The UC Theater’s Concert Career Pathways Education and Workforce Training Program – Applications Open for 8th Cohort
By Joan Rosenberg
The Berkeley Music Group is a 501c3 non profit organization founded in 2012 to run and operate The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, and is dedicated to ensuring that it strengthens the Bay Area’s vibrant fabric of nonprofit arts & service organizations. The UC Theatre’s education program – Concert Career Pathways (CCP) – is a donor-supported workforce training program that applies the “venue as a classroom” methodology to remove the barriers of entry into the live music industry for young people from historically marginalized communities. Through this free 9-month program, young people ages 17 to 25 learn the technical, creative, and business aspects of concert and festival promotion, while developing the critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success in a career in live music and festival industries.
The marketing team at The UC Theater services the entire organization from ticket sales, to brand awareness, and support for the education programs. Being responsible for the contributed and earned revenue, as well as supporting all departments comes with its challenges. Because The UC Theatre is a nonprofit independent music venue, which reopened in 2016, the marketing challenge has been to delicately weave the venue brand to the mission of the education program: removing the barriers of entry into the live music industry for young people from historically marginalized communities. So threading the story and impact of CCP with concert promotion lends itself to special nuances in messaging and calls to action. The education program needs the support of donors, while the shows need ticket sales.
Now in its 7th Cohort, The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways Program has guided more than 150 young people through a rigorous career training program, enabling participants to break into the live music industry well equipped with work experience, tangible hands-on skills, new resumes, and professional connections –– not to mention an entire network of supportive mentors working to ensure all participants achieve relevant employment opportunities upon graduation.
The UC Theatre’s internship program has had incredible success helping young people find work in a field that they love, since it was launched in 2015.
- 80% job placement in participants area of interest
- 77% young people of color
- 60% are female identifying or non-binary
- 23% LGBTQ+
- 58% low income
- Over 159 participants
- 500+ hours of hands-on training
David M. Mayeri, founder and CEO of The UC Theatre, launched the first CCP Cohort as a pilot program known as the “Youth Advisory Board,” one year before opening The UC Theatre, alongside former Education Director, Robyn Bykofsky (a position now held by Shakeea T. Smith). Mayeri’s goal of removing the barriers into the music industry has come to fruition. Graduates of the program are able to share their stories now and for years to come about how they are living the lives they imagined. Passion combined with effort, diligence, and patience has paid off for many Concert Career Pathways participants.
Meet CCP Alumni Maritza
Ever since she was a kid, Maritza has envisioned herself being a part of the music industry. However, it was always difficult for her to imagine a career in the live music field, where she believed that it was unattainable for her.
Applying to the Concert Career Pathways (CCP) program has given Maritza the opportunity to sharpen her skills within the different facets of the music business.
“I have learned so much from working behind the scenes in the office and at shows. During my time in the program, I loved exploring different aspects of the live music industry, such as lighting, merch, education, and so much more.”
After graduating from the CCP program Martiza now works at The UC Theatre as its Education Coordinator. One of Maritza’s dreams is to one day open a music venue with similar values and educational opportunities for young folks living in the Central Valley, where she grew up.
“I want to remain involved in the educational aspects, helping new CCPs and younger folks learn new skills and be able to follow their dreams like I am.”
Applications for the 8th Cohort are open now. All youth focused organizations are welcome to encourage any young person ages 17 to 25 who is interested in participating in the 23-24 Concert Career Pathways program to apply here by May 15th. The next cohort begins in August 2023.
Donations to support the program can be made at The UC Theatre website.
The cost of putting 1 participant through the program is $12,500, which includes a paid internship and job placement support.
Donations and Grants provide:
- 9-Month Free Workforce Development Program
- Hands-On Paid Internships
- Music Industry Mentorships
- Behind-The-Scenes Industry Tours
- Interactive Advanced Workshops
- Professional and Peer Networking
- Guest Speakers
- Music Business Job Placement