Nickelodeon Names Participants of 11th Annual Fellowship for Diverse Writers
BURBANK, Calif., Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Nickelodeon has named three new participants for its 11th annual Fellowship for Diverse Writers, it was announced today by Karen Kirkland, Executive Director, Nickelodeon Fellowship for Diverse Writers. Kevin Arietta, a New York University graduate and former NYPD cadet, Kiyong Kim, an award-winning writer, director and illustrator graduate of Massachusetts School of Art, and Brian Stampnitsky, a sketch comedian and film school graduate of Vassar, will join the 2010-2011 Nickelodeon fellowship program that offers hands-on writing experience on current live-action and animated series. Additionally, two of last years fellows were recently placed on staff of Nickelodeon’s animated hit series Fanboy & Chum Chum and The Penguins of Madagascar.
“Kevin, Kiyong and Brian are an amazing addition to our successful roster of writing fellows,” said Kirkland. “The program gives us an opportunity to develop talent whose cultural experiences have traditionally remained underrepresented in television and film. We’re excited that their voices and point of view will be included in Nickelodeon programming and the entertainment industry at large.”
Created to broaden Nickelodeon’s outreach efforts, the fellowship is designed to attract, develop and staff new and experienced, culturally and ethnically diverse writing talent on Nickelodeon network productions. Operating in a three-phased structure, the fellowship provides a salaried position for one year, and offers first-hand experience writing spec scripts, pitching story ideas in both live-action and animation television. Fellows have the opportunity to nurture relationships with creators, network executives, line producers, head writers, show runners and story editors.
The 2010-2011 Nickelodeon writing fellows:
Kevin Arrieta, a graduate of New York University’s Dramatic Writing program, has only been in Los Angeles for a few months. His belief that strong characters make for good storytelling is only exemplified in his love of classic Nickelodeon programming, like Doug, Pete & Pete, Ren & Stimpy and Rocko’s Modern Life. While at NYU, Kevin took a job as a NYPD Cadet to help him pay his bills. Upon graduating, he had the opportunity to become a police officer, but he decided to follow his dream of becoming a writer.
Kiyong Kim graduated with honors from the Massachusetts College of Art with a BFA in Illustration. While in art school, he also took several creative writing classes at Emerson College and he began to find his voice. Kiyong is an award-winning writer, director and illustrator and believes that relatable characters with an emotional conflict make for good storytelling. Kiyong is certainly committed to his craft having put in a least 1000 writing hours this year alone. He’s excited that he gets to tell his friends that when he’s watching TV, it’s for “research.”
Brian Stampnitsky is a Vassar graduate with a BA in Film Studies, and is a self-described “…sitcom-obsessed, comic book-loving, introspective misfit.” After college he spent four years with a sketch comedy trio in NY and grew popular enough to play shows at Caroline’s, Gotham and Stand Up NY. Brian believes that good storytelling stems from an emotional journey that the audience can relate to. Brian has a definite sense of style and humor which is reflected in his writing. On his first day in the Nick Writing Fellowship, he wore SpongeBob boxers for inspiration– now that’s commitment!
The Nickelodeon Fellowship for Diverse Writers was established in 2000 and receives well over 1,000 applications each year. The three new fellows join an alumni group of 31 who have gone on to freelance and staff positions at various networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Disney, Kids’ WB!, PBS, Cartoon Network and the CW. For more information go to www.nickwriting.com.
Alumni of the program include:
Radha Blank ('00-'01): Little Bill, The Backyardigans Courtney Lilly ('00-'01): Invader Zim, Arrested Development, Everybody Hates Chris, The Cleveland Show Sameer Asad ('05-'06): Mind of Mencia, Aliens in America, Modern Family May Chan ('05-'06): Ni Hao Kai-lan, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Phineas and Ferb, Hank, Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures Alessia Constantini ('05-'06): The X's, Scrubs Ron Holsey ('05-'06): Ned's Declassified, Just Jordan, Martha Speaks, Curious George, Brave, Johnny Test, Big Time Rush Jessica Gao ('06-'07): Barnyard, The Mighty B!, Kung Fu Panda, Fish Hooks, Big Time Rush Kerri Grant ('07-'08): The Backyardigans, The Fresh Beat Band Itai Grunfeld ('07-'08): Fanboy and Chum Chum Ed Valentine ('07-'08): Ni Hao, Kai-lan, The Fairly OddParents, Sesame Street Ivory Floyd ('08-'09): The Penguins of Madagascar Jonathan Butler ('09-'10): Fanboy and Chum Chum Gabriel Garza ('09-'10): The Penguins of Madagascar
Nickelodeon, now in its 31st year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).