Author: Audrey Gámez

Announcing the 2020 Spark Award Winners.

Celebrating Artists. Celebrating Atlanta.

C4 Atlanta 2019 Spark Awards Luncheon is April 16, 2020

We are proud to announce the 2020 C4 Atlanta Spark Award Winners!

Get to know these great folks helping to Keep Atlanta Creative.

 

 

Charmaine Minniefield –  2020 Kamal Sinclair Artist Entrepreneur of the Year

The work of artist-activist, Charmaine Minniefield preserves Black narratives as a radical act of social justice. Firmly rooted in womanist social theory and ancestral veneration, her work draws from indigenous traditions as seen throughout Africa and the Diaspora, to explore African and African-American history, memory and ritual as an intentional push back against erasure. Her creative practice is community-based as her research and resulting bodies of work often draw from the physical archives as she excavates the stories of African-American women-led resistance and spirituality and power.Minniefield’s recent public works include projection mapping and site-specific installation insight dialogue around race, class and power. Through interdisciplinary collaboration she incorporates other art forms to virtually bridge the past to the present.  Recent projects include the mounting of “Remembrance as Resistance” during the 2018 Symposium on Race and Reconciliation presented by her alma mater, Agnes Scott College, which opened with the removal of two Confederate monuments from campus grounds and closed with the work as backdrop for the closing talk by Alice Walker on art and activism.

Minniefield’s work is featured in a number of public and private collections, and as a muralist, her walls can be seen throughout the City of Atlanta and beyond.  She was honored by Mercedes Benz as a part of their Greatness Lives Here campaign. She is featured in the 2020 US Census commercia highlighting her recent Brooklyn mural of Harriett Tubman. Minniefield currently serves as the Stuart A. Rose Library artist-in-residence at Emory University as a a part of her public art which honors the memory of over 800 unmarked graves in Atlanta’s historically segregated historic Oakland Cemetary, presented by Flux Projects.”>

Living Walls – 2020 Artist Advocate of the Year

Living Walls promotes the power of public art as a social and economic engine, providing an artistic workforce to create healthy, sustainable urban spaces for the city of Atlanta. Living Walls has facilitated over 100 public murals featured throughout the metropolitan area, created through year-round work and past annual citywide conferences attended by 5,000 art enthusiasts annually. We have featured a host of world-renowned local and international artists, with collaborative projects in Miami, South Africa, Rome, Barcelona, and Moscow. Living Walls connects public art to urban development, helping to establish Atlanta as a destination for provocative arts and culture.

 

Winner of the Artist Champion of the Year Award: Anne Tracht of Consult Art.Anne Tracht, ConsultArt – 2020 Artist Champion of the Year

About ConsultArt, Inc.

Established in 1983, ConsultArt specializes in assisting corporate and real estate development clients with the strategy, planning, acquisition and installation of artwork for dynamic mixed-use developments and office environments. We work closely with developers, architects and design teams to identify and develop site-specific locations, design strategies and project scope/scale. We program-manage the entire process of identifying best-suited artists, soliciting project concepts, making acquisitions, managing site visits and overseeing proper installation.

About Anne Lambert Tracht
Anne Lambert Tracht is President of ConsultArt, Inc., an Atlanta-based Art Consulting firm focused on corporate and residential clients. She received her BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1996 and, before joining ConsultArt, worked at Guggenheim Asher Associates in New York and Solomon Projects in Atlanta. Anne serves on the boards of numerous Atlanta art and civic organizations including the Hambidge Center, Midtown Alliance, Georgia Tech Public Art Committee, MARTA Public Art Committee and The Judith Alexander Foundation.

Photo by Cliff Robinson
Get Your Tickets to the 2020 Spark Awards

Ticket sales end April 14th! No tickets will be sold at the door, so get your tickets now.

Celebrating C4 Atlanta’s Open House + WarnerMedia Partnership

C4 Atlanta has seen many milestones in 2019. It’s hard to believe the year is almost at an end.

One of the most major things to happen to our organization this year was moving FUSE Arts Center to 132 Mitchell St this past July.

After spending a few months sprucing the place up, moving in new artists and lots more, we finally held an open house to celebrate our new space on November 14, 2019.

In addition to the new space, there was another great reason for a party – our new partnership with WarnerMedia and the WarnerMedia Creative Residency!

 

Were you there to help us celebrate? Tag us on social media @c4atlanta or use the hashtag #c4atl.

 

Check out some photos from our festivities:

 

A photo of a piece called A Moment of Transformation by Bree Stallings.
Painting on glass by artist Bree Stallings available during the art sale.

 

A photo of artists Angela Bortone and Krista Jones in Jones' art studio.
Artists Krista Jones and Angela Jones hang out in Krista’s art studio at FUSE.
A photo of artwork by Davion Alston
Work by WarnerMedia Creative Residency artist Davion Alston featured in the C4 Atlanta Gallery space.

 

A photo of people looking at artwork by Davion Alston in the C4 ATlanta Gallery Space.
Folks check out the work by Davion Alston, which combined work from previous exhibitions in a new interpretation.

 

A picture of folks hanging out in the C4 Atlanta Kitchen.
Folks hang out in the kitchen and check out the photos of C4 Atlanta artists working in their studios.

 

A photo of Katilyn Wiltsee of Warner Media in front of a wall covered in brown paper.
Kaitlyn Wiltsee of WarnerMedia talks about the importance of keeping artists in Atlanta. WarnerMedia commemorated the partnership with C4 Atlanta with a new mural inside FUSE Arts Center.

 

 

 

A photo showing Artist Michael Jones unveils his mural in FUSE Arts Center.
Artist Michael Jones unveils his mural in FUSE Arts Center with iconic Atlanta skyline images, including the WarnerMedia building.

 

A photo of people hanging out in front of Michael Jones' mural.
A fun night and a great party! Join us again at FUSE Arts Center soon!

C4 Atlanta Open House – Meet the Art Sale Artists

Hi friends!

We’re so excited to finally host you in our new facilitates for an open house! We can’t wait to finally welcome you into our new home at 132 Mitchell St SW!

In July 2019, C4 Atlanta moved into a new location just two blocks from our old home at 115 Martin Luther King Jr Dr SW in the M. Rich Building. This location had been home to FUSE Arts Center and the C4 Atlanta offices for nearly 7 years. Moving to a new location was something we had been planning for 2 years prior. We knew there was a need for more artist studio spaces at our new facility and more classroom spaces for our programming to grow.

After a long search, we found the perfect spot at 132 Mitchell St. And to welcome you, we’re throwing a big party to celebrate our grand opening. You can RSVP here to hang out with us in our new space on November 14, 2019.

There’s lots to celebrate, but we’re especially excited to let you know about the Art Sale we’re hosting with some of Atlanta’s best local artist talent. Work will be for sale at affordable prices just in time for the holidays. Come check out, pick up something for yourself or someone else, and get to know more about these C4 Atlanta artist members:

 

A photography piece by Davion Alston with a man holding an magnifying glass in front of his face. Davion AlstonAlston (b.1992) is a German born, Georgia native, where earth is his playground, and Atlanta is home. His exhibition and education spans from a multitude of Galleries, a handful of museums, with a BFA Georgia State University. He describes himself as an organized system of complexity, with accidental accessibility. See more of Davion’s work on Instagram at @davionalston.

