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.

 

Investing in Atlanta’s Arts Educators is an Investment in Atlanta’s Youth

Why investing in Atlanta’s Creative Youth Should Also Include an Investment in Atlanta’s Arts Educators

By: Elisabeth Herrera-Very for C4

 

Atlanta is known for it’s vibrant, diverse, expanding arts community. From the amazing street art adorning our neighborhoods to blockbuster film projects; we have so much art to celebrate. Atlanta seems like a likely place to invest in the future of it’s arts community, however, the accessibility of arts education for Atlanta’s youth tells a different story. Wouldn’t it make sense to grow our own artists within the educational institutions we already have established? Wouldn’t more arts programming in our public schools add only greatness to our already robust arts scene? A greater emphasis on the arts sounds like an amazing idea but for that to happen we need to invest in supports for our arts educators.

All students in Georgia do not have equal access to a quality education in the arts. Data collected by the Georgia Council for the Arts (2015) show that nearly 40% of Georgia’s youth do not have access to high quality visual arts education, this means that students are being taught by a person who is not certified to teach visual arts, and 19% of those students do not have access to visual arts education at all. Arts disciplines such as theater arts have an even lower amount of high quality teachers in the field with 76% of Georgia’s youth going without any access to theater programs in their school (Bell, 2015, p. 17). One may ask, why don’t schools hire more arts educators? Historically, arts have been undervalued in public schools with little to no investment in growing arts programs, however, a more pressing problem is having access to high quality arts educators to fill those vacancies in the event that a school or district decides to invest in the arts. Keeping high quality educators in the field is problematic due to ever increasing teacher turnover.

SEE FULL ARTS EDUCATION REPORT HERE

In Georgia, like across our nation, teacher turnover is high. The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education stated in it’s Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2019 report that 13% of Georgia’s teachers leave the profession after only one year and 44% of teachers leave the field by their fifth year (GPEE, 2019, p.24). This high level of teacher turnover costs our public schools over 2 billion dollars every year (Phillips, 2015, para. 3). Many factors contribute to this alarming rate of attrition (teachers leaving the field) but the lack of supports for teachers is high on the list of reasons. The findings from GADOE’s “Georgia’s Teacher Dropout Crisis” survey (2015) show that one of the main reasons teachers leave the field in Georgia is the lack of professional development (Owens, 2015, p.4).

DOWNLOAD FULL PDF HERE 

As a visual arts teacher, I have spent the past near decade working in a variety of metro-Atlanta districts serving traditionally underserved populations. I have seen first-hand how the lack of supports for teachers affect the success of students. With pay freezes and furloughs, high-stakes testing, and general apathy or disregard towards the profession by the public it isn’t hard to see why so many people choose to leave the field. This is especially problematic in the fields of fine arts. So many principals do not have an understanding of what we do and so many school districts see us as extraneous additions to the curriculum. When a trained professional is treated as one of the least important members of the staff it is hard to maintain morale. In the majority of metro-Atlanta districts arts teachers exist on an island of isolation. Being the only art teacher in a school can be lonely; there is no one to bounce ideas off of, no one who speaks the language of the arts fluently, and sadly, no room to grow. Sitting on the lowest rung of the ladder year after year is exhausting and disheartening. Upon sharing my findings with a group at C4 one member stated that her husband had been a theater teacher but chose to leave the field. She stated matter of factly “…and he was such a good teacher”. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. Those of us who have a true passion for teaching in the arts are often crushed by the lack of supports or lack of access to supports.

I share these findings with the intent of sparking conversation in regard to what we value about the arts in Atlanta and the correlation between growing our artists and supporting our arts educators. Investing in Atlanta’s creative industries means investing in the educators who nurture and facilitate the growth of those creatives. We have all turned to someone to learn something new at some point in our life and those experts in their field supported us. Now it’s our turn to support those who teach in the arts because without their expertise our vibrant arts community will fade and for some of our most creative kiddos, their most effective means of communication with their world will cease to grow.

Resources:

  • Bell, A. (2015). Arts Education in Georgia: Public School Data and Principal Perspectives. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.georgia.org/sites/default/files/wp-uploads/2018/07/Arts-Education-Research-Report.pdf
  • Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (2019). Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2019. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from http://www.gpee.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/GPEE-Top-Ten-2019-Final_1-7-19.pd
  • Owens, S. J. (2015). Georgia’sTeacher Dropout Crisis A Look at Why Nearly Half of Georgia Public School Teachers are Leaving the Profession. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Documents/Teacher%20Survey%20Results.pdf
  • Phillips, O. (2015, March 30). Revolving Door Of Teachers Costs Schools Billions Every Year. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/03/30/395322012/the-hidden-costs-of-teacher-turnover

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.

