Hi, I am Abiola Agbayewa, the new programs outreach manager with the National Screen Institute.
My academic background is in psychology. I have been fascinated by human behaviour, emotions and ways of being for as long as I can remember. My love of movies, TV shows and, as an adult, podcasts, stems from that. They provide beautiful glimpses of the spectrum of humanity and experiences outside of my own. That is why I am so passionate about what the National Screen Institute does — bringing the work of underrepresented creators to light.
I am interested in growing to achieve true equity and equality. To do so, we must see, meet, listen to and co-exist with people the same and different from us. Storytellers provide opportunities for that to happen.
I have worked for several years as a freelance writer, writing a lot of poetry, some fiction and informational articles. I love learning, so it’s a dream to be able to talk to people about the things they are excited about and find a sense of purpose in.
As programs outreach manager, I work with the National Screen Institute’s directors and program managers to amplify the organization’s voice. By reaching out to as many underrepresented communities across the country as possible, we can communicate with a growing number of creators and storytellers. We can share information about our programs and encourage these creators to apply for training and mentorship. As part of my role, I foster connections with potential program applicants, alumni, sponsors, partners and government agencies.
My knowledge of pop culture is vast. I am constantly surprised by the ’90s pop culture references that pop out of my mouth. My love of movies and TV shows reached a fever pitch when my friends began to call me ‘IMDb.’ At different points in my life, I had a VHS rewinder, an anti-shock discman, a Sega Genesis and a DVD player. Every year, my Spotify Wrapped lists display a testament to those times.
My forays into written and audio programming have given me an increased appreciation for the necessity of collaboration, training and mentorship. That is another reason why I am excited to join the National Screen Institute team at this point in my career. Playing even a small part in helping a storyteller’s vision come to life is something my younger self has been nudging into existence for years. And now here we are!