Tag: Michael Jones

C4’s New Arts Business Incubator & Partnership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 A photo of Davion Alston

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


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



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

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

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

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


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

C4 Atlanta Open House and Mural Unveiling with WarnerMedia

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

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

Tickets: FREE for All Ages

Hatch Session #5 Recap – Budgets, Negotiations and Contracts

One thing I always tell my students when they take Ignite is that cultivating a good relationship with your lawyer is invaluable. Luckily for us, and our Hatch artists, Jim Grace is the kind of lawyer at the forefront of the legal issues faced by artists. Jim is the Executive Director of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, and we were incredibly fortunate to have his expertise to guide our latest Hatch session. Here are some highlights from the day:

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Jim Grace, Executive Director of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, schools us on how to best legally protect our artistic interests.

Intellectual Property: Jim began with an in-depth primer on intellectual property and some of the ways it can be protected. Of the three most widely used protections against infringement (copyright, trademark and patent), copyright and trademark were of the most interest to the artists, with several questions voiced about both. Jim helped not only to clearly define the differences between the two, but also to define the legal implications and responsibilities of the artist for each. As it relates to art created with community, Jim stressed that if the overall vision of the work is the providence of the artist, and not the individuals, then each individual can only hold claim to the their small piece. The work as a whole and vision is the intellectual property of the artist. Jim also discussed additional ways for artists to protect themselves, including filing for copyright and defining terms such as “work for hire” in which case the artist might not actually own the rights to work created for another entity. Alternatives to litigation if infringement was unintended were mentioned, including when to let the violation “go”, such as cases where the overall exposure or popularity of the piece was of greater benefit to the artist’s career.

Michael Jones (left) discusses his experiences with negotiation while Orion Cook (right) looks on.
Michael Jones (left) discusses his experiences with negotiation while Orion Cook (right) looks on.


A lot of our conversation for the day revolved around negotiation, particularly because as artists, we are negotiating constantly. Highly stressed in this segment was the need to not only identify your personal negotiation “default”, but also to recognize the “default” of your negotiation partner. Typical negotiation prejudices and myths were debunked, resulting in greater understanding of the implications past experience might have in hindering a current collaboration process. Jim asked everyone to participate in a short exercise with a partner to recognize our own negotiation practices. Standing across from each other in two rows, each pair was told that in order to receive $1000, they must convince their partner, in one minute, to come to their side. Each person’s natural negotiation style became readily apparent as we dissected the effectiveness of each group’s communication and outcome. Jim also identified 5 different strategies for negotiation, the implications on the overall relationship between the partners involved and the best uses of each strategy depending upon the intended outcome. A strategy such as avoidance might seem merely negative, however could be useful in certain situations, such as responding to certain types of negative correspondance. Conversely, the strategy of collaboration gave much greater importance to overall relationship building and resulted in a better overall outcome for both parties with less opportunity to “leave money on the table”.

How could we decipher which strategy to use? And how could we reach the best outcome through collaboration, if that was our intent? To answer those questions, it was important for the artists to understand the differences between Interests and Positions, and to ask the “right” diagnostic questions. An interest is a want brought to the table by a negotiating party, but it may not always represent the need from which it comes. As an example, we were given a prompt regarding asking to rent an apartment. One side of the room was charged with asking for an apartment on the 14th floor and the other was charged with answering their needs. Jim challenged the artists to think beyond just the questions being asked by each side, but to probe each interest fully to understand the underlying need behind it. In this instance, the interest of the 14th floor apartment may be based on the need to be farther away from the street and noise, which could easily be satisfied by another higher floor apartment if none were available on the 14th floor. Having the insight and tenacity to go beyond just the stated interests of the other party meant that each side brings more to the table with which to negotiate. Both parties are more likely not only to satisfy each other needs, but to build a stronger, more trusting relationship as well. And ultimately, the most successful negotiations tend to yield this relational outcome as well as solving the problems of each side.

Orion Crook (standing - left) and William Massey (standing - right) consider possible scenarios regarding artistic participation during a proposed project scenario.
Orion Crook (standing-left) and William Massey III (standing-right) consider possible models for artist participation while workshopping project scenarios.

