Author: Chelsea Steverson

Dr. Latangela Crossfield Talks Transforming the Perception of the Public

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 2018: Dr. Latangela Crossfield

Where do you work and what do you do?
I am the CEO of Kreative Christian Works, media personality of LeeSadie Media Group, producer for LeeSaide Productions, Host of “Inspirational Talk” with Dr. Tangi, and an actress.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I became interested in the arts in 2012 after writing “Forever Seventeen: The Bianca Dillard Story.”

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
As a child, I wanted to be a psychologist.

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 have a dialogue with Bishop Vashti McKenzie about addressing sexism in sacred institutions.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
Dr. Yolanda Snipes encouraged me to pursue a career as a producer, it was the turning point of my career. Therefore, she has been the most influential person in my life.

How is art a passion for you?
Art allows me to express my concerns and bring awareness to the isms that plague our society. My passion for art also includes the opportunity to re-write negative stereotypes about women, in particular, African-American women.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
My dissertation: The Impact of Sexism on African American Women in Methodism, 1980-2000 explores inequality within the Church. Research indicates that women do not earn the same salary as their male counterparts. I also discovered that women can be sexist too.

 

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
Georgia has the number one film-industry in the world. Now, more than ever my pursuit of the arts are at finger-tips.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I aspire to produce plays and movies that will transform the perception and treatment of human beings…

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

Website:

www.drtangi.com

Social media:

Twitter- @Dr_Tangi
LinkedIn- Latangela Crossfield
Facebook- Dr.Tangi

 

 

Elise Witt Tackles Art and Activism

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 2018: Elise Witt

Where do you work and what do you do?
I am a self employed singer, composer, community song leader, teacher, activist. I serve as Artist-in-Residence at the Global Village Project (GVP), a school for teenage refugee girls from Afghanistan, Burma, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq, Nepal, Somalia, Syria and Tanzania. At GVP I use singing to teach English and help the young women acclimate to this crazy new world in which they find themselves. We say that “every teacher is a student and every student is a teacher.” So we learn songs from the students’ cultures, write our own songs about they are learning, and dive into the International peace and justice repertoire of music.

My Impromptu Glorious Chorus™ workshops for adults take me around the country and abroad to get the world singing. And my Global, Local & Homemade Songs™ concerts showcase my love of world music as well as my passion for writing original poetry and music. I am a 40 year member of Alternate ROOTS, my artistic family, whose membership is made of artists at the intersection of arts and activism.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
My mother sang in a choir in Switzerland while she was carrying me, so I have been “making music” since before my birth. I always sang growing up, both with my family and in school choruses and ensembles.
I moved to Atlanta in 1977 to help found the Theatrical Outfit. We were a diverse group of performance artists who created original shows at our little black box theater on St. Charles Avenue.
From 1980-2000 I sang in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus under the superb conducting of Robert Shaw. I am a lifelong learner, and have studied with masters of improvisation Bobby McFerrin and Rhiannon, Pan-African vocal specialist Dr. Fred Onovwerosuoke, maverick cellist David Darling and his Music for People, and Sweet Honey in the Rock’s Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, all of whose pedagogy I incorporate into my own teaching, writing, and performing.
I am fortunate and proud to say that I have made my entire adult living as an independent artist!

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
Growing up, with a love of languages, I wanted to become a translator or interpreter. I speak 5 languages fluently and sing in at least a dozen more. I love languages both for the way that each language has its unique expressions that can’t be translated, and for the rich musicality and sound of each language. I didn’t become a translator or interpreter per se, but in a way I now use those skills in my musical work, so perhaps I did follow that path in a circuitous fashion.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life? 
My parents supported everything my sister and I did. Even when we embarked on paths that were stupid or misguided, they let us make our own mistakes and learn from them. They came to every concert and performance I ever did. They were always curious and interested in what I was doing, and what my friends were doing. My friends often came to discuss their ideas with my parents because they really listened. I am forever grateful for the love and support of my family!

