HBO gives Howard U. $1M for students pursuing arts and entertainment careers

Howard University said the Coates-Forbes-Watson-HBO Dream Seekers Endowed Fellowship wasmade possible through an HBO gift, in the names of Howard alumni Ta-Nehisi Coates, Kamilah Forbes and Susan Kelechi Watson. (Courtesy Howard University)

Howard University received a $1 million donation from HBO to establish an endowment fund benefiting students interested in careers in the arts and entertainment industries.

It will provide stipends for students to use toward living and travel expenses related to accepting internships at entertainment companies in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere. Any student, regardless of current field of study, can apply for the stipends.

HBO made the announcement in in conjunction with an upcoming HBO special, “Between the World and Me,” based on a best-selling book by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a Howard graduate.

Coates is the executive producers. Howard alumni Kamilah Forbes directs, and the special includes actress Susan Kelechi Watson, who is a Howard graduate.

Coates, Forbes and Watson say it was their experience at Howard that helped them create a strong foundation on which to excel.

“As products of Howard University, we deeply believe in the responsibility to give as much as was given to us. We are inspired to see that same spirit in HBO’s gift to Howard–an institution which has not just given so much to us, individually, but to all of America,” they said in a joint statement.

The fund is named the Coates-Forbes-Watson-HBO Dream Seekers Endowed Fellowship.

“The costs affiliated with living in cities like Los Angeles and New York can push the benefits of accepting an internship out of reach for many college students today,” said David P. Bennett, vice president of development and alumni relations.

“The Coates-Forbes-Watson-HBO Dream Seekers Endowed Fellowship will go a long way in closing that gap and make a significant difference among Howard students for years to come.”

HBO’s “Between the World And Me” premieres this fall. The stage performance was originally done at the Apollo Theater and the Kennedy Center.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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