 

 

 

 

A picture of a portrait painted by Angela Bortone.Angela Bortone – Angela Bortone is a Dominican-Italian painter and muralist based in the metro Atlanta region. She is also member of the artist collective Living Melody Collective. Born in the Dominican Republic, she spent nearly a decade abroad in Germany before moving to Atlanta in 2002. Her energetic works of abstract figurative realism are inspired by feelings, emotions and thoughts. Figures coexist with inky splashes that represent swirling subconscious mind.

Bortone earned a BFA in studio art from Georgia State University in 2010. Her work has been exhibited across various venues Atlanta including Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, MINT Gallery, and Whitespace Gallery and across the US. She has painted murals for the Marietta Museum of Art, the Center for Civil and Human Rights and even a painted a school bus with Living Melody Collective to promote voter engagement as a mobile civic inspiration machine. Learn more about Angela and see more of her work at angelabortone.com.

 

a piece of artwork by Rachel De Urioste

Rachel De Urioste – Rachel De Urioste is an Atlanta based multimedia artist, designer and fabricator. She works in a variety of mediums including digital design, cast resin, oils and felted wool. Her work is both playful and grotesque, exploring an imagined world of kind monsters, cynical cupcakes, and oysters with teeth.

In addition to her personal work, Rachel enjoys collaborating with individual artists and fabrication studios on a wide range of projects, including large scale puppets, costumes, miniatures, stop motion puppets, and public art installations. She loves learning new skills, and is always looking for a challenge.

 

 

A photo of a painting of hands by Krista M. Jones.

Krista M. Jones – Krista M. Jones (a.k.a. Jonesy) is an Interdisciplinary artist based in Atlanta, GA, USA. She was born to a military family in Dallas, Texas in 1973 and spent her life traveling both nationally and internationally. Jonesy has used art most of her life as a tool to express and process the human experience.

Jonesy studied Fine Art at University of Texas at Arlington and gained her BFA at Columbus State University in Photography and Painting. After taking on an internship as an Assistant Art Director she began a 13-year career in Graphic Design. Jonesy has embraced creative entrepreneurship full-time and focuses predominantly on canvas paintings and murals. She is affiliated with AIGA, Graphic Artist Guild, Alternate Roots and C4 Atlanta, where she graduated from Ignite and HATCH programs. Hatch is designed for artists working in community based public projects. Some of her clients include Atlanta BeltLine, Unscripted Way, Sustainable Wellness, Aquarius Magazine, Brandshake Creative, Precision Performance Atlanta, Expression Chiropractic, Hales Photography, Virtually Staging Properties, KGA Creative, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Third & Urban, Lake Claire Community Land Trust, MARTA, Modera Vinings, Livable Buckhead, ABV Agency, Path Foundation and Living Walls. She was a recipient of Laura Patricia Calle grant in 2017 for Living Walls in collaboration with four other women for a mural project called “In Solidarity” and assisted world-renowned artist Hopare in the creation of Atlanta’s largest mural to date. Her own murals can be seen around the Atlanta metro area and are rich with animal imagery, patterns, vibrant color and symbolism.

In her studio practice, she is currently working on a large body of work called “Pulling Light from the Darkness”. This ongoing work includes several series that focus on self-expression, gender, sexuality, empowerment, LGBTQI advocacy and intersectional feminism. This body of work focuses on human form, lighting, pose and position to express emotion and illustrate aspects of the human experience. Learn more about Krista and her work at jonesyartatl.com

 

A photo of a mixed media art piece by Michael Jones

Michael Jones – Michael Jones was born in Dallas, Texas, where he attended the famed Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts. He relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in 1994 where he received his bachelor’s degree in Painting and Sculpture from Atlanta College of Art (SCAD) in 1998. His focus was in non-objective, abstract paintings. = Newer works deals with definitions which he uses mixed medium, collage, found objects in addition he operates within interior and exterior urban spaces and honor the mundane materials that filter through our day to day lives.

My new work is driven by definitions of targets. A subject can be defined in many ways given the environment it is placed, the situation it is in, or the context in which it is used. I choose a target because it is the object at which efforts are directed. It places nouns as the aim of attack. Targets can be anything, which is why I feel the need to define them. Being an artist, I too am a target, since I represent the art that will be the subject of your criticism.

The new work is process driven. The physical act of shooting the target starts this process. I’m drawn to opposing things so the controlled randomness of the bullets traveling through the background sets the perimeters for the procedures. The gun becomes the first tool for marking or changing the surface of the target which exploits the notion of where my efforts are directed or the subject of attack. In addition found objects and mixed medium is added as a way for me to get the audience involved but letting them create their own conclusion of what they see in each target. Different pieces have themes that question one’s definition of
what or who a target is or can be. Learn more about Michael and see more of his work at letter75.com.

 

A photo of a painting names Ascension by Lauren Pallotta Stumberg.Lauren Pallotta Stumberg – Think Greatly, LLC is an art + design projects incubator led by Lauren Pallotta Stumberg – an artist, muralist, designer, illustrator and creative consultant based out of Atlanta, GA.

Lauren received a 2016/2017 Emerging Artist Award from the City of Atlanta. She serves on the board of C4 Atlanta as an artist voice as well as the Arts Community Liaison. Additionally, Lauren leads beautification efforts and community arts programming opportunities as a board member at large for Fourth Ward Neighbors Association.

Lauren is represented by dk Gallery in Marietta, GA. Inquiries to purchase her paintings and sculptures should be directed to Donna Krueger, dk@dkgallery.us.

Notable projects include the Moreland Mural Project; public art funding from the City of Atlanta, Norcross Public Art Commission, Hapeville Office of Economic Development; community art events such as Forward Warrior and Little Five Arts Alive; design work for small businesses in Atlanta and beyond; retail products at local shops such as Crafted and Sugarboo. Learn more about Lauren and see more of her work at thinkgreatly.com

 

A photo of a piece called A Moment of Transformation by Bree Stallings.Bree Stallings – Breanna “Bree” Stallings is North Carolina-native multi-media artist, illustrator, writer and activist.

Bree graduated from Queens University of Charlotte in May of 2013 with a Bachelor Degree in Studio Art and Creative Writing. She resides near uptown Charlotte where she works as a painter, illustrator and muralist. Currently, she teaches adults and children intermediate and advanced drawing and painting techniques at her studio called the Learning Lab.

Using art as her vehicle, she raises awareness for many causes that affect her life and those closest to her such as economic mobility, sexual health advocacy, displacement and homelessness and environmental consciousness.

Through the programs, curated art shows and fundraisers she has helped put on, Bree, alongside her creative team and partnerships with Project Art Aid, Behailu Academy, the Mecklenburg County Health Department, the Disappearing Frog Project, Pearls for Creative Healing and many more have helped raised over $500,000 for furthering development in Charlotte’s art and humanities scene.

Her works of art, poetry, and mixed-media collage have been covered and published in various print and online magazines including Creative Loafing, Charlotte Viewpoint, Indigo Rising, My City Magazine, MAYO, The Borgen Project, Society Charlotte, Charlotte Magazine and others.