How is art a passion for you?
Singing is something we are all born with, but our society says that only certain people “have talent,” and the rest of us should be consumers. Music has become a commodity for sale. Humans for millennia used music to tell their stories and to connect as community. I use my music to find that place of community again. Music, and especially singing, vibrates us individually on a molecular level, and brings us together as community. Singing with others is one of the most powerful, passionate things I know.What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
Yes!

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
Our Public, Free, Totally Improvised Sings are new and exciting! Every month or two we partner with a membership organization and sing for an hour and a half in a group led, continuous musical experience using only our voices and our bodies. So far we have partnered with Sevananda Food Coop, Mulberry Fields Community Garden (part of the Wylde Center), Woodland Gardens, the Atlanta Beltline, and the Clarkston Library. We all need to sing!

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I hope to help individuals discover, explore and expand their voices, especially those people who have been told at some point that they are “unmusical,” “tone deaf,” or shouldn’t sing. I enjoy to collaborating with artists in all genres – I have collaborated with dancers, theater and visual artists. I hope to make Atlanta a singing city! And because I travel a lot with my work, I also enjoy connecting Atlanta artists with artists around the country and abroad.

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

My Work:

 

Susie Spear Purcell Teaches Us Why It’s Important to Give Back

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 2018: Susie Spear Purcell

Where do you work and what do you do?
I am Program Director for Playmaking for Girls, which is the youth outreach arts program of Synchronicity Theatre Company. I lead a team of talented female artists who teach playwriting and acting workshops that empower teen girls to find their voices and honour their stories. We work with girls who are wards of the state with DFACS/DJJ and live in group homes as well as refugee girls who have recently come to America. I also partner with Arts Now Learning as a Theatre Arts Consultant where I develop theatre integrated lessons and coach teachers and students throughout Georgia to bring the arts into non-artistic disciplines in the classroom and bring learning to life.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I have always had a longing and interest in the arts as my parents valued and lived out their artistic callings throughout my childhood. I was a shy little girl but always knew I wanted to be apart of the power of storytelling on the stage. My first play was in first grade at my public elementary school in Dekalb County. I stayed active in theatre throughout elementary school and high school and studied the craft in college with a theatre minor. After college, I worked as an actress in Atlanta and then moved to Los Angeles and NYC to further pursue my career. I have never stopped performing and teaching the power of theatre since I started my journey in elementary school. I have been Program Director of Playmaking for Girls for 15 years.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
Since first grade, I knew that storytelling was my passion and acting was the vehicle of that expression. Plus, no one else in my artistic home was an actor so it could be “my own” thing. When I wrote my first business resume in college, I put that I wanted “to make the world a better place” in the objective section. People laughed and told me that I needed to be more specific, professional and realistic. I desired to be honest and get down to the point. I always knew that I wanted to live a life of storytelling, whether on stage or on screen. I saw how I could live that out and raise people up in the process, therefore, making the world a better place. I knew that if I followed my passion, which we were encouraged to do in my family, that I would live life as an artist. I have been blessed to be able to do that every day and have it look different each of those days!

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 sit down for coffee with Rosa Parks. The strength, vision, grace and faith that she had to stand so firm and tall in her convictions for equality amidst such adversity are powerful. I would want to know when she knew she was going to make the stand and what tipped her to taking action. Her actions were so important at a time when women, especially women of color, had such little voice and opportunity.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My parents have been the biggest influence in my life. My father is a pastor and a talented visual artist. He brought his faith and art into all that he did. He taught me to empathize with people, meet people where they are and to actively look for the miracle and beauty of small everyday moments. The way the light bounces off the hood of a car. The music of wind blowing in the trees.
My mother raised six children and had a career with such love, strength and grace. While she did not study a particular field of art, her life has been a work of art. She taught me an appreciation for world travel and people of all cultures, to go for my dreams, believe in myself no matter what and that every life is valuable and deserves to be treated with respect. My parents did all that they could to help expose me to the theatre and the arts.

