Diverse Voices in Hollywood - Young Guarde Edition

06/24/2021 07:00 PM - 08:00 PM

*Please note that the event time listed is Eastern Daylight Time*

Join W&M Young Guarde Lauren Shippen '13, writer, Atypical Artists, Omar Kamara '15, directing fellow at the AFI Conservatory, and Evan Cunningham '16, producer and songwriter, will discuss diversity in the arts and entertainment industry and the focus on amplifying voices of underrepresented artists and creators. This discussion will be moderated by Liz Sykes '06, owner and producer of AVAdventure Productions.


Liz Sykes '06

Co-owner and Operator AVAdventure Productions

Liz Sykes co-owns and operates AVAdventure Productions (AVA), a multimedia and live event production company founded in 2011. AVA collaborates with people and organizations to tell their stories through compelling images or interactive events. The company's work has been featured in USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, and The Washington Post.  


Omar Kamara '15

Writer and Director 

Omar S. Kamara is a Virginia native, a first-generation Sierra Leonean American, and a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a BA in Economics. A self made filmmaker, Kamara left his full time job to pursue his passion which led him to Los Angeles and the American Film Institute, where he recently graduated. His feature screenplay, MASS AVE, was selected as a Winner of the Austin Film Festival Virtual Pitch Competition, a Finalist in the ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship, and advanced to the Second Round of Sundance's Feature Film & Producing programs. The short film proof of concept of the same name, was selected in the CAA Moebius Film Festival and is currently continuing it’s festival run. His short screenplay, RICE, was also named as a Winner of HollyShorts Screenwriting Competition. Kamara aspires to make films that mentally challenge his audiences, explore the complexities of human relationships, and tell the stories of Africa and the African Diaspora.


Lauren Shippen '13

Writer, Atypcial Artists

Lauren Shippen is a writer best known for her work in fiction podcasts. She was the creator and sole writer of the popular audio drama The Bright Sessions, which ran from 2015 to 2018.  She went on to executive produce The AM Archives and co-produce the #1 podcast Passenger List, for which she received a BBC Audio Drama Award, Webby, and British Podcast Award. Most recently, she wrote MARVELS, an audio adaptation of the popular comic. She has written three novels with Tor Teen. 


Evan Cunningham '16

Composer, Songwriter, and Producer

Evan Cunningham is an award-winning composer, songwriter, and producer. His credits include the theme from Marvel’s audio drama, MARVELS. He has worked on numerous podcasts and commercials for clients including Funny or Die, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Evan works to make compelling records with artists such as Brian León and Far Places. His music has gained millions of streams as well as recognition from Billboard and The New York Times.

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