Over the summer, Beats announced the continuation of their HBCU Creators Program, a three-month paid cultural immersion learning program designed to help current HBCU students and recent HBCU graduates further their talents and skills. 

The program ran from July to September and allowed Black creatives to “gain mentorship and exposure from industry leaders through a world-class curriculum that supports the full creative process from ideation to design development,” according to Beats. 

Students were welcomed into a “village of creators” and were encouraged to lean on and support each other to reach their highest potential.

The program was split into two tracks: Content Creators and Custom Creators. 

Content Creators included filmmakers, scriptwriters, photographers, videographers, content editors, etc., while Custom Creators were reserved for illustrators, digital artists, fashion designers, painters, graphic designers, mixed media artists, cartoonists, and graffiti artists.

The Content Creators were able to sharpen their storytelling skills by learning to create branded content. They were given a creative brief and worked in teams to create two 60 to 90-second-long social films. 

Under the theme ‘Black Futurism,’ the creatives produced unique short films titled “Maze” and “Black Star” for Beats’ social channels. “Maze,” is a psychological thriller about coping with loss with technology, while “Black Star,” is described as “a person and a place, is an insightful story of creative liberation by facing one’s fears and trusting in oneself.”

The videographer and editor for the film “Maze,” Bria Dickerson said being amongst other HBCU creatives was a fulfilling experience. “It’s a breath of fresh air to have HBCU students be together, create together because we are the story, we have always been the story,” Dickerson said. 

Under the Customs Track, creators were able to learn about product design and development and had the opportunity to assist the Customs Product Team in developing an idea for a future custom product seeding. Creators were responsible for gathering and presenting insights for a Custom Headphone and its respective packaging design. 

The HBCU Creators Program is a part of Beats’ pledge to continuously build a platform that uplifts the next generation of young Black creatives.

“In a world that needs to be redefined and reconstructed, empowering Black imaginations are more important than ever,” Beats stated in a release. “We are more than participants in a moment. We are pioneers in a movement. The core of Black Future starts with you!”