How is art a passion for you?
Art is a passion for me because it stirs voice in me and others. I have seen it change lives. I have seen so many youth standing tall with empowerment as they explore stories and feel heard. There is really nothing like seeing someone start to believe in themselves and feel the change within them. Art can heal, propel and change perspectives through provoking empathy, which is the start to making our world a more peaceful place.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
I am seeing more equality for women in the creative workforce. Since I work for an all female theatre company, I have seen women’s contribution to the arts in big ways. I think we have a long way to go as far as equality in the arts workplace throughout the US but I have hope as women in all professions are standing up and speaking out in big ways.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
Seeing them grow! I’ve been an artist in Atlanta for almost 30 years and have seen tiny steps of growth and great promise for a more vibrant arts community. It appears that it’s starting to really happen. Very exciting. I am excited about many facets of the arts community trying to reach the underserved community. That is the essence of the power of the arts for me.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do? 

I hope to bring a rainbow of unique and soulful female voices to the Atlanta arts community. I hope to help raise future artists who contribute to the Atlanta art community in their own unique, vibrant ways. These young ladies are preparing to be peaceful, strong, brave, smart, creative leaders in their Atlanta communities and beyond.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
www.synchrotheatre.com/beyond-the-theatre/playmaking-girlshttps://

www.facebook.com/Synchronicity-Theatres-Playmaking-for-Girls-134066326688111/

Pam Longobardi Discusses Marine Biology and Being Brave!

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 2018: Pam Longobardi

Where do you work and what do you do?
I work in coastal zones and nearshore sites around the world documenting and collecting vagrant ocean plastic. These material artifacts are the legacy of the late capitalist world, and are invading the natural world and human and animal bodies with their presence. I transform oceanic plastic into installations and photography. My work provides a visual statement about the engine of global consumption and the vast amounts of plastic objects and their impact on the world’s most remote places and its creatures, and is framed within a conversation about globalism and conservation.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
As a child I was always making things, sometimes transforming my whole bedroom into a kind of installation with drawings and rubber animal toys hanging from strings all over the ceiling. I have always been interested in the natural world, so worked as a scientific illustrator, but realized fine art was much more challenging and brought more to the table for me. I have been working as a serious artist since my early twenties.

 

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a marine biologist and work on Jacques Cousteau’s ship, to do work that combined exploration and discovery with the most challenging natural environment. But then I realized that my form of creativity didn’t fit well in a scientific career, so I channeled those interests and curiosities into my artwork. 

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
I think it would be interesting to talk with Dian Fossey, she was the gorilla researcher who laid down her life to protect the gorillas of Rwanda, and was ultimately murdered by the poachers. She died protecting what she loved.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
Probably my father. He challenged preconceived notions about how to live a life. He was a huge risk-taker, constantly reinventing himself. He started as a biochemist, becoming a stock broker, founding a rock climbing school in his 60’s and carried on climbing into his 80s. He never let age be a barrier, and he was eternally optimistic.

How is art a passion for you?
Art asks and answers questions that nothing else can. It manifests thought into a tangible form, and that is an incredible source of wonder. I’m interested in the function of beauty as a human endeavor. I think the beautiful is a challenging thing, because the truly beautiful has a darkness to it, an overcoming of challenge and trauma. We can see this is regenerative power of the natural world, it fights for itself.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
The world needs all of its artists now, as a creative force to blown down the destructive power structures still in place.
Women artists of every ethnicity need an elevated platform for their work, and for their work to be valued in equity. If we as a species are to undergo a necessary transformation, women will continue to rise in leadership and dismantle existing hierarchies. We are beginning the process culturally of flushing out the hidden abuses and this is a good thing.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
It is alive and vibrant. It is evolving and growing with new energy everyday. I am excited by both the younger artists and the seasoned ones who keep pushing their own boundaries. There is so much good energy here, I love the students at GSU and we are supported by a network of artists, curators and art lovers who care about each other.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I try to inspire artists to be brave in their work. I personally have taken great risks with my own practice and this has enabled my work to evolve and reach broad audiences. Art has work to do in the world, and it can start right here and now with artists feeling emboldened to challenge societal structures with their work. We are all part of an interconnected universe, and we all have a grave stake in the future of our communities: local and global, human and non-human.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
My website is driftersproject.net and on Instagram and Twitter as driftersproject.

