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Apply to the YouTube Creator Institute’s inaugural class

By Bing Chen

Global Creator Initiatives Manager

People who create content for YouTube today come from all walks of life: aspiring filmmakers, moms with cooking shows, teenage gossip vloggers, fantasy football commentators, ironing skydivers—the list goes on and on.

Very often, these dedicated YouTubers wear several hats at once: actor, writer, director, producer, cinematographer, studio head, and lead marketer—in other words, to get their videos to the world, they need to know how to do it all. But we figure there are people out there who’ve always wanted to express themselves through video, but may be limited by funding, video-making skills, insufficient tools, or just knowing where to start. That’s why today we’re establishing the YouTube Creator Institute - the first initiative from YouTube Next - to help nurture these content creators, existing YouTube partners, and the next generation of stellar YouTube talent with the skills they need to thrive online and offline.

We’ve worked with some of the world’s leading film and television schools to put together the YouTube Creator Institute. Based both at YouTube and onsite at the campuses of our institutional partners, participants will learn from a unique new media curriculum, apply new media tools, find out how to build their audiences, be promoted globally on the YouTube platform, and engage with industry leaders and experts. Participants will learn everything from story arcing to cinematography, money-making strategies to social media tactics. The wider YouTube community will be able to learn along the way, too, by following the rise of the YouTube Creator Institute’s inaugural class on YouTube this summer.

The inaugural YouTube Creator Institute programs begin in the United States in May this year.

The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts is the country’s first film school and regarded as one of the leading schools in the world, with an alumni base of industry leaders and an array of notable accolades. The YouTube-USC Creator Institute takes place from May 25 until June 22 in Los Angeles, CA.

Columbia College Chicago’s Television Department has been innovating around new online media strategies for years, with students creating award-winning web-isodes while investigating new opportunities in the online space. The YouTube-Columbia College Chicago Creator Institute begins on May 31 and ends on July 22 in Chicago, IL.

Any U.S. citizen over 18 is welcome to apply, and candidates may apply online at from now until March 25. Applications include two short answer questions and a maximum two-minute demonstration of the creator’s craft, whether it be a short film, a clip of a personal cooking show, or a snapshot of a nature expedition. Afterwards, the YouTube community will vote for two weeks between March 28 and April 8 for their favorite creators. The top voted candidates will move on to the final round, where our film and television school partners will choose the inaugural class for each of their programs, which will be announced on April 20. Learn more about the application and judging criteria.

Stay tuned for more YouTube Creator Institute and creator opportunities in the near future.