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Kelley Johnson: The Harvardwood Guide to Hollywood

March 14th, 2010 No comments

 

In 1999, a few years before Kelley Johnson graduated from college, three Harvard alums working in Los Angeles organized Harvardwood — a Hollywood-based nonprofit network for sharing information, resources and professional development among students, alumni, staff and faculty working in the arts, media and entertainment fields. Now, in just over 10 years, Harvardwood, founded by Stacy CohenAdam Fratto and Mia Riverton,  has 3,000 worldwide members and chapters in several major cities, including Boston and New York. Johnson was an economics concentrator at Harvard, but she likes to say she earned an ”unofficial minor” in music performance – including with the Kuumba Singers and Radcliffe Choral Society. After college, she sang in an Afro funk band, which eventually led the New Jersey native to Los Angeles. She’s still singing. (Watch the video!) And she is also director of Harvardwood. For students interested in pursuing arts, media and entertainment careers, the path after college may not be clear. “If you want to be an artist, write for Hollywood, get a record deal, there are fewer resources,” says Johnson. “Harvardwood helps fill that void. Everything is still a challenge, but it’s less of a challenge if you have someone to say: ‘Here’s step one.’”