 

KaCey Venning Talks Diddy and Navigating Male Dominated Spaces

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 2018: KaCey Venning

Where do you work and what do you do?

Helping Empower Youth, Co-Founder & Executive Director – Atlanta based 501c3 nonprofit provided STEAM based programming in schools and community
And Built For This, Founder & Speaker – ministry platform that intersects faith and mental health in communities of Color primarily.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?

Art for me has always included music and poetry. I have many family members who sing, play instruments, are in bands, etc. It has always been a part of my life. But I really became conscious of it when I began to study the Harlem Renaissance which led me to Romare Bearden. Currently, I co produce a voter registration open mic, Feed A Starving Artist, that fuses arts and activism once a month. I have been doing this for 10 years.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?

The next Diddy! I want to become a music mogul doing deals and influencing culture.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
Hmmmm… Zora Neale Hurston. I’d ask her how did she effortlessly convey such vivid imagery in her writing.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My parents. Hands down.

How is art a passion for you?  Art is in everything. It’s the lens we choose to view life through.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
There is still a lot of work to do. Especially is we look at STEAM work, women are still underrepresented in digital arts, graphic design. Music executives are still mostly men.

When was the last time you saw a woman conducting an orchestra, directing a play, or curating ballets?

A lot of that still is heavily dominated by men.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
There is a resurgence happening! From graffiti art in the Old Fourth Ward, the steel Work on the bridges and overpasses, midtown. Art is all around us. It’s time to focus on spoken word and underground performance art as well.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?

To show people that chance can come through art.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.?
Www.helpingempoweryouth.org
Www.kaceyvenning.com
Facebook – Feed A Starving Artist
Facebook – Helping Empower Youth

Tammy Huynh Talks Identity and Demi Lovato

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 2018: Tammy Huynh                                               

Where do you work and what do you do? 
I currently work at Georgia Tech’s IT Department as a Graphic Design Consultant, while also being a student at Georgia State University, and currently launching my blog and brand to help other creatives in the Atlanta area.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I first became interested in the field of Graphic Design my senior year of high school through a rebellious-like act. The back story? We were assigned a senior hoodie that was really terrible compared to the years before that. We felt like as a senior class, it was not representative of us so as the class Vice President I took on the challenge and designed the hoodie. I made a huge return in profit in terms of collecting the funds, ordering myself, and then doing distribution but that’s not what made this experience great. The fact that we collectively worked together to make something happen under the noses of our school principals and his assistants was what truly made it fun and memorable as a senior class (don’t get me wrong, in the end all the principals wanted one too). Thus, from then going on into college I decided to pursue the career but daringly did it without majoring it in college. Currently as a senior at Georgia State University, I’m a Sociology major with Educational Psychology minor because of my passion to work with people specifically students. Every day I still use my design to work with this demographic at Georgia Tech and I absolutely found the middle ground that everyone kept telling me didn’t exist between Sociology and Design.