C4 Atlanta Expands Space to Offer More Studio Space for Artists In South Downtown

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

C4 Atlanta Expands Space to Offer More Studio Space for Artists In South Downtown

DATE: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Atlanta, GA – C4 Atlanta announces a space expansion to provide more studio opportunities to Atlanta-based, artists. C4 has signed a lease to become a tenant at 132 Mitchell Street.

After being at the M Rich Building since 2012, the nonprofit arts organization will be doubling its current space capacity. In addition to artist studios, the new arts center will offer offices for small arts businesses and nonprofits. The space will have two common area rooms for meetings or workshops. C4 Atlanta has a target move-in date of May 1, 2019. The space has a new HVAC system, elevator, and buildout is to begin soon for a fully ADA compliant bathroom. The new arts space will also be renovated with new floors and paint before move-in.

The expansion is part of an effort to keep arts workers from being fully displaced from South Downtown. With new development coming, real estate prices are expected to escalate. This trend is happening in Atlanta and other major cities across the United States.

As part of a program expansion tied to the space, C4 Atlanta will be receiving a $10,000 grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation to pilot a new incubation program that combines professional development and coaching with studio space for artists. C4 Atlanta works with a diverse array of artists that includes visual artists, performing artists, film makers, musicians, and curators.

“We are excited about this move. Our team has been exploring this possibility for several years,” said Jessyca Holland, co-founder and Executive Director. “At one point, we thought we may have to leave downtown but we found a space that fits our vision for the next several years, and we get to stay in the heart of the city of Atlanta.”

132 Mitchell is owned by Winter Properties. The building is located near public transit. C4 Atlanta will rent out the top floor.

“We are excited to be a part of C4 Atlanta’s next growth phase. The arts are important to the fabric of South Downtown,” stated Stacy Crane of Winter Properties.

The organization is now seeking artists who are in need of a studio or small art businesses that need office space. For more information, please email actionteam@c4atlanta.org.

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 advocacy for arts workers. 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.

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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).

Leading Lady : Tracee Ginyard

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:  Tracee Ginyard

Where do you work and what do you do?
I am the owner of 95th St. Tacos and have a one year residency at Joystick Gamebar at 427 Edgewood Ave Atlanta, Ga. 30312 Where we serve delicious LA Style Tacos

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
My parents are both artists and always had an interest in the arts at an early age. My mother would Enroll my brother and myself in weekend art classes at the local Los Angeles city colleges and would look forward to learning something new every weekend such as pottery, animation, illustration, photography, and anything creative. My father owned his own custom-made furniture business for almost all of my life. He would take old chairs and make 3 seat and two-seat benches and sell them at local flea markets and swap meets. I’ve been in my line of work for a very long time as an entrepreneur.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
Growing up I always knew I would be creative a business owner in the arts or in beauty or food service.

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 conversation with visual artist Ann Lee over my signature Jerk Chicken tacos. Her work expressed every day African American life. I would love to ask her about the challenges and victories of being a African American woman artist in American.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life? My father is my biggest influence. He is 72 years old and still loves what he do. He wakes up every Sunday morning loads his truck and sells his handmade craft benches to the people.

How is art a passion for you?
Art will always be a passion for me its an expression that no one can take away and allows me to be free.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
It’s very important for equality and representation for all in the creative workplace. Many women and men don’t know how to address certain issues such as sexism, harassment, microaggression, and discrimination. Often, old traditions and taboos make it challenging to even begin the discussion. This is why many women in the arts community are underexposed and misrepresented. It is important to express our truths through the arts and become a more transparent, vocal and equal society.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
What excites me about arts in Atlanta is everyone is welcoming with open arms. It allows everyone from other cities to collaborate and this is why Atlanta is on the rise as one of the best cities for all creatives.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I would love to continue to use my platform to showcase local upcoming artist and one day have a art fund for future artist.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
95thsttacos.com
Instagram/Facebook: @95thsttacos
Twitter: @95thsttacosatl

Leading Lady : Jenna Gould

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: Jenna Gould

Where do you work and what do you do?
I’m a consultant with Susannah Darrow Consulting. We provide fundraising support and development strategy, mostly for non-profits in the arts and culture realm. My title of Associate Consultant is purposefully vague because I have a variety of responsibilities – grants management, research, client interfacing, and miscellaneous office tasks. I’m a detail-oriented person, which works well since Susannah excels at big ideas and overall strategy. It’s incredibly rewarding to be working with so many different types of clients while also helping build a successful small business. There’s never a dull moment.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I’ve always been interested in the arts. I’m fortunate that my parents took me to art museums as a kid. I studied piano for 12 years and started taking voice lessons in high school. In college, I majored in music and decided to pursue a master’s in vocal performance with the intention of being an opera singer. While I decided not to pursue a career in opera, I currently sing with a classical vocal trio that I co-founded last year called Les Trois Voix, and I’m also a staff singer at Northside Drive Baptist Church. Music and art go hand in hand for me – I don’t think my interest in the arts and arts advocacy is a surprise to anyone who knows me.