In recent news, her partnership with the Mecklenburg County Health Department and students at Behailu Academy have provided the opportunity for 2 large-scale public art murals in designated “food deserts” to highlight the pressing issue of food insecurity in our communities. She is also an Artist As Change Agent Fellow of 2019 as sponsored by EmcArts, Artists Campaign School of 2017 Fellow as sponsored by Fractured Atlas, the 2018 GOLD Alumni Award Winner from Queens University of Charlotte and the 2017 Outstanding Leader In The Arts Award Winner from The Arts Empowerment Project.

Bree Stallings has been asked to speak, live paint, read poetry, present and facilitate workshops at the Community School of the Arts, Get Ready With Words, ImaginOn Library, C3 Lab, Blumenthal Arts and the Knight Theater, Discovery Place, the Sandra and Leon Levine Jewish Community Center, The Levine Museum of the New South, the Liberal Arts College Symposium, Industry Charlotte, the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, the Mint Museum of Craft and Design, UNCC Higher Education Symposium, the Foundation for the Carolinas among many other private and public events. Learn more about Bree and see more of her work at breestallings.com

 

A picture of a work by Anita Stewarts called NZ Lacy Lady with Attitude. Anita Stewart – Her parents would never have guessed that the red bearded Santa in kindergarten and the art lessons at the “Y” in junior high would have lead to this. She graduated from the University of Memphis in 1977 with a major addiction to art and a minor one to art education. After moving to Atlanta in 1983, with her family, she advanced as both artist and art teacher. As an artist she achieved awards in national, international and local juried competitions. Her work has graced the walls of universities , art museums and private collectors. Her work has aired on TV on numerous occasions. Her Anita’s ArtsCool founded in 1998, was recognized as one of the “crown jewels of Buford,(Georgia).” (Gwinnett Daily Post)

Her passion is traveling and painting solo in different countries :South Africa, Italy, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Australia ..Where next? These resulted in series that sing “Celebrate the Differences”.Many of her pieces were done on site in different countries.Such a wide scope of wonderful experiences for anyone!

She has drawn,painted while sitting on the ground next to cathedrals and lemon trees in Italy.She painted in the presence of a glowing sunset in South Africa and combined it with nearby mysterious ancient rock art .She painted the emotional responses witnessed in the faces of pilgrims doing penance in Panama .She painted a life size diptyct of a little girl in Equador confronted by an iguana longer than she was tall!! .

Her latest honor was to reside in Beverley, Australia for a month as their first international artist in residence.

Patrons connect with her crazy real life stories that inspire her art. Many can’t wait to bring a piece of her international adventures into their home or business to inspire them to reach for adventure as well. Learn more about Anita and see more of her work at anitastewartgallery.com.

 

A watercolor painting of a landscape with city buildings, a river and a cruise ship.Diana Toma – Diana Toma is an award winning Romanian visual artist currently teaching and creating in Atlanta, Georgia. Influenced by the European culture in which she was raised and enriched with American flavor, her style arrived at a unique cross that blends traditional techniques in a contemporary approach.

Diana has been engaging with the art community since 1995 showcasing her work in over a hundred international group exhibitions & eight solo art shows. Holding a Master Degree in Fine Arts from the prestigious Romanian University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, Diana is often invited to judge and jury art shows, and to speak on behalf of the working artist on open panels, such as The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and at The Contemporary museum in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2015 Diana became the grand prize winner of the Michaels Springtime in Paris, a national contest with over 11,000 submissions. Between 1995 and 2019 Diana won an array of awards, on state level, nationally and locally. Her artworks have been showcased in art magazines, billboards, and acquired by her county and corporations to be displayed in public spaces. Diana has recently completed a one year artist residency at Anne O Art gallery in Buckhead. Diana is the demonstration chair for Georgia Watercolor Society. Diana also teaches painting classes for adults in Atlanta area as well as at other art centers within US and abroad. Her teaching approach focuses on fast, free-flowing painting release, and creative un-blockage. Learn more about DIana and see more of her work at artbydianatoma.tumblr.com.

 

C4 Atlanta Art Sale 

Featuring works by Davion Alston, Angela Bortone, Rachel De Urioste, Krista M. Jones, Michael Jones, Lauren Pallotta Stumberg, Bree Stallings, Anita Stewart and Diana Toma

Part of C4 Atlanta’s Open House and Mural Unveiling with WarnerMedia

Thursday, November 14, 2019

6:30pm – 8:30pm

FUSE Arts Center

132 Mitchell St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303 – Third Floor

FREE, but you must RSVP

RSVP ONLINE HERE

C4’s New Arts Business Incubator & Partnership

C4 Atlanta Announces Dynamic Partnership with WarnerMedia for New Arts Business Incubator and Selection of Inaugural Artist Cohort

Atlanta, GAC4 Atlanta, in partnership with WarnerMedia, is excited to announce the creation of the new WarnerMedia Creative Residency at Fuse Arts Center. This new residency was created to nurture the business and career goals of six artists or arts collectives over 12 months. Six artist groups have been selected for 2019-2020. An open house and mural unveiling will be held on November 14, 2019 to announce the program partnership.

To support the program, WarnerMedia is investing $20,000 to support the WarnerMedia Creative Residency. This program combines C4 Atlanta’s arts entrepreneurship programming with low-cost, subsidized studio space and year-long mentorship on artists’ self-defined business goals. Residency artists will work out of studios at Fuse Arts Center, located in South Downtown Atlanta. They will also attend monthly cohort building activities designed to strengthen their arts business knowledge. Through this program, C4 Atlanta hopes to both stimulate intense growth for six arts businesses over the course of a year and keep creative workers at the center of development in South Downtown. Additionally, because of WarnerMedia’s commitment to support homegrown filmmakers in Atlanta, one spot each year will be reserved for a filmmaker or film collective.

Artists were selected for this inaugural through a competitive application process. Preference was given to femme-identifying artists and artists of color who are traditionally underrepresented at the highest levels in the arts.

South Downtown has long been an important part of Atlanta’s creative legacy. Largely known for the many music venues and clubs that once inhabited Kenny’s Alley at Underground, the area has also been home recently to many arts organizations like Murmur Media, MINT, Eyedrum, Mammal Gallery and others. However, recently, many of these organizations and artists have been forced to move to other areas of the city to find affordable real estate and suitable workspace.

Artist Michael Jones has been commissioned to create a mural commemorating the partnership that will be installed at Fuse Arts Center. An unveiling ceremony for this piece will be held on November 14, 2019. This event is free and open to the public. Attendees must RSVP.

“This residency has been a dream of our for a long time. It was important for us to keep these workers in the core of our city to contribute to a thriving South Downtown,” said Executive Director Jessyca Holland. “Downtown has been an important area for the arts for a very long time, yet artists also continue to leave. We hope our presence here helps to keep arts workers as a central part of our Downtown core.”

“We believe that this group of artists is very special.” said Audrey Gámez, Education Director. “They represent a diversity of age, experience and discipline. We’re not only excited to see what these artists accomplish utilizing the tools and resources at their disposal. We’re also curious to see how working near one another for a year will need to cross-pollination of their ideas and expertise.”