I never took a class in design, which is what I see my advantage point is. It makes me work harder to be as great as those who have taken the classes. Thus, I’ve been working endlessly in design for the past 5 years.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
I always thought I was going to be some type of psychiatrist and a confused one because I also knew I always wanted to pursue both that and design/art.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
She’s still a live but I consider her a history-making woman: Demi Lovato. I would love to talk more in depth about her battles as a young teen. These battles have definitely been my inspiration to keep going toward my goals. She was placed into this spotlight at such a young age, but still faced peer pressure that made her stumble upon bad decisions. She use to be a very reserved person but over time has gained this confidence that is unbelievably admirable to me. Her confidence shows growth, strength, and determination. Three values I always try to instill in myself.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My family for sure. I live within two identities of American and Asian cultures. The Asian culture within my family restricted me from a lot of my goals and my own way of thinking while American culture has showed me a more individualize and freedom within my goals and own way of thinking. Because my family always instilled this Asian culture within me, it was hard for me to break out and not do what they wanted me to do but over time adapting to American culture, I was more supported. Without my family’s support I would never be in the position I am today where I am making impact, learning how to make more impact, and implementing more impactful things to the community.

How is art a passion for you?
I think of it as my drive. When I need something to knock me back into reality, I get more out of reality through art. I just create. I think of ideas. I write them down. I write blog posts. I draw or I design. Then when I come back into this reality of the real world, I see that it’s fine. Art is expressive to me, that’s why I’m so passionate about it. It’s healing to some people while others see it as a business. It’s open ranged enough to where there’s room to do a lot of things as an artist not just one art.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
I may be bias on this one as I always found myself around women in the creative workforce. That may be because of luck or depending on where I apply but there’s always going to be an inequality and a lack of representation somewhere within any field. I think that’s the best motivator actually in order to break this “glass ceiling” is to compete and do what you can to be better, create better, and ultimately just be the best version of you as possible.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
The diversity of the art in Atlanta. There’s so many different realms of art it’s unbelievable and there’s also so many different artists here in Atlanta. Being a student at Georgia State is what made this experience of being an artist in the city great because the campus is diverse, the art program is diverse. I see that as opportunity to network, to share ideas, and to create together.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do? 
I’m less about making profit and selling art but more about teaching. I want to use my work, experiences, and my leadership to teach others about what I know and hopefully learn from others too. I never think of myself as completely done as I always think there’s room to improve, always. I want to host events to teach others art or be a network hub for artists, especially for those who could not afford art school. Being a non-traditional myself, I never let the fact because I was non-traditional to get the best of me, I worked hard so that I could be compared to those who were traditional artists without feeling less than them. That’s what I want to instill in others is hustle and being knowledge hungry. Having that hunger to go above and beyond even if the means are against you will for sure pay off.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
I’m less about making profit and selling art but more about teaching. I want to use my work, experiences, and my leadership to teach others about what I know and hopefully learn from others too. I never think of myself as completely done as I always think there’s room to improve, always. I want to host events to teach others art or be a network hub for artists, especially for those who could not afford art school. Being a non-traditional myself, I never let the fact because I was non-traditional to get the best of me, I worked hard so that I could be compared to those who were traditional artists without feeling less than them. That’s what I want to instill in others is hustle and being knowledge hungry. Having that hunger to go above and beyond even if the means are against you will for sure pay off.

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

My blog/brand: www.thecreativefolks.org
IG: @thecreativefolks

My personal portfolio: www.huynher.com
Personal IG: @huynher__
(pronounced as “winner”)

Shellie Schmals Talks The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, FAME, and Electric Shock.

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 first Leading Lady for March 2018: Shellie Schmals

Where do you work and what do you do? 
The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, I was working contract for a few years and joined the team full time in 2014, when we became our own agency. My role as Film Programming Manager has a few different components to it, but I love how it varies!

From May to November, I recruit, manage and train the the 200 volunteers who sit on the Film Evaluation Committee. This group plays an active role in selecting the nearly 600 films that are considered for each annual Festival. Starting in November thru January, my work switches to the film acquisition stage. This is where I coordinate marketing collateral and the necessary materials needed for 75 films to screen in 7 venues, 11 auditoriums, and 200 screenings in 23 days. January and February, I’m working with our production team and venue staff to manage behind-the-scenes and on site for the 3 weeks we are in motion for the festival.

February to May – back again to prepping for the FEC to start again. Throw in there some event planning for our year-round events, and you’ve got a good feel of what a year in my AJFF life is like!

