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California State Senate Honors Non-Profit Cinemagic CEO Joan Burney-Keatings in Los Angeles

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During Cinemagic’s annual Gala showcase in LA, the 35th district of the California State Senate honored Chief Executive Joan Burney-Keatings. The gala was hosted at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, last week. 

The Cinemagic Charity and Burney-Keatings both received Certificates of Recognition from California State Senate Senator Steven Bradford, presented by the Senator’s district representative Jasmine Leon Guerrero. 

Cinemagic was recognized for the organization’s ability to help young people fulfill their dreams in the film industry. 

Working with over 40,000 students a year, the Charity has provided young people with an assortment of new skills. 

Cinemagic’s programs, events, and work in diverse communities were highlighted. Specifically the charity’s recent collaboration with Jordan High School in Watts, a disadvantaged area in Los Angeles. 

Cinemagic often works with children in areas like Watts. Senator Steven Bradford, who represents the Watts community, spoke to the charity’s values when he said, “a student’s access to enriching experiences should not be limited by their postal code.”

The senator also praised the charity’s work towards expanding the industry, “Cinemagic and its Chief Executive Joan Burney-Keatings are laying the groundwork for the next generation of filmmakers and the diverse workforce that will drive this exciting and creative career field.”

While accepting the award, Joan Burney-Keatings spoke about what these honors mean to the charity, “these prestigious certificates affirm the meaningful work our charity has undertaken for over three decades: creating an artistic platform for young individuals to freely express themselves.” 

She went on to thank the California Senator for his support of Cinemagic, “We have the utmost appreciation for Senator Bradford and his district for acknowledging Cinemagic’s efforts and their commitment to supporting our cause to create a secure and inclusive environment for cinema enthusiasts and the broader arts community.”

Sponsored by NI connections, the gala showcased the work of 40 young people from Los Angeles and Belfast. 

It marked the end of a week-long program for the students from Belfast participating in IGNITE, a youth leadership project created by George Best Belfast City Airport.

Throughout the immersive week-long program, the students engaged in a diverse set of learning experiences from professionals spanning multiple areas within the entertainment industry. This included hands-on workshops, one-on-one mentorship sessions, interactive panel discussions, and practical learning experiences from industry experts in film production, scriptwriting, directing, cinematography, and even special effects.

In the world of film production, the students were granted a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the meticulous planning and coordination that goes into bringing a cinematic vision to life. Experienced producers shared their wisdom on budgeting, location scouting, and coordinating large teams to ensure a smooth production process.

This unique educational week presented students with an unparalleled insight into the multifaceted world of filmmaking, equipping them with valuable knowledge, skills, and a deeper appreciation of the art form. Their exposure to a myriad of industry professionals offered a wealth of experience that goes beyond the traditional classroom, marking the start of their journey into the dynamic world of entertainment.

Cinemagic works internationally to bring these experiences to young people around the world. Learn more about Cinemagic here.


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