Classes and Workshops

This page includes DEC Webinars, Master Classes, and Panels that we host as well as other classes that we support and or sponsor for 2021:

2021 Virtual Entertainment Expo

Since our launch in 2017, we have committed to advancing and strengthening the creative industry. And, over the last four years (in-person & virtually), we have been successful in sharing vital resources and information during our Expo to close the gap on the myth that it’s not always possible to break into entertainment.

As you know, 2020 proved to be a challenging year for us all. However, we didn’t allow COVID-19 to stop our efforts in providing resources to our industry. We pivoted the Expo from in-person to virtual. This strategy proved to be very successful. We were able to impact over 9,000 people through our monthly virtual event that was hosted from May to October. This year, although our country is making progress with COVID-19 vaccinations, we still feel it is imperative that we continue to safeguard our guests and our team. Therefore, we will again hold the Expo virtually for this year.

We are also excited to share that this year’s focus and goal is to shed a positive light on the phenomenal organizations and programs that work side by side with us, ensuring the Entertainment Industry stays alive in GeorgiaWe believe there is power in numbers. The impact that we can make together is much more significant than one individual organization can make. 

Leaders in Film – Georgia is a Rising Star in Film Production!
July 13, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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This panel will discuss the booming film industry in Georgia and how Georgia has proven to be the rising star in film production.  This webinar is sponsored by Georgia Hollywood Review.

 

 

Angelo Diaz                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Bi-coastal Actor
Film & Television

Angelo Diaz is bursting onto the scene as one of the most in-demand up-and- coming leading men in the entertainment industry. Angelo Diaz can be seen captivating audiences in the hit true crime show “ATL Homicide”, TVOne’s #1 show since 2018.  Produced by The Hive (formerly Jupiter Entertainment), the series relives the real life cases of two of the most prominent homicide detectives in American history: David Quinn and Vince Velasquez. Diaz shines in his dead accurate portrayal of Detective David Quinn, and is a fan favorite amid the high stakes drama of the show, which recently premiered Season 3 in January 2021.  “ATL Homicide” also airs internationally as “Homicide’s Elite” on CBS Reality in the U.K. and 20+ countries.

On the film front, Diaz will soon make his big screen debut opposite Taylour Paige and Riley Keough in the highly anticipated A24 film “Zola”, which premiered at Sundance Film Fest 2020 to rave reviews. The edgy film is based on an infamous 148-tweet Twitter thread recounting a wild and deadly Florida escapade. Viewers will be shocked at the edginess of Diaz’s role in the film, which will be releasing in Summer 2021.  At Bovtiqve Fashion Week Spring 2020, Diaz premiered his fantasy fashion film, “Florida Man”, which he Starred In, Wrote, Produced, and Directed, following the reckless adventures of the mythical #FloridaMan.

Angelo Diaz first broke onto the Acting scene in 2016 with a performance in the independent domestic violence film “The Last Time”. Produced by the late Tommy Ford in what would become his last work, the film went on to be nominated for several awards including Best Feature at Bronzelens Film Fest 2017 and has aired 8 times and counting on AspireTV. And Mr. Diaz has been on fire ever since.  In the Summer of 2021, Angelo debuted his new music as CubaGawd, releasing his debut single “Bottles In Boca”, in partnership with The Omen Agency & Pretty Fly Muzic.  Angelo’s favorite thing to do is invest his creative energy into creating groundbreaking television and film content. His Mama, Ines Diaz-Owen, was a College Professor of both Creative Writing & Journalism, and as soon as he was born Angelito was her #1 student. This early passion for storytelling is what drives his content creation. Angelo is bi-coastal, splitting his time between LA, Atlanta, and Miami.

Chris LeDoux                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Co-Founder & Sr. VFX Supervisor                                                                                                                                                                                   Crafty Apes Visual Effects

Chris LeDoux is the co-founder and Senior VFX Supervisor of Crafty Apes Visual Effects. Beginning as a full-scale VFX studio for film and TV, Crafty Apes has grown to include a talented roster of creative and production supervisors that offer set supervision, VFX consultation and high-end CG and previsualization services. With over 250 employees and offices in in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, New Mexico, Louisiana, Vancouver, and Montreal, Crafty Apes is an industry powerhouse with projects and clients worldwide.