“Warner Media is excited to be a funding partner supporting the work of our local creative entrepreneurs in Atlanta,” said Dennis Williams, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for WarnerMedia.. “We see this as an important step to be a catalyst for the artists in our own community. We want to amplify Atlanta’s status as the cultural capital of the Southeast.”

Artists and art businesses selected to the 2019-2020 WarnerMedia Creative Residency:

A picture of XerophileXerophile, a documentary film production studio lead by Stephanie Liu and Monica Villavicencio (WarnerMedia Filmmakers in Residence): Monica Villavicencio and Stephanie Liu founded Xerophile, a documentary-style production company, in July 2019. They’re passionate about helping individuals and organizations create compelling narratives for a better world. Monica and Stephanie are recent arrivals to Atlanta from San Francisco, where they met working at Twitter’s Live Video team. Born in Chengdu, China and raised in Mississippi and Tennessee, Stephanie is a writer, filmmaker, and sci-fi devotee. She has produced content from Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, and the Comoros for the World Bank and made TV for ABC News and CCTV America. In previous lives, Monica reported and produced for NPR, the PBS Newshour, and the University of San Francisco. She also writes fiction.

Erin Washington HeadshotSoul Center, a space that curates art, conversation, and community for youth lead by Erin Washington: Erin Michelle Washington is an artist, community builder and teaching artist from Montgomery, AL. She attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and obtained her MFA in Acting from San Francisco’s award-winning, American Conservatory Theater. While in the Bay Area, Erin co-lead a youth initiative, The Nia Project, which provided artistic outlets for youth residing in Bayview/Hunter’s Point. In 2009, Erin started ​Soul Productions​, a company that exposes urban communities to emerging independent artists who are pioneering new approaches to music and theatre. She has since taken her thoughts on community on the road. She has participated as a New Play Producing Fellow in the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage, A Community Producer at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The Public Theater for “Party People”, a multimedia community-based theatre piece that explores the movements of the Black Panther Party and Young Lords.

Washington just recently served as a Producing Associate at American Conservatory Theatre where she was a producer and strategist for the Women’s Leadership Conference, Creator and Producer of the Bayview Arts Festival.

Washington is currently living in Atlanta, GA and is teaching at Spelman College in the Theatre and Performance Department.

 A photo of Davion Alston

Davion Alston, Fine Artist: Davion Alston is an Atlanta transplant, Georgia native, and received his BFA from Georgia State University. Alston has been featured in regional and national publications such as VICE’s The creators project, The New Yorker, and Burnaway. He has exhibited in noteworthy spaces such as Yale University’s Green Gallery, Winston- Salem State University’s Diggs Gallery, Alfred University’s Fosdick- Nelson Gallery, and The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.

 

Najah Ali, Actor, Director and Radio Producer: Najah Ali is an Atlanta actor and director. She is from Philadelphia, and received her theatre and math BA from Goucher College. She started her Atlanta performing arts career as an apprentice at the Shakespeare Tavern. Her local projects include: Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and others! She now manages a non-profit online radio station.

 

 

A photo of Taneka Badie-GearyBadie Designs, a graphic design and illustration company led by Taneka Badie-Geary: Taneka Badie-Geary is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. She has been an entrepreneur since the age of 15. Since a child, she has always loved art and design. Taneka founded Badie Designs in 2012, when she was still in college. While being an honors student she built up her clientele through resources from the school’s career services department, volunteered and completed two internships. She earned her bachelor’s of fine arts degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of Atlanta. Taneka Badie is very hard working and determined to succeed in her career.

Four years later, she has expanded her business into an award-winning creative agency that provides branding, web design, and marketing services to small businesses, government agencies, and corporations. She manages a team and is very hands-on with every project. She is very detailed oriented and that’s what her clients love about her. Taneka has worked with over 100 small businesses, EMC (a fortune 500 company), and House of Cheatham (a global hair product company). She considers herself a creative problem solver. She is an expert in branding because of her knowledge in helping brands to grow from the startup phase. In February of 2019, she earned her Women-Owned Small Business certification, which lets her compete on set-aside contracts issued by the federal government.

A photo of Gibron ShepperdGibron Shepperd, Fashion Designer: Gibron Whitney Shepperd was born in a multicultural/multiethnic home in Southern California. The oldest of four children, he spent much of his youth in the nature of Northern California with his family. These exposures have influenced his perspectives on design, creating an attitude of a bourgeois bohemian. He creates for a design world that is sophisticated and sensitive.

Shepperd is currently living in Atlanta, developing a menswear brand that is both smart and beautiful.

 

To attend the Open House and Mural unveiling, RSVP online at http://bit.ly/C4OpenHouse

C4 Atlanta Open House and Mural Unveiling with WarnerMedia

Date & Time: Thursday, November 14, 2019 – 6:30pm-8:30pm

FUSE Arts Center, 132 Mitchell St SW, Third Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303

Tickets: FREE for All Ages

C4 Atlanta Forums on Power in the Arts – Part 2

A photo of Brea Heidelberg at the event.
Dr. Brea Heidelberg

C4 Atlanta is committed to the needs of a thriving arts community in our city. To that end, we’ve been working over the last few months on exploring power dynamics and distribution within our own arts ecology and within the organizational cultures of our arts organizations. Inequality in our city is well researched and well-documented. A Bloomberg study in 2018 found that Atlanta had the worst income inequality of any major city in the United States. But wealth is only one form of power. In an industry where so-called “diva” behavior is not only accepted, but even encouraged, we wanted to see what other organizational pressures and disparities our community had faced. What had Atlanta artists, arts administrators and arts organizations experienced, and what resources existed to help us create the arts environment that Atlanta deserves?

Our second part of this series focuses on our second program around power in organizational culture. On August 22, 2019, C4 Atlanta held Arts and Leadership Forum: Diversity Equity and Inclusion with Dr. Brea Heidelberg at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Dr. Heidelberg is an arts management educator, consultant, and researcher focusing on the intersection of the arts and other fields of study. She joined the Entertainment & Arts Management faculty at Temple University in 2017 and currently serves as Assistant Director of the program. Dr. Heidelberg is a respected expert in organizational culture in the arts, and a sought after speaker on this topic. We were honored to welcome her to facilitate the day’s activities. Organizational leaders and arts administrators gathered with individual artists to consider how toxic organizational culture manifests both in our organizations and in our Atlanta arts ecosystem. This program was once again presented in partnership with our friends at Alternate ROOTS. Here is a summary of what was discussed, what came out of this conversation, and what are the next steps.

Event Summary:

C4’s Executive Director, Jessyca Holland welcomed participants and set a general expectation for the overall day. Lauren Tate Baeza, Director of Exhibitions for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, shared with us more about the Center and the work they are currently doing to help ground us in place.

Jessyca then introduced Dr. Heidelberg, who both shared information and facilitated conversation throughout the day regarding how organizational culture can affect diversity, equity and inclusion goals within organizations and the Atlanta arts eco-system. Organizational culture is the values and behaviors that shape the dynamics, practices and psychology within your workplace. Organizational culture is different from organizational policy, although some organizations may have policies that help shape their culture. For instance, policies about how folks are expected to dress and what happens if they are late may shape the attitudes that folks have about their workplace. But often many aspects of organizational culture are more informally shaped by whom is in leadership and the behaviors and attitudes of those who work for the organization.

