Tag: Leading Ladies in the Arts

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 – Ibi Owolabi

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 Our First Leading Lady for March 2019: Ibi Owolabi

Headshot of Ibi Where do you work and what do you do?
I am a freelance director here in Atlanta. I work on several film projects and on plays in town at wonderful theaters like 7Stages in Little 5 and the Alliance in Midtown.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I’ve loved the arts my entire life, before it because an option as a career, it was just my imagination and lots and lots of books, giving me lots of different lives and adventures. I’ve been formally directing since I was about eighteen, so eight years.

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

I used to think I would be a pediatrician, because I love kids and I’m Nigerian, so medicine is kind of the default. Unfortunately, I was introduced to chemistry in high school and medicine and I parted ways. I did find theatre in high school, however, and the love has stayed strong.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
Octavia Butler. I’d love to talk sci fi and incorporating POC into the genre with a woman who founded so much of it. Octavia existed in an timeline with even less women of color in the genre and flourished despite it. A glimpse into her wildly creative mind would be great.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
However cliche, my mom. I can’t even quantify how much her strength and intelligence shaped me. Watching her step through adversity, seeing her build and own her own business for almost twenty years made the idea of being self made second nature to me. Her pride in being black and an immigrant infused me with the same pride and love for who I am, even when my career forces me to look inward and take some personal hits. I am so grateful for her.

How is art a passion for you?
I am a firm believer that there is no life without art. There is no history, no foundation without art. And there within lies my passion. Art is life changing and vital to who I am and what I want to leave behind. More than leave behind, but what I want to build and Forster the growth of. There is no limit to what can sprout from a creative mind. And that is a thrilling thing.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
With everything that has happened in the last couple of years, surrounding pay inequality, the MeToo movement, and the choking over saturation of arts by white men, I have to say this: hire women. Just women. Until we figure all of this out. It may sound radical, but I believe to offset the waves of toxicity and stale ideas making major companies circle the drain, hire women and pay them what they are truly worth. And I do not think anyone should call themselves any kind of ally if they are not completely transparent with what they are being paid, even if they are not completely sure the women they work with are being paid less. I do not think anyone should feel comfortable working in a space that is not 50% women, and the work to progress an artistic space does not stop once a white woman is hired. I’ve enjoyed much of my professional work, and I can say with complete confidence that women enhance every creative experience I’ve had, and deserve to be in every room.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
The most exciting thing about Atlanta’s art is the huge shift that is happening right now. I love how many new companies and new works are churning through the city, and how much of it I get to do.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
My passion is new plays, and I hope that Atlanta will continue to gain national attention for the new work we are putting out. I hope through our work, more will be produced and Atlanta will thrive as a city that puts on amazing new and classic plays.

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

Instagram – @yungdirector

 

 

2019 Leading Ladies Nominations are Now Open!

C4 Atlanta is proud to announce that nominations for our 5th Annual Leading Ladies in the Arts Blog Series are now open! Each year during Women’s History Month, C4 Atlanta looks to recognize the women making extraordinary contributions to the Atlanta arts community.

Nominations are open to any femme-identifying persons in all artistic disciplines, including arts technicians and administrators. You can nominate yourself or another artist. Nominations may also be made anonymously, if preferred. Once nominated, each nominee will be sent information about completing their blog submission for the series.

The deadline to submit a nomination is March 15, 2019. 

Look for blogs to be released on a rolling basis throughout the month as they are submitted.

Click Here to Nominate a Leading Lady