With over 20 years of experience in the television and film business. Chris LeDoux has supervised, and FX produced entire films as well as memorable sequences for some of Hollywood’s largest studios and franchises. With over 100 credits of his own, Chris has extensive knowledge of VFX and production pipelines. LeDoux has been providing design and look development, on-set consultation, and post services to expand Crafty Apes’ foothold in the entertainment world, including recently expanding their reach into the commercial space with advertising clients nationwide. Chris currently oversees Crafty Apes Atlanta, the largest and busiest of the company, with over 80 artists and producers in house.

After LeDoux pulled up stakes in Kodiak and moved to Los Angeles —the center of the visual effects (VFX) universe — he began his career as a VFX artist by working on arguably one of the biggest visual effects films of its day, Sin City. After co-founding Crafty Apes in Los Angeles with his brother Tim LeDoux, he saw an opportunity and need for localized visual effects supervision and production in Georgia — as many of Crafty Apes’ clients began to push both shooting and post-production to the greater Atlanta area. While the tax credits helped bring him to Georgia, the expanding industry around him made him stay. Six years later, LeDoux and Crafty Apes became essential players in the post-production pipeline in Georgia.  Chris LeDoux believes we must give back to the communities in which we spend our time. This is why he pays it forward while still supporting the growth of the Crafty Apes team. The visual effects business can demand long hours and meticulous attention to detail — but those details allow the magic to happen on the big screen. Finding local, experienced VFX artists who can help realize a director’s vision at the highest level of quality can be a challenge. While there has been a gradual influx of industry professionals relocating to Georgia — which forms the core of Crafty Apes’ talent base — Chris has found growing local talent, such as through his work with film students, is also vital to sustaining the needs of Georgia’s entertainment industry. LeDoux also makes time to speak to students about the burgeoning entertainment sector at industry-focused film and trade schools, such as the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He knows the importance of sharing how to launch their careers right here in Georgia. Chris does not stop at the local college talent, though. He looks for anyone who might not have the educational background, but are hungry, driven, and think outside of the box.

 

Alahna Lark                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Director, Producer, Writer, and Cinematographer
Alahna Lark is an award winning film producer. As a child of refugees her main goal is to improve the lives of people of color through her art. She recently launched a full service production company called Lark Media, which provides video production for a variety of socially conscious companies and brands.  Lark is the director, co-producer, and co-writer of the feature documentary, “Sweet Auburn Blues”, a film about a historically black neighborhood struggling to return to its former glory. She is also the producer of the Emmy nominated, three time Telly Award winning short film, “Made In America” (2020), which focuses on a Salvadorian mother who struggles to make a better life for herself and her daughter. She is also known for her work as the cinematographer and director of the year long Martin Luther King Jr. Exhibit, A Right to Freedom, at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm. She was Series Producer for the GSU TV travel show “Georgia Detours” and the Emmy winning documentary series “Special Edition”, which both air on GPB Knowledge. She has recently taken on the role of Programming Director of HuemanTV, an online streaming platform for creatives of color, disabled people, the queer community, and women. You can stream new content at hueman.tv and also inquire to hire Lark Media today at larkmedia.co.

Music Is Business: Legitimizing Your Music Business
June 8, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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This panel will discuss how to ensure your music business is established and registered as a legitimate business in operation in the state of Georgia.

 

Kendall Minter, ESQ.                                                                                                                                                                                                         Founder, Minter & Associates, L.L.C.
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Blk. Ent. & Sports Lawyers Association