Organizational culture manifests in behaviors such whether everyone gathers in the break room to discuss a TV show, how guests in your work space are treated, and even attitudes regarding what is appropriate behavior within the organizational environment (i.e. are weekends sacred or do your co-workers email outside of work hours?). An organization’s culture can also shape who is attracted or repelled from working there. If employees do not feel welcome or respected within the organization’s culture, they may look elsewhere for a place that feels more comfortable. This can work against the stated diversity, equity and inclusion efforts of an organization, and can lead to employee turnover. Simply creating policies for greater equity isn’t enough. Dr. Heidelberg underscored that organizational culture can either undo intentions or keep us accountable.

The purpose of Dr. Heidelberg’s presentation was to provide an opportunity for arts leaders and individual artists in the community to have a place to discuss how organizational culture manifests and how we can disrupt models that work against a more equitable system. Dr. Heidelberg explained the many ways that organizational culture can manifest and what it can look like for folks to feel like outsiders within the organization. Toxic organizational culture is culture that can breed unhealthy work behavior, psychology or habits. Dr. Heidelberg mentioned that she is also a consultant for organizations looking to diagnose why their organizational strategic shifts aren’t working, and this is often related to organizational culture.

Organizational culture is strong, and individuals are the culture bearers of their organizations. It is up to individuals within the culture to be accountable for culture shifts, and this can be difficult if you are the only individual within your organization working to change the culture within. Many participants expressed stress and feelings of hopelessness when working within a culture that they felt actively stifled the changes they were trying to make within to become more equitable. Dr. Heidelberg stressed that changing inequity within the arts required both a well stocked “toolkit” of resources and a penchant for self preservation. Sometimes the appropriate response to certain situations requires nuance and finesse, while humor can sometimes more effectively convey a sensitive message. But above all, she stressed that folks not be accept being abused or taken advantage of.

Dr. Heidelberg facilitated a few group discussions throughout the day. In one, participants were asked to identify indicators of the nature of organizational culture within the Atlanta arts community. Some of the following were identified as indicators:

  • Artist and administrator pay.
  • Attitudes towards the arts.
  • Money allotted by foundations and government for arts and culture.
  • Attitudes towards individual artists.
  • Professional development opportunities available for younger arts professionals.
  • Who is involved in conversations that pertain to individual artists and to arts organizations? Who is regularly given a seat at the table, and who is never given a seat at the table?
  • Public commitment or policies for diversity, equity and inclusion with no femme-identifying senior leadership or employees of color.
  • Staff turnover rates.
  • Board leadership.

After this initial discussion, Dr. Heidelberg lead participants through an understanding of how to consider their own organizational culture. Steps to diagnose and change culture included:

 

Dr. Heidelberg stressed that policy and action plans aren’t enough. Plans are only as good as the folks within an organization that hold themselves accountable for change. Organizational culture is pervasive and stubborn. There is a REASON why that was the default culture prior to trying to shift. It’s important that EVERYONE be on board for the cultural shift. It is not one person’s job to be accountable for the organizational culture change for the entire organization, but everyone’s responsibility. Without accountability from all who experience it, previous organizational culture will not change.

To that end, Dr. Heidelberg stressed that at times that can also mean that organizational culture WILL NOT change until those who actively oppose the change or passively block change from happening end up leaving that culture.

At the end of our time together, Dr. Heidelberg asked us to come together to think about some of the aspects of organizational culture that we wanted to change within the Atlanta arts ecology and some ways to make change Some of the suggestions were:

  • Nurture and provide support for employees even if it means they may eventually leave for more pay or more opportunity at other organizations that you are not able to provide. Instead of worrying about losing good people, be the best training ground possible for administrators and artists in your community.
  • Where you can’t provide improvement in wages, provide training and other benefits. Examples: a seat at the table in important conversations, a fantastic work culture, opportunities to learn new skills, etc.
  • Pay people a livable wage.
  • Create standard procedures for exit interviews conducted by staff who are not in supervisory roles over the person leaving. Make exit interviews a part of your culture and a way to learn more about the reasons why people leave your organization.
  • If you haven’t done so already, create procedures for complaints.
  • As an individual, document complaints or problems in work culture that drive you to leave for your predecessor and yourself. You can share these with those who come after you to share the burden of responsibility for change with them. Additionally, you can also choose to keep this for yourself to document what you are not willing to tolerate moving forward.
  • Refuse requests to operate in an inequitable way, and explain your choice to your colleagues should they request that you do so.
  • Know what tool is appropriate to point out toxic behavior when necessary. Sometimes a hammer is necessary, and sometimes humor is necessary.
  • Take care of yourself and your needs.

Thanks to all who attended!

Photos by Krista M Jones

A picture of the crowd at the event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta Welcomes New Cohort of Artists Ready to Serve Community

A picture of Artist Bree Stallings standing in front of one of her murals.
Hatch cohort artist Bree Stallings stands in front of one of her murals.

C4 Atlanta is proud to announce the twelve artists selected into the Hatch Training Intensive for Fall 2019. These artists will spend the next five months learning skills for creating art projects with community.

The Hatch Training Intensive was established as a training program through C4 Atlanta in October 2015. The course is a result of three years of collaboration, research and curriculum development with both national and local experts in the field of community driven art projects. Now in its fourth year, Hatch graduate-artists have gone on to work on public art projects locally and nationally. The program emphasizes skills in cultural organizing, understanding and establishing identity, identifying key community stakeholders, and working with community in ways that are sustainable for both artists and community members. The program also emphasizes important career development skills necessary to do social and civic practice work, including working with city planners, applying for RFPs/RFQs, negotiation and budgeting.

“Hatch is creating a pipeline of artists well trained to work in community development on both civic and artist-led community projects. Protecting both the interests and the integrity of community members is central to this program,” said Executive Director Jessyca Holland. “We also know that the artists involved need skills to protect their business and artistic interests in order to do this work, and that is part of their training, too.”

“We are excited by the diversity of experience and expertise that this current cohort brings,” said Audrey Gámez, Education Director. “These are dynamic artists who span an array of ages, identities and disciplines. Their work is an expression of love for the communities with which they work. It is very important to us as an organization that we help guide artists towards work that will preserve and amplify the cultural legacies of Atlanta.”

Artists selected to the Fall 2019 Hatch Training Intensive include:

A headshot of Rose Barron.Rose Barron, Visual and Performance Artist: Rose M Barron currently works and resides in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America. She has a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Georgia, an MA in Photo Concentration from Georgia State University, and an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Photography. Her multi-disciplinary art work has been exhibited in several solo exhibitions across the southeast including Atlanta and Huntsville, as well as internationally at the Espacio Común in Panama City, Panama. Collections of her work include the Four Seasons in Morocco, the Fulton County Arts and Culture fine arts acquisition Program, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the Marriott Courtyard in Nashville, the March of Dimes Corporate Office Collection, the APG Collectors Portfolio. Barron has shown in many group exhibitions across the nation including the Athens Center for Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, the Art on The Beltline, the Art Center in Xi’an, China, Fe Gallery in Pittsburgh, and Umbrella Gallery in New York City.; awarded artist residencies include Taller Portobelo, the Hambidge Center for the Arts and Science, University of North Texas, and the Rensing Art Center.

