Derek Hartley and Romaine Patterson have worked in broadcast media for nearly fifteen years. Throughout their careers they have been committed to entertaining, educating and informing audiences all around the world and giving back to support causes that are important to them. Over the years, they have raised more than $250,000 for various charities encouraging sexual and gender equality, the fight against HIV/AIDS and support for homeless and at-risk youth. 

With a generous start grant from the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Studio A launched in August 2016. Studio A is a state-of-the-art digital broadcast facility to foster and encourage the next generation of content creators. Using the latest digital media software and equipment, Studio A is available to provide a platform for established and emerging voices as well as a training ground for future careers in broadcast media. 

In the fall of 2016, Derek and Romaine partnered with the LGBT Center and the Ali Forney Center to create a digital media intern program. This paid internship is designed to train the next generation of content creators in the basics of 21st century broadcasting including editing, sound board operations, call screening, social media, audio software programs, and live show production through both a basic and an advanced internship at the Studio A location. 

Thanks to the continuing support of the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, this vision for Studio A has been realized and attracted additional support from other foundations and individual donors. In Feb 2017, the first intern began training at Studio A. Beginning in May 2017, Studio A moved into a larger space and added a second intern while the first intern returned for the advanced phase of his internship.

As part of the internship, the interns create and produce their own news and information programming with the monthly podcast Sip On This.  Additionally, the Studio A location is available for other content creators and non-profit entities to launch and produce programs 

The work of Studio A doesn’t begin and end inside the studio itself. We are working to identify other media companies, independently produced shows and other entities that can also partner with Ali Forney and the LEAP program to create more internship opportunities in the field of digital media. The Ali Forney Center and the LEAP Program provide critical life and work skills for homeless LGBT youth. We are proud to support their efforts and to encourage others who can to do the same. 

We also encourage traditional broadcasters and digital media companies to look to our field of trained interns for future job opportunities. Our hope is that internships at Studio A will provide the 21st century job skills that propel participants into digital media careers and a better future for everyone.

None of this would have been possible without the vision and support of the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, the continuing work of the LGBT Center and the Ali Forney Center as well as individual donors who share our desire to create a space to foster creativity and innovation. 

To make a one-time or recurring donation to directly support these efforts, click here. For more on the Ali Forney Center and the LEAP Program, click here.