Kendall A. Minter, a native of New York and graduate and Senior Class President of Flushing High School began his professional path at Cornell University where he participated in the six year combined arts/law program, graduating with a B.A., majoring in Political Science in 1974, and with a J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1976.  Upon his graduation from Cornell Law School, he joined Fairchild Industries as Associate General Counsel and Corporate Representative for Broadcasting.  In 1984, Kendall joined the law firm of Barnes, Wood, Williams and Rafalsky as counsel, where he remained until establishing Minter & Gay in 1987. Minter & Gay was a boutique law firm which specialized in entertainment, sports and labor law. Based in the Wall Street district, the firm grew to nine attorneys with an internationally diverse clientele. In September 1992, Kendall merged his practice into the firm of Phillips, Nizer, Benjamin, Krim & Balon as counsel. In early 1995, Kendall relocated to Atlanta and joined the firm of Sales Goodloe & Golden, as counsel, where he established and developed an entertainment department. Kendall has also been Of Counsel to the New York City entertainment law firm Rudolph & Beer.  In 2004, Kendall established Minter & Associates, L.L.C. in Atlanta, Georgia and subsequently established an Of Counsel affiliation with regional law firm Gibson & Behman, P.C. Minter & Associates, L.L.C. is a boutique law firm which represents a diverse international clientele in the areas of entertainment, corporate, intellectual property, sports and new media matters.  Kendall is a co-founder and inaugural Executive Director of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association and currently serves on its Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Rhythm & Blues Foundation and is the Chairman Emeritus of the organization and is a member of the Board of the Living Legends Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of Sound Exchange, Inc.

 

DiAndria “Dee” Green                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Senior Manager                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Bennett Thrasher’s State and Local Tax (SALT) 

DiAndria “Dee” Green is a Senior Manager in Bennett Thrasher’s State and Local Tax (SALT) consulting practice, where she focuses on providing state income/franchise tax consulting, sales/use tax consulting and other state tax services to clients of varying sizes and legal entity types. In this role, she assists clients in reducing their tax liability and effective state tax rates. Additionally, Dee leads the
SMART Compliance practice, which assists clients with meeting state sales tax compliance requirements and implementing and managing an automated sales tax software solution.

While at Bennett Thrasher, DiAndria has also advised motion picture studios, television networks, independent film producers and digital entertainment companies across the country on how to pursue, utilize and monetize movie production incentives and film tax credits. Her work primarily consists of educating clients on the law surrounding available state film tax credits and the qualifications required in pursuing those credits. While assisting clients with claiming film tax credits, DiAndria has also analyzed production expenses to determine qualifying expenditures, conducted due diligence reviews and drafted due diligence reports that indicated relevant procedures and findings. DiAndria has more than 10 years of tax consulting and business development experience. Prior to joining Bennett Thrasher, she worked at Ernst & Young, where she focused on Research & Development (R&D) credit study services, and at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Washington National Tax Office, where she provided merger and acquisition tax consulting services to public and privately held corporate clients.

 

Randie Brooks                                                                                                                                                                                                                            VP & Relationship Manager/Ent. Banking                                                                                                                                                                                 City National Bank

Randie Brooks is a vice president and relationship manager with Entertainment Banking at City National Bank. Based in Atlanta, Ms. Brooks provides qualified financial solutions to support the music, film and television industries, as well as high-net-worth individuals, athletes, and entrepreneurs. Her broad base of entertainment clients from music producers, songwriters to film production companies, prop houses and costume shops gives her a unique insight on the type of service needed and a firm grasp on the revenue streams from independent artists to international talent.

Ms. Brooks has more than 20 years of financial services experience and has been with City National for 12 years. Prior to her current role, she served as a senior account manager with the bank in the Entertainment Division in CA. She also worked with LPL Financial Services, WM Financial Services, Wells Fargo and H&R Block.

Ms. Brooks earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix. Active in the community, she serves on the board of Women in Film & Television Atlanta, Georgia Music Partners, and is a professional member of the Recording Academy. She is also a member of Georgia Productions Partners, Atlanta Corps de Ballet, and the Georgia Film and Television Professionals Alliance.

Ms. Brooks resides in Atlanta with her husband and two of her three children. She volunteers her time with the Dunwoody Springs Elementary PTO Foundation, City National Bank’s Dollars + Sense Financial Literacy Program, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Origin Story: How the Georgia Tax Credit Began and Where We’re Headed
May 18, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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This webinar will be a one-hour panel with the founders of Georgia Production Partnership as they discuss the work behind the formation of the Georgia tax incentive and where the industry is headed next.  Our panelist include:

Darius Evans                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Vice President 
Georgia Production Partnership

Darius Evans is currently Chief Executive Officer of Tent Pole Media Group, a trend setting content and communications company based in Atlanta specializing in digital marketing and content creation. As Co-Founder and former Chief Operations Officer of GTM, Inc, Darius has helped identify and secure the best in underground and mainstream talent to help stage some of GTM’s most successful entertainment marketing programs to date, including the “Master of the Mix” television show for VH1 and shows for BET and Current TV.  Darius has over 25 years experience in event management, marketing and promotions, and business operations.

