February 1, 2021

Curiosity joins forces with ONE School to launch midwest program

Applications now accepted for groundbreaking free portfolio school for Black creatives.

Cincinnati, OH — February 1, 2021 –  Curiosity, an award-winning creative solutions agency in Cincinnati, is officially partnering with ONE School to launch a  Midwest program for Black creative talent. The move comes following overwhelming demand for The One Club for Creativity’s free portfolio program. 

The new Midwest cohort will be co-run in Chicago by a pair of top creatives at Burrell Communications – Lewis Williams, chief creative officer and Terrence Burrell, VP, creative director. Curiosity serves as the only Cincinnati-based agency sponsor for the Midwest cohort. 

The team will work closely with Spotify Creative Director Oriel Davis-Lyons, who runs the program and heads the New York school, and Ez Blaine, ECD at ChowNow, who handles the program in Los Angeles. Curiosity joins other advertising agency sponsors including BBDO, Leo Burnett, The Martin Agency, and many more.

“When we saw this program launch on the East and West Coasts, we knew we needed to bring it home to the Midwest,” said Ashley Walters, Curiosity’s chief development officer and partner. “Cincinnati is a thriving creative community, home to six Fortune 500 companies, including CPG giant P&G, and welcoming more diverse thoughts, ideas and talent makes our work and our city better. This partnership is one step toward greater equality in our region.

ONE School creative briefs are written by Black strategists and taught by Black tutors and lecturers, and students are paired with Black mentors in the industry. The program also eschews a traditional teacher-student dynamic, with tutors and mentors providing an open forum to discuss important issues of culture and personal confidence. 

“It’s not enough to just come up with great creative ideas, you also have to know how to manage agency culture and clients,” said Burrell’s Lewis Williams.  “I want to help young Black creatives be successful in communicating in that world without compromising who they are, and that’s central to the ONE School mission.”

for ONE School are now being accepted, with a deadline of March 7, 2021. Applicants are selected based on raw creativity, passion, and commitment so as not to discourage those with no prior knowledge of advertising.  They must submit a brief video on why they want to be an advertising creative, provide examples of their creativity in personal or professional projects, and respond to a brief.

The free online school runs two nights a week for 16 weeks, with students getting 10 briefs over the course covering everything from OOH to innovation and data-driven storytelling.  Due to the hands-on mentoring aspect of the program, enrollment in each city is limited to 15 students who have not previously attended an ad school.

ONE School launched last September, with the first group of 30 participants set to graduate this month. These students will have their portfolios reviewed by sponsor agencies and brands – who have first opportunities for hiring. Some of the graduates have even asked if they can serve as teaching assistants for the Spring program. 

In addition to this first group of graduates, 79 applicants who weren’t accepted into the program last fall were placed by The One Club in mentorships with multiple leading agencies and are eligible to reapply for the Spring sessions.


About Curiosity 

Curiosity is a fast-growing independent creative solutions agency with four superpowers: strategy, creative, media and analytics, all driven by curiosity. We use our extreme curiosity to strategically solve business and marketing challenges for courageous clients such as Procter & Gamble, Native, Formica, and Western & Southern Financial Group. Recognized by the International Webby Awards for “Best Social Media Campaign,” Communication Arts for digital advertising, Campaign US for Agency of the Year business development team, and the Cincinnati Business Courier as a “Best Place to Work,” we ask the right questions to solve the right challenges because we believe curiosity is the key to unlocking the right solutions.

Curiosity is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, the branding capital of the world and home to six Fortune 500 companies.

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