 

A headshot of candi dugascandi dugas, Writer, Producer and Director – candi dugas is an award-winning writer, producer, and director of creative projects that change conversations to compel complete freedom. Her most recent works include 30-minute one-acts about grief and women’s friendships: “That Day” and organic soul connections within society’s racial boundaries: “eye of the storm” – along with her full-length scripts for stage and screen: Wild + Free (navigating the 2nd half of life and the realities of post-modern racism in a small, Georgia town) and Desire’s Kiss (celebrating feminine sexuality despite traditionally religious taboos), which won Best Full-length Screenplay during the 2013 Urban MediaMakers Film Festival. candi has also written three self-published books, with a fourth on the way, on meditation, sexuality and spirituality, and navigating the spiritual journey. Currently she is producing Broadway Brunch (BB) at Grace Church in Midtown ATL. Designed and developed by candi, BB brings together professional theatre with community over a meal in safer space to explore themes that uplift and challenge the people. More than doubling average weekly attendance, BB’s greatest success is being a springboard to action for community needs, like affordable housing. candi is a native Atlantan, proud mother of Jordan, clergy with the Church Within A Church Movement, pastor of Worship & Arts at Grace, and a member of the Dramatists Guild, Working Title Playwrights, Suzi Bass Awards, and United Way of Metro Atlanta’s Volunteer Involvement Program. She can’t wait to get started with her peers during C4’s 2019 Hatch Training Intensive for Artists in Community! Learn more and connect at candidugas.com.

 

A headshot of Nicolette EmanuelleNicolette Emanuelle, Performance Artist: Nicolette Emanuelle is a professional performance artist known for her fierce stage presence and her ability to mix multiple mediums in her performances. Her talents include aerial arts, stilt walking, burlesque, acting, musical composition, and musical performance on multiple instruments (e.g. cello, piano, vocals, and accordion). She is also the founder and co artistic director of The Hereafter Artist Collective whose mission is to bring the works of past artists to life through performance art. She currently teaches aerial arts and coaches a teen aerial performance company called Earth to Sky Performance Co. Nicolette has a passion for community centered artistic events and creative collaborations. She produces and performs regularly around the Atlanta area (which she is happy to call home).

 

A headshot of Emily GetsayEmily Getsay, Visual Artist, Curator and Arts Administrator: Emily M. Getsay (M.) is a Queer Conceptual Artist, Activist, and Curator. As a conceptual artist, their pieces stem from ideas that allow an expansion of oneself through relatable and textual lens. As an activist in their hometown community of Atlanta Georgia, M. addresses the many social and political issues that arise living as a queer, non binary person, in the south. Their work opposes systematic and cultural barriers such as stigma towards people living with HIV/AIDS, Sexual Harassment, Human Trafficking, Gender Identity, and coping with mental illnesses. Through their work, they explore the liminal space between perception and actual reality and create work that translates those ideas to others. As humans we are always excepting new information and trying to comprehend how we can apply it to our lives, all the while moving through time and space. M. tries to  bring those ideas and knowledge to the surface so that it becomes transferable across cultures and society.

 

A headshot of Bridget McCarthy.Bridget McCarthy, Writer and Actor: Bridget McCarthy is just tickled to be in such great company. She is an actor, activist, comedian, writer, and theatre maker who is proud to call Atlanta “home”. In 2013, she stepped into a prison in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and witnessed a theatre-making circle. She fell in love with theatre as a tool of amplification, empowerment, and connection for unexpected voices. She has devised and produced new theatre pieces with her neighbors experiencing incarceration, homelessness, folks who are reintegrating into life after sexual slavery, with those battling addiction, and with brave new Americans coming to the US seeking asylum. In addition to community work, she is an advocate for eating disorder awareness and mental health destigmatization. Her one woman show is called Fat Juliet: One Woman’s Unsolicited Thoughts About Eating Disorders, Christian Extremism, Shakespeare, and AC/DC. It premiers this summer in Atlanta and is available for booking starting this fall. For more information or to connect, please visit BridgetMcCarthy.net , or connect on Instagram @SomethingWittyPlease.

 

A headshot of Okwae Miller.Okwae Miller, Dancer and Choreographer: Okwae A. Miller is an Atlanta-based professional dancer and emerging choreographer who strives to create progressive experimental and research-based interdisciplinary work rooted in personal identity, history and the universal human experience. Heavily influenced by social injustice and intersection of cultural communities, his work has a high regard to identity politics, social anthropology and creative environments. With a highly graphic choreographic approach each work beholds distinct integration of technology, characterization of quality and collaboration. Mr. Miller is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has studied and trained in dance at Duke University, The Ailey School, American Dance Festival School, and Spelman College. His work has been featured at The Bakery Atlanta, The B-Complex, the MAD Festival and Emory University. Miller is the Artistic Director of Okwae A. Miller & Artists.

 

A headshot of Magdalena O'Connor.Magdalena O’Connor, Sculptor and Body Painter: Magdalena O’Connor is a sculptor, welder, body painter and special effects artist living and working in Atlanta, GA. Body painting since 2006, Magdalena has won many competitions internationally and went back to school in 2014 to study welding/fabrication. Passionate about learning and sharing knowledge Magdalena has taught props and mask making workshops for many years with participants going on to win international competitions.

 

A headshot of Lee Osorio.

Lee Osorio, Theatremaker: Lee Osorio is an actor, teaching artist, and playwright based in Atlanta. Lee’s one-act play Faith was a finalist for the Latinx Theatre Commons 2018 Carnaval. He is a two time Alliance Artist Reiser Lab recipient and his work has had staged readings presented by Essential Theater and Found Stages. Lee’s work as an actor has been seen at the Alliance, Aurora, Actor’s Express, True Colors, Serenbe Playhouse, and the Shakespeare Tavern, as well as Off-Broadway. He is currently an Artistic Associate and the Communications Manager at Out of Hand Theater where he is currently devising a piece with the seniors at the Helene S. Mills Senior Multipurpose Facility.

 

A headshot of Bree Stallings.Bree Stallings, Muralist and Visual Artist: Bree graduated from Queens University of Charlotte in May of 2013 with a Bachelor Degree in Studio Art and Creative Writing. She resides near uptown Charlotte where she works as a painter, illustrator and muralist. Currently, she teaches adults and children intermediate and advanced drawing and painting techniques at her studio called the Learning Lab. Using art as her vehicle, she raises awareness for many causes that affect her life and those closest to her such as economic mobility, sexual health advocacy, displacement and homelessness and environmental consciousness.

