorship program

Trade associations AICE and AMP (Assn. of Music Producers) have teamed up to launch PrePro, a new mentorship program to help local high school and college students explore careers in post and music for advertising.

The PrePro diversity program, open to students age 17 to 23, will kick off this coming semester in the active Chicago and New York chapters. Other chapters will follow as the year progresses.

Heading the Chicago initiative are Craig Duncan of Cutters, president of the AICE International Board and Jon Desir of Optimus and an AICE Chicago board member.

 Their first efforts will be to line up mentors from among AICE Chicago‚Äôs 21 member companies and to line up schools to contact for PrePro candidates.  They also plan to work with Free Spirit Media youth training, says Desir, who last week was voted president of the Free Spirit board of directors.

PrePro entees will get hands-on learning opportunities in editing, audio mixing, visual effects, music scoring and related disciplines. They also will receive guidance to help them obtain the skills needed to land an entry level position in the industry, Desir notes.

The idea of ways to encourage more diversity in advertising occurred to Duncan and Desir, who had been talking about it for several months, around the same time it was being discussed in New York by Marlene Bartos of Yessian Music and a past AMP president, and Gloria Pitagorsky of Heard City, an AICE international board member.

Duncan pitched initiative idea to the AICE Board, which enthusiastically supported the effort, while Bartos took it to AMP president Jason Menkes, partner/EP of COPILOT Music + Sound, who jumped right in.

There are now eight members on the Chicago committee working to organize a local PrePro program. Besides internships, the program will offer mentoring, job shadowing and other activities currently being determined, says Desir, who can be reached at 312/276-2283.