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
As an observer, I’ve always been interested in artistic endeavors and truly appreciate those who can draw, sing, dance, mold, design and fabricate. My skills in those areas – not so much!! It took me many years to realize there was an art to producing events and that’s where my talents were the strongest. Weird to say, but I’ve been at this for 30 years. I was 13 when I planned my first event – it was a fundraiser for my high school youth group and in a way, I’ve been doing non-profit work ever since.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
An actress. I knew it at 4 years old and made the declaration to my parents. By 8, I was obsessed with the tv show FAME, and told anyone who would listen that I was going to the High School of Performing Arts in NY. I also wanted to be a rock star – because, Madonna!

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
Mae West, Sarah Bernhardt, and Fanny Brice – I’m fascinated by their humor, life stories and stage presence. I’m so interested to see what they would think of women’s role in creative industries today and hear about how they would tackle issues like #metoo.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My mom. She’s the loudest cheerleader and the most supportive person in my universe. She may not have understood all of my interests or why “planning could be a thing” – but she’s always proud of what ever mad cap adventure I get myself into.

How is art a passion for you?
It’s like an electric shock, I get really excited about a concept and I want to move quickly for it to crystallize. I also love watching others create and find inspiration in their energy.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
We’re no where near where we should be and we’ve got a long way to go! Inequality doesn’t change overnight, and it’s going to a unified effort to enact meaningful change.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
Spaces like Relapse Theatre, that double both as a performance venue and an art gallery; people like Ian Aber, who are curating events to include all genres of performance; and communities like Castleberry Hill, that are supporting Atlanta artists by committing to the monthly Art Stroll and growing into the film community. It’s a fantastic time to experience Atlanta as an artist!

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?

I hope to provide opportunities, connections and outlets where all kinds of artists can collaborate, feel valued and create together.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
www.shellieschmals.com
www.ajff.org
www.wifta.org
www.roxieroz.com
www.georgiapinupposse.com

 

 

 

TechsmARTs Podcast : Episode 1 – Net Neutrality, Policy, & Action

Introducing our brand new TechsmARTs Podcast!

C4 Atlanta has launched a new podcast for our TechsmARTs program. This podcast will feature similar content to our in-person TechsmARTs meetups, which will still occur a few times a year. However, we hope that through our new podcast format we can provide a bank of relevant content that artists can access over and over again.  Additionally, we want to keep you up-to-date on trends in art and technology relevant to your arts careers.

Welcome to our inaugural episode! Future podcast content will be released monthly. Click the link below to subscribe. 

TechsmARTs Podcast : Episode 1 | Net Neutrality, Policy, & Action

Image of Protesters with Digital signs that say "Don't Block My Net".
Image by Backbone Campaign through Creative Commons.

Featuring: Adam Huttler from Fractured Atlas

Adam Huttler of Fractured Atlas speaks on the Federal Communications Commission’s current stance on net neutrality, and what the future may hold for artist and arts organizations if net neutrality is eliminated.

Contact your legislators and let them know how changes to net neutrality could affect your arts business. Find My Legislator’s Contact Information By Address

Fractured Atlas is a national arts service organization, serving the needs of professional artists and arts workers across the country. Click here to learn more about Fractured Atlas.

Click the link below to subscribe to the TechsmARTs Podcast!

Click Here to Rate and Subscribe

C4 Membership Drive

C4 Atlanta is please to announce our launch of the 2017 Member Drive.


Lisa Pellegrino shares: “I am a C4 Atlanta member because staying in touch with my artistic side is deeply important to becoming the best version of myself. Thanks to C4 not only do i have health insurance through the KP bridge program, but I also gained the skills and confidence to launch my website for my craft pesto sauce business.” {Image credit: Familiar Roots Photography}

Between now and June 30, 2017 C4 Atlanta has a goal of adding 50 new artist members to our creative family. 