 

A headshot of Ashley Thomas.Ashley Thomas, Muralist and Art Educator: Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Ashley credits her bold colorful painting style to the plethora of colorful experiences growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana and Atlanta, Georgia. Ashley is said to be a very unique teacher with a knack for hooking even the most disengaged student to art. From oil portraits to city murals Ashley loves to change the energy of any street block or home/office hallway through her energetic and lively style. Ashley was trained at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. She enjoys spending time with her rescue dog named Bud and going to live performances around the city of Atlanta. Ashley has provided free art clinics for all ages in Atlanta, Georgia. She has taught for over thirteen years in public schools from Hampton Virginia to Atlanta Georgia and everywhere she goes people are delighted by her talents. In 2012, Ashley was chosen as a finalist by Wonderroot to create a public art piece for University Ave in Pittsburgh Atlanta. She was a finalist in the Verizon HBCU art competition and has shown in a plethora of juried exhibitions across the southeast. In 2018 Ashley completed a mural at Westlake High School and a mural on Cleveland Ave. Ashley is not only up for any creative task but always leaves her mark. She has also run a fine arts non-profit, The Big Picture, in Hampton Virginia where she held weekly art clinics and artist mentorship to the kids and teens of Lincoln Park Housing Projects in Hampton, Virginia. Ashley is currently looking for opportunities to paint murals in the city of Atlanta.

 

A headshot of Ankhet Williams.Ankhet Williams, Poet and Visual Artist: Ankhet is an artist and poet from Atlanta, Georgia. She uses Acrylic and oils for paintings and free verse poetry.

“I love studying and focusing on people who left legacies of love and bravery and placing them in history as they deserve. I use poetry and art to venerate thsese figures with the goal of impacting how we perceive these cultural figures now and in the long term. Figures such as: Sarah Baartmen, Peter Gordon, etc.”

Ankhet has a BS Sociology and Anthropology from Valdosta State University. Founder of “The Art of Esteem”, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the esteem of students through art and culture.

 

A headshot of Kristan Woolford.Kristan Woolford, Digital Media/Filmmaker and Art Educator: Kristan Woolford is a Video Production Teacher at Maynard Jackson where he works to train Atlanta’s future generation of filmmakers. He currently serves as the Creative Director of Black Noize Media Group, which is a web based digital media distribution platform that utilizes entertainment and media to serve as a nexus for hip hop culture, community engagement and activism among youth and youth adults.

 

 

About C4 Atlanta:

C4 Atlanta Inc. is a non-profit arts service organization whose mission is to connect arts entrepreneurs to the people, skills and tools they need to build a successful artistic career in metro Atlanta. The organization was founded in July 2010 in response to a growing need for business services for Atlanta’s arts community. C4 Atlanta fulfills this mission by offering professional practice classes for artists, fiscal sponsorship, co-working space, and more. C4 Atlanta’s program offerings are geared toward creating a new foundation of sustainability for arts and culture in the Atlanta region. For more information, visit c4atlanta.org.

 

Fulton County Awards C4 Atlanta $15,000 for 2019 Programming

This award will help C4 Atlanta to continue to offer programs and services to over 1,200 professional artists in the Greater Atlanta area in 2019. C4 Atlanta continues to be recognized for the strength of our educational programs for artists. Support from Fulton County and others help to subsidize the cost our professional development education to keep costs low for professional artists. Additionally, C4 Atlanta use some funding to explore new programming options for artists in 2019.

Fulton County has long been a leader in arts funding in our area. C4 Atlanta is proud to be a recipient of this funding. Thank You, Fulton County Commissioners, for your support of arts and culture.

C4 Atlanta Celebrates the 2nd Annual Spark Awards!

WOW. We just finished up our second year celebrating local artists at the C4 Atlanta Spark Awards yesterday, April 17, 2019. The event was held at the Crowne Plaza Midtown in the Georgia Ballroom.

For those of you that came out to support our mission, know that we cannot do this work without you! We love you and we know you love artists.

If you missed it, check out these awesome event photos below by the talented Cindy Brown.

Thank you to all of the local artists and arts groups that participated: Tasha LaRae, Soul Food Cypher, Havoc Movement Company, Kimberly Binns, and the artists of TILA Studios who’s gorgeous work was displayed in our registration space at the event. All of the artists that participated in this event with us, including our event photographer, have been a part of programming offered by our organization. We’re really proud of their accomplishments with their individual arts businesses and we expect great things from all of them.

Jessyca Holland, our Executive Director, announced that we are fundraising for our new space at the event. If you’d like to be a part of our legacy at 132 Mitchell by adding your name to an artist paintbrush or pallette, you can donate online here.

Thanks to all of our sponsors, friends, table sponsors and event vendors that made this event and our pre-event cocktail hour possible: Crown Plaza Atlanta Midtown, ChooseATL, Atlanta Downtown, City of Atlanta Department of City Planning, Whitespace Gallery, Provenance Media, Chef Melissa Allen Foltz, Specialty Wines Georgia, Synchronicity Theatre, Dad’s Garage, The Bitter Southerner, Binders, Blick, Alternate Roots, Georgia Lawyers for the Arts and Janke Studios.

Please feel free to comment below if you would like to share your experience at the event!

 

Board Members and Volunteers help make this event possible! Our Board Co-chair Ashley Walden Davis and Volunteer Yun Bai make sure everyone gets checked in.
Board Members and Volunteers help make this event possible! Our Board Co-chair Ashley Walden Davis and Volunteer Yun Bai make sure everyone gets checked in.

 

Board Co-Chair Shannon Price chats with local artists about their work during registration.

 

Vocalist Tasha LaRae dazzles the crowd with her performance.
Vocalist Tasha LaRae dazzles the crowd with her performance. Tasha is an internationally renowned singer, songwriter and vocal coach.

 

2019 Artist Champion of the Year Katherine Dirga of the MARTA Artbound program shows off her award. The awards were created by local glass artist Matt Janke, of Janke Studios.

 

Eyedrum Board Member Grace King enjoys the entertainment.
Eyedrum Board Member Grace King enjoys the entertainment.

 

Mistress of Ceremonies Odetta MacLeish-White reminds participants why donating to C4’s mission is so important.

 

 

Performers Havoc Movement company are pumped about the festivities!
Performers Havoc Movement Company are pumped about the festivities!

 

Havoc Movement Company excites the crowd by sharing a new work in progress. The performers first demonstrated their rehearsal process and then performed the piece in it’s entirety.

 

Keynote Speaker Jamie Bennett shares why artists are an essential part of every community.
Keynote Speaker Jamie Bennett shares why artists are an essential part of every community.

 

The crowd goes wild as we announce that we met our fundraising goal for Text-to-Give!
The crowd goes wild as we announce that we met our fundraising goal for Text-to-Give!

 

C4 Atlanta Executive Director Jessyca Holland shares a joke about Futurama to educate folks about how professional artists are viewed by the public in the City of Atlanta.
C4 Atlanta Executive Director Jessyca Holland shares a joke about Futurama to educate folks about how professional artists are viewed by the public in the City of Atlanta.

 

MCs from Soul Food Cypher close out the afternoon.
MCs from Soul Food Cypher close out the afternoon.

 

Soul Food Cypher uses their "Nice Bars" rap battle format to complement attendees and performers.
Soul Food Cypher uses their “Nice Bars” rap battle format to complement attendees and performers.
2019 Arts Entrepreneur of the Year Daniel Flores accepts his award.
2019 Arts Entrepreneur of the Year Daniel Flores accepts his award.

 

And that’s a wrap! See you all next year for the 2020 Spark Awards Luncheon.