Contracts, Proposals and Budgets:

In order to best understand the kinds of projects and work agreements our artists had dealt with in the past, Jim asked that they submit any contracts and budgets that they felt comfortable sharing to be discussed and potentially workshopped prior to attending his workshop. Our artists vulnerably shared several different work agreements, proposals and projects, even volunteering information regarding some “in the works” collaborations. Jim stressed that not only were concerns regarding protection of artwork and assets important, but that the artists consider their needs for insurance, liability, tax and overhead expenses when creating budgets and negotiating contracts. The artists considered a wide variety of scenarios: from needs for maintenance and upkeep of artwork to considering the repercussions and difficulties of utilizing unorthodox performance spaces. Also noted was need to consider whether the contract created reflects any perceptions about one party or the other being “screwed”. While it is important to protect our assets and insure that clear expectations are maintained, if an artist preparing a work meant to connect and engage community then asks those same stakeholders to sign lengthy, overcomplicated releases, this action might not engender the intended result of the project.


Planning + Art(ists) – Hatch Artists’ Blogs Part 1

Part of the ongoing Hatch blog series, today’s blogs are reflections by our Hatch artists on their experience from the previous weeks’ class by Heather Alhadeff and Allison Bustin from Center Forward. Staff recaps of the session is available on our blog.

For this class, we ask the artists to reflect on the following thoughts:

  • Where is the work that you do most applicable in the planning process? Could it be incorporated in multiple steps?
  • Could you see yourself doing this kind of work? Why or why not? What kinds of projects WOULD you like to work on, regardless of whether they are “planning” related?

We hope you enjoy their thoughtful responses!

Artist Michael Jones (right) with his artwork from a recent exhibition at Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery.
Artist Michael Jones, left, with his artwork from a recent exhibition at Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery.

Last session was information overload for me. Applying my skill set to planning development could be best suited in the planning process or in the execution stages. I tend to have ideas on how to make things flow smoothly and admire the steps it take to achieve a finished product. I also have a diverse range in art disciplines which would bode well in the actual execution of some art applications. What intimidates me about the planning process is the paperwork and logistics of working with city planners that do not know the artists’ way of working. I guess that’s why it’s a good idea to bridge those gaps. The benefits, of what each side brings to the table is ideal in creating a well rounded project since both sides can take advantage of the assets they bring to the project. I’m not sure if it’s something I will pursue, but if the opportunity was to arise I would consider it, knowing what I’ve learn in these last few sessions.

by Michael Jones

“What would you like?” is a question that has resonated with me since our last Hatch session on planning. Some of my process can be reactionary at times and not idyllic or seeking to create an utopic experience/process/product. Morphing a “now” experience into something more ideal has been influential in my creative process. “how do I impact what is already present?” is more my query. “How do I work with what I have?”

Fight Still
Danielle Deadwyler (left), in performance.

“What would you like?” calls for creating or recreating from a clearer palette (though this is not the case when discussing redevelopment). I’m not wholly sure if planning is an avenue for my work. Performance art, my realm largely, is not leaving a tangible footprint behind on a community or on the aesthetic of a community/city (oftentimes). My imprint is more of a memory.

If I were to be a part of planning I’d be interested in upholding memory and history. The Mel Chin example of art in planning structure was impactful as well- how do we hold history on a pedestal, or as a valued relic in community? Therefore, connecting to the community engagement aspect of the process appeals to me. Community members are gatekeepers of what should be remembered (what has stuck) and what has influenced the journey of their specific place. Encouraging and supporting the question “What would you like?” could be explored via my medium. Here is a way to incorporate art in the process and not in the product making. Through performance art, an artist(s) and community members could begin to dig into imagine futures, assess the past, connect the present, via movement, video, any myriad ways performance art is expressed. It can get planners and community members and artist(s) out of their own minds and into the process of others. And performance art is not a product always, the process is key in building for a singular, or many singular moments. This could be ideal for really engaging community thought processes, “languages” in the community, emotional impact, historical/social ramifications/goals. Planning, in this manner, becomes process art making rather than obligatory processes for dodging history’s challenges.

by Danielle Deadwyler