2010 - March 19
Arts Work Foundation Secures Film Rights to Matthew Johnson Story
Los Angeles -- Arts Work Foundation, a not-for-profit whose film division benefits arts education programs, has secured the life story rights of social entrepreneur Matthew Johnson, founder of Milwaukee’s Strive Media Institute, it was announced today by
Arts Work Foundation CEO Jim Cushinery.
The property will be developed into a dramatic feature-length film depicting the humble beginnings and much-challenged operation of Strive’s mass communications education center that, under Johnson, served Milwaukee’s disadvantaged youth for eighteen years.
The film is among the first of Arts Work Foundation’s slate of projects to offer internships to young people struggling to remain in the educational system and grant profits to existing arts education programs.
“Matthew’s extraordinary impact on these kids is a classic story of an unsung hero whose contributions continue to resonate throughout his community and culture,” said Cushinery. “This story is a perfect fit with Arts Work’s mission to promote creative thought through arts education.”
Over the past twenty years the results of Johnson’s commitment and innovative approach have had a direct influence on the success of its students. An impressive 100% of SMI’s alumni have attended college, many employed with acclaimed journalistic outletsacross the country. His accomplishments and contributions have been recognized with numerous honors and awards, including two Emmy awards for Outstanding Children’s Programming for the television series, “Gumbo TV” and “Teen Forum.”
Johnson’s vision and passion parallels that of Arts Work Foundation’s mission of developing untapped creative potential in young people from depressed communities into skills specific to the film industry. By encouraging, engaging and empowering students thru real-world experience, hands-on training and mentorship, they develop positive attitudes, self-confidence, team skills and a responsible work ethic, preparing them for a successful career transition into the workforce. Proceeds raised through Arts Work film projects will be used to supplement arts education programs in schools and organizations in communities across the country.