I’ve only been working in this realm for the past few years. I had a nontraditional trajectory to get to where I am now. And I think that’s really ok. There’s a lot of pressure when you graduate from college to know exactly what you want to do and to find the perfect job to set you up for your career. I went straight into my master’s program from college, and I worked in the corporate world for about six years after that, but it never felt right. Trying to get back into arts administration was challenging. I had worked as a development assistant for a non-profit in New York, but it was before my time in law firms and finance, so all people saw on my resume was my paralegal experience. It was actually an internship at Atlanta Contemporary that helped me land a seasonal job with Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, which in time led to my current position.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a performer. For a while, I wanted to be an actor, although I was always much more devoted to music than acting.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
Lunch with Ada Lovelace would be interesting. As pervasive as sexism is now, I can’t imagine the challenges of a female mathematician in the 19th century. I would also love to talk about music with composer and pianist Fanny Mendelssohn.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
If you had asked me five years ago, I probably would have said my parents because they have always been supportive of my career aspirations. But I’ve spent the past several years figuring out what I want for myself instead of what other people want for me. I’m lucky to have a handful of amazing, strong women that I count as friends who also work in creative fields and understand the accompanying challenges. My sister has also been a big influence in such a positive way. She was talking and writing about sexism and feminism before it was a big part of the cultural lexicon and certainly before I was thinking about it.

How is art a passion for you?
Music is my greatest passion. When I moved back to Atlanta in 2012, there were a couple years where I wasn’t singing or performing in any capacity. I joined Festival Singers of Atlanta in 2014 (which is where I met the other two co-founders of Les Trois Voix), and it was such a joy to be making music again. I hadn’t realized how much I needed that creative outlet, especially since I was working in finance at the time. I’m at my best when I can express myself through music and collaborate with other musicians.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
For all the talk in the arts about the importance of representation of women and people of color, there are still far too few women leading creative organizations. Stop talking about how important diversity is to you, and start actually hiring women, especially women of color, and elevating them into positions of power.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
I’m excited that the arts in Atlanta are starting to get the kind of recognition they deserve. People have been doing impressive work in the arts here for a while, and it’s time folks outside of Atlanta pay attention. For example, Atlanta Contemporary hosted the 2019 Atlanta Biennial, highlighting the work of artists throughout the south. The Lucky Penny has also been raising the bar for contemporary dance since its inception in 2011. There are a lot of fierce and savvy women in the arts community – I’m excited to see how the landscape changes with women at the helm.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
One of the reasons I got into fundraising was to help arts organizations grow their capacity to support artists and the arts community. I’m excited to have the opportunity to support not just one but many different organizations that each contribute something unique to this community.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
www.susannahdarrow.com 
lestroisvoix.org
Instagram: @jennamgould

Leading Lady : Megan Schaeffer

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: Megan Schaeffer 

Where do you work and what do you do?
I work at Serenbe, a community south of Atlanta. I am their Art Farm Director and manage art programs ranging from art classes + workshops, gallery exhibitions, to our Art Over Dinner series.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I become interested in the arts early in my life. My parents own a small piano company, so growing up I was surrounded by music and art. In high school I was involved mainly in theater and dance, but once I started college I quickly became interested in visual art. My first internship was at Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC when I was 19, and since then I’ve been in the arts management field in some form or another.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
To be honest, I can’t really remember what I wanted to be when I was a kid. I probably wanted to be some sort of dancer – I’ve always liked to boogey. It’s a Schaeffer family thing.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
I know you specify just one woman, but I would like to go to lunch and share a nice bottle of wine with Eleanor Roosevelt and Michelle Obama. I’d like to listen to their conversation about diplomacy, expectations, and legacy. Eleanor was one of the first leading women to champion civil rights publicly, which was not a popular thing to do in her day. I want to be there when they meet each other for the first time. Can you imagine how that would go? That’s a fun thing to think about.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My parents and my grandparents.