Leading Lady : Ramatu Afeguba-Sabbatt

Atlanta has a strong and growing creative economy. Everyday, we meet women who are on the ground working to break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.

For National Women’s History Month in March, C4 Atlanta will be curating a Leading Lady blog series celebrating the women in the creative economy of Greater Atlanta. Over the last several weeks, we have asked the public to nominate women in the creative sector who inspire and have positively impacted the Atlanta community through their contributions. 

We are proud to introduce the Next Leading Lady for March 2019: Ramatu Afeguba-Sabbatt

Where do you work and what do you do?

I am a dance instructor, as well as the founder and executive director of Manga African Dance, Inc.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
It is not a difficult question to answer. It was in me from childhood. I dance, sing, act and apply so much creativity in my daily endeavors without thinking about it. I enjoy entertaining and sharing the knowledge of the Arts with people in general.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
An artist (Dancer, musician and a singer).

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
It will be OPRAH WINFREY! I will like to talk to her about life trials and tribulations. Also how to stick with your passion even if it is not bringing you mega bucks.
How to help my art form and the company’s longevity for future generation to benefit from the mission.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My parents! Outside of home – a lady called Ayesha Imam (founded women’s Liberation movement in Nigeria). I was hired as an assistant researcher during her research on how women felt about polygamy in northern Nigeria. It was an eye-opener for me.

How is art a passion for you?
I believe that it is a way of life. It enhanced every aspect of life for me; education, socialization, and growth all around.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
I truly believe in equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce. The presence of a balanced ratio of women in the creative workforce in my opinion can improve the workforce performance level. A workforce that is diverse may increase consumer demand for related products and services. Researchers Kossek, Lobel and Brown (2006) indicated that “the 1992 percentage of the representation of women managers in the largest US firms was positively related to firm performance (return on equity, return on assets)”.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
The arts in Atlanta is diverse. All the different branches of art form tend to strive in their own creative ways. Everyone has a place.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
The mission is where I started. The mission statement is to preserve the indigenous African Culture through programs; African dance and drum classes that combine lecture-demonstrations with traditional African social dances, rhythms, songs, and cultural history in exciting and high impact activities; The motto that drives me “Health is Wealth: Fighting Obesity,” campaigns, which are incorporated in every dance class teaching students about good nutrition and healthy behaviors. I work with youths in schools and outside of school using the mission and the motto to create enrichment programs.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?

Website: www.mangadance.org

Instagram, twitter, can be found on the website.

 

Leading Lady : Maggie Kane

Atlanta has a strong and growing creative economy. Everyday, we meet women who are on the ground working to break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.

For National Women’s History Month in March, C4 Atlanta will be curating a Leading Lady blog series celebrating the women in the creative economy of Greater Atlanta. Over the last several weeks, we have asked the public to nominate women in the creative sector who inspire and have positively impacted the Atlanta community through their contributions. 

We are proud to introduce the Next Leading Lady for March 2019: Maggie Kane

Where do you work and what do you do?
I’m a serial social entrepreneur who’s founded + developed several community-serving businesses and organizations that promote workforce development opportunities for creatives in Atlanta.

Some of these organizations include: Streetcat.media (social systems research + development), Cut Cake Factory (membership-based woodshop + educational facility for artists who are new to fabrication located inside The Bakery), Freeside Atlanta (educational director + maker programs development), Google Developer Group of Atlanta (lead program organizer for monthly events + annual software developer conference), and more.

I also provide technical assistance, pro bono, in the form of website assistance + business development strategies for intersectional, grassroots non-profits and artists in Atlanta.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
Being a very visual person, I’ve always incorporated artist representation into all realms of my work. In school, I can remember carefully sketching out ideas from textbooks rather than writing down their contextual information for my test notes. This practice would make it easier for me to retain information and more accurately express my interpretation of what I was learning.

I pursued a BFA in Visual Arts as well as a BA in Sociology from Tulane University and blend my academic background with active educational programming development (mostly in technology) for grassroots neighborhood groups, DIY arts organizations, and small businesses.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
I revel the pursuit of equity and the cataloging of details, so there were many career paths that I’ve considered over the years.

The first job I seriously considered pursuing (in middle school, of course) was a Crime Scene Investigator because they got to inspect crime scenes for clues and do a bunch of science to catch the bad guys. The next career that I heavily considered was being a tenured philosophy professor. I wanted this job because I was a high school student who was actively applying to colleges and believed that the position being a professor would be one of prestige and omniscience. After taking my first philosophy class in college, I quickly realized that the field of academic philosophy was both too dry and removed from solving real life problems. So I changed paths, again.

Instead of pursuing philosophy, I ended up spending my time in college studying social systems and how to research them. I worked as a research assistant for a cultural sociologist and documented the physical effects of gentrification in several New Orleans neighborhoods. After working as a research assistant, I set my sights on learning more about technology and how it can be an extremely equitable tool set in the hands of marginalized people, especially those who face the negative effects of gentrification.

So my vision for where I would end up in life has changed drastically over the years, but my mission still remains the same.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
I would love to wine and dine with Joan of Arc! I spent a lot of my childhood imagining her strength in standing up for her people in the form of leading the French army to fight against English precolonial occupation — as a 19 year old!

I would love to ask her advice on a number of things, from leadership skills to dealing with selfish men in power. Her courage and sacrifice for her people are incredibly inspiring. Plus her battle armor looks were super fresh.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My dad, Justin Kane, is my biggest influence in my life. As a serial entrepreneur and compassionate community leader himself, he’s taught me a number of very valuable life and business skills. Some of these skills include things like passionately leading a team to achieve their goals and providing empathetic support to those in need. I’m very thankful for the role he’s played in my life and everything I’ve learned from him.

How is art a passion for you?
Art has allowed me to explore and express my passions throughout my life. It’s like a language to me – one with lots of power. While my practice consistently evolves, I always employ forms of symbolic sensory expression to explore realms of being and the pursuit of equity.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
This is a battle that I consistently deal with in several industries, including tech, art, and fabrication spaces. While it’s common now for corporate and DIY organizations to promote inclusive hiring + programming practices, I usually see these efforts as a response to toxic cultures that already exist in these spaces. I make it a top priority to incorporate strict codes of conduct regarding harassment into all programs that I develop and be proactive myself in educating people in how to be respectful of others in public spaces or gatherings.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
I moved to Atlanta in 2014, and the most exciting thing about the arts in Atlanta is that I’ve seen more black artists thrive as creatives in this city than other places I’ve lived. I’ve met so many black photographers, graphic artists, musicians, fashion designers, makers, and more that run their own creative businesses, and I think that speaks to Atlanta being an equitable space for creatives to pursue their passion in this city.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I hope that people can learn how to be more independent from me. I tell people that I’m a hacker, and I think that best defines what I do. Hacking is the simple act of solving a problem with a creative solution. I like to show people that they can be creative in all realms of their life, and the more independent they can be in their creativity, the easier it will be for them to lead a comfortable and engaging life.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
You can learn more about my current and past work on my website for Streetcat.media (https://www.streetcat.media/stuff — IG/FB @streetcat.media) and catch a glimpse of my latest community project, the Cut Cake Factory (https://www.cutcakefactory.com/ — IG/FB @cutcakefactory).