Through our membership program C4 Atlanta connects artists through classes and member gatherings, amplifies artistic voices through advocacy work, and fosters a thriving and healthy arts community.

C4 Atlanta memberships help keep our training classes affordable for all, and insure that we can continue to provide vital services and programs to our community.

Membership begin at only $40 for the year and include many different benefits such as access to apply to KP Bridge health insurance, discounts to C4 Atlanta classes, cross membership with Fractured Atlas and so much more. See the full list of benefits here

Consider a membership for yourself or for a creative friend today!

Already a member of C4 Atlanta? Then help us by sharing your testimonials here.

 

 

5 Types of Bad Websites & How to Avoid

As an artist you NEED a website. All small businesses do. Not only does it serve as a place to sell your good and services, but it provides brand value to your customers. These days building a website is easier than ever, but there are some key things to consider before you begin.

Chelsea Steverson, C4 Atlanta’s Operations Manager and facilitator for Website Bootcamp, took some time this week to screenshot some of her least favorite websites, and breakdown common mistakes many small businesses make.


YOUR WEBSITE REPRESENTS YOU

Websites are an asset to your business. Everything including your social media and business cards should lead people to your website. Isn’t it important then to have a website that professionally represents what you do? This one was top on my list of least favorite sites. Simple, bland colors does not equal professionalism. Not only have they chosen to use Pantone 448C, voted the most offensive color in the world, they don’t even have a logo. Simple choices like color and logos are key in helping customers trust and identify your brand.


DESIGN WITH YOUR CUSTOMER IN MIND

You can be the BEST at what you do. You can win all the awards, and even be certified in your field. But when it comes to your website shouldn’t it be about your customer or client’s needs? This website was clearly designed with the optometrist in mind, not the customer. The entire first page is dedicated to his practice, and doesn’t provide clear, solid navigational options for customers to take action. Really think about what you want your customer to do when they come to your site. In this case, I’m sure this Eye Care business wants to be booking patients and providing eye care services. So why is the main page of this website dedicated to something different?


MAKE PRODUCT NAVIGATION & TRANSACTIONS AS EASY AS POSSIBLE 

If the main purpose of your website is to sell a product… you need to have images of your product. Not only are there no images, but there is no hierarchy of information, no buttons, and tiny text. People don’t buy things they can’t see. This is especially true for the creative sector. The customer has to really know what they want before they ever arrive on this website. This puts potential new customers in a place where exploring these leather goods is not intuitive and makes purchasing difficult. The more difficult browsing and purchasing is the less likely customers are to actually complete the transaction.


DON’T TELL US ABOUT PRODUCT, SHOW US

Wow. Just wow. This Web Solutions company provides lots of text about what they do and how well they do it, but I don’t see any links or images to websites they have actually designed. Without other examples all the customer has to go on is their current website, and I wouldn’t pay to have my business website look like this. Would you?


YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD REINFORCE YOUR BRAND & PRODUCT

There are so many things wrong here, so lets just stick with the basics. I’m sure you’ve heard that a professional looking website provides your business with the first chance at make a good impression on a customer.  What impression is Ling making? Truth be told, this is a pretty infamous website because of the purposeful, careless design. Either way, I wouldn’t be caught dead buying a car from Ling. From the Lisa Frank-ish background to the disturbing GIFs, I question the legitimacy of this business. The whole site feels like a joke. I don’t know about you, but the last time I bought a car it was pretty serious business. Not to mention that Ling felt the need to reiterate how trustworthy he is… kind of makes me not trust him. If Ling’s cars are really that great then he should consider customer testimonials/reviews as a way share this knowledge and build brand loyalty.


Are you in need of a website? Maybe you have one, but it needs major updates. Then join C4 Atlanta for Website Bootcamp, Tuesdays May 16th – May 30th from 10:30am to 1:30pm at Fuse Arts Center. 

Website Bootcamp is a three-week, hands-on workshop for artists and arts administrators who want to learn how to quickly build a website.

Learn more or register here >>