How is art a passion for you?
Art is a passion for me because I think is important for everyone. The arts help to make sense of the world.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
We’re working on it, but we’re not nearly there yet. It bothers me immensely that there are so, so many women that work in the arts but when you look at the top positions at major galleries and museums, the majority of those positions are filled by white men.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
The growth. I’ve only been here for three years, but even in those three years I have seen more galleries/creative spaces open and more funding allocated to the arts. As compared to the more established (and saturated) NYC or LA, Atlanta wants more and is keen on carving out an international identity. It’s only up from here when it comes to the opportunities for artists and creatives.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I like when art sells. I like when people care about buying locally made artwork and value that work highly. I like when artists feel like their career is being pushed forward and properly advocated for. Whether that’s funding or (the right kind of) exposure that leads to more work, that’s what I want.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
Learn more about the Art Farm at Serenbe at www.artfarmatserenbe.com and follow at @artfarmserenbe on Instagram.

Leading Lady : Becca Parker

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: Becca Parker 

Photo by Colin Pearce

Where do you work and what do you do?
Artistic Director of Live Arts Theatre. Live Arts is a teaching theatre, designed to bridge the gap between community, educational, and professional theatre. I spend a lot of my time working with the school programs supporting them and teaching workshops. I try to teach the students that there is a place for them in theatre after graduation, regardless of the level at which they choose to participate. We also develop individuals who would like to be working at the professional level through our Intensive Program.

In my spare time, I work as a freelance Director, Music Director, keys programmer, scenic and lighting designer, and stage manager. I also serve on the board of Georgia Theatre Conference.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I have been interested in, and a part of theatre my whole life. I started out as an actor at a very young age and have been working in theatre ever since. I graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2003, with a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre and I also hold a Masters degree in Special Education. I have been the Artistic Director of Live Arts since 2010.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
A Broadway star! In my early 20’s, a mentor pulled me aside and told me that although I am a talented performer, I should look at Directing, as I tend to see the whole picture. When I finally listened, I realized she was right, so now I do more directing. This eventually led to my moving to Atlanta and taking over a struggling community theatre, which eventually became Live Arts.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
I’m going to name one who is alive and then a few who are no longer with us, because history happens every day. Those who are living are a part of creating tomorrow’s history. So, a woman I would love to have lunch with would be Susan Booth. There are so few women as Artistic Directors of large institutions, and I always enjoy meeting people whose work I admire. Not living would be Martha Lavey or Ellen Stewart. Both of these women successfully founded and built such amazing theatres and I would love to hear about the journey from beginning to end.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
That’s a tough one. Probably my Nana. She always took me to the theatre growing up, and was an awesome cheerleader. After that, my husband Michael and the group known as my boys, who are my close friends and support system. They are always down for pretty much any adventure, and have always tried to support what I do.

How is art a passion for you?
How is it not? Seriously, there is not a day where I don’t wake up thinking of something going on with one production or another. I also fall asleep thinking about the next days events. I think my passion is also for people, and theatre brings people together. There truly is no better feeling in the world than watching someone do something that at the beginning they did not think was possible for them.

I’m actually living my passion right now. We at Live Arts are currently working on a production of Ragtime with Berkmar High School. Most of the roles have a student, as well as an adult mentor cast in them. It has been so great to see the kids being inspired by the adults, and giving the adults the opportunity to give back to our community in such a meaningful way.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
Equality and representation is extremely important to me. I believe in order to be truly equal, each and every one of us needs to be committed to the idea that every individual has something to offer and to then strive to discover what that something is. Each individual has a story to tell, and when we are allowed to tell them, we all become better people. To that end, a good deal of my work involves creating opportunities in the creative workforce for people in our community. Right now, Live Arts is still pretty small, but we are striving to have the makeup of individuals on our stage and working behind the scenes mirror the actual makeup of our community.
Last year, I was given the opportunity to attend the Berkshire Leadership Summit, where over 75 leaders from all levels of theatre got together for a long weekend. All 75 identified as women, and it was so wonderful to be in a room with that many amazing creative women at one time. One project we have done that came out of my time there was actually just completed at Live Arts. Each year, we do a reading series in February, where all the plays revolve around a certain theme. This seasons theme was Women in American Theatre, where we presented 8 plays by women of color. It was amazing for our audience to get to hear the plays that told so many different stories, and to get so many members of our community involved for the first time.

Photo by Liam Davridge

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
The diversity! There is so much going on, which means there truly is something for everyone. I also love that we have so much representation at each level, and that we all work to support each other.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I hope to continue to create a place where artists can find a welcoming home in which to create theatre and grow as people. We learn something on every show and every project we do. Live Arts is not just a theatre. We are a family that supports each other in all endeavors. I hope to be able to help other organizations in our community, whether it’s developing an artist that may not quite be ready for one of the professional theatres, inspiring a student, or mentoring a community theatre on ways to make their productions/operations stronger.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
www.liveartstheatre.org
Facebook:  Live Arts Theatre Company