Ric Reitz                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Past President 
Georgia Production Partnership

Ric is an actor, writer, composer, director and producer, who has been active in show business for more than 40 years. He has appeared in over 150 national television shows, feature films and stage productions. He is also president of Ric Reitz Writes, Inc., an international award-winning writing company.

Ric is a Past President of SAG-AFTRA Atlanta, Past President of the Georgia Production Partnership and a former member of the Georgia Film, Video & Music Advisory Commission. As one of the key architects in the development of Georgia’s current entertainment tax incentive law, Ric has played an important role in the resurgence of production in the state.

Shay Bentley-Griffin                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Founding President 
Georgia Production Partnership

Shay Bentley-Griffin began her career as a successful talent agent, before establishing Chez Casting, Inc. to quickly became a prolific casting director for film and television. Ms. Bentley-Griffin has worked on In the Heat of the Night, the Peabody Award-winning series I’ll Fly Away, and with a long line of directors to include Ang Lee, Clint Eastwood, Kenny Leon, Billy Bob Thornton, Shawn Levy, Adam McKay, Tyler Perry, Sam Raimi, Wes Craven, Jon Avnet, and Edward Zwick. She is a recipient of the Crystal Obelisk Award from the Casting Society of America, three Primetime Emmy nominations, the prestigious ‘Icon’ Award from the Entertainment Society of the Technology Association of Georgia, the “Women Who Mean Business” Award by The Atlanta Business Chronicle and was awarded an Emmy for her contributions to the Georgia Film Industry.

As Vice-Chair of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Board and founding President of the Georgia Production Partnership, Ms. Bentley-Griffin collaborated with industry and government leaders to create and secure passage of Georgia’s highly successful 2008 Entertainment Tax Incentive. Shay has served the State of Georgia as Film Liaison to Los Angeles, sits on the executive board of GPP, and serves as a board member for the Rome International Film Festival.

Craig Miller                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Past Co-President 
Georgia Productions Partnership

Respected filmmaker and founder of Craig Miller Productions, Craig Miller has produced award-winning presentations for an extensive list of Fortune 500 clientele for over 30 Years. Miller’s long-term relationships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, AGCO, UPS, U.S. Army, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Georgia Tourism are a testament to the company’s creative and technical capabilities. Miller is a member of the Producers Guild of America. He is on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Chamber and is a member of The Metro Atlanta Chamber and the National Agri-Marketing Association. Miller served for eight years as the Co-President of the Georgia Production Partnership (GPP), the grassroots organization responsible for establishing and maintaining Georgia’s Film Incentive. Craig is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

2021 Student Entertainment Expert Talk Series

The Power of Set Design
April 21, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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Are you a student between the ages of 13 -24 who is interested in being an Film Production and Set Design? Join DeKalb Entertainment Commission, the DeKalb County School System, and our other event sponsors as we bring the experts to you. Register now to experience an up-close-and-personal conversation with some of the top Film Industry Experts. The event is free and open to all students.  

 

The Sound of Success – Careers in Music
March 31, 2021 at 12:00 PM
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Are you a student between the ages of 13 -24 who is interested in being an Actor? Join DeKalb Entertainment Commission, the DeKalb County School System, and our other event sponsors as we bring the experts to you. Register now to experience an up-close-and-personal conversation with some of the top Film Industry Experts. The event is free and open to all students.

Barry Stoltze                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Atlanta AFTRA President, Actor
SAG-AFTRA

Barry Stoltze is a 37 year DeKalb County resident who has been a working union screen actor, stage performer, and voice talent since joining AFTRA in 1979 and moving to Georgia in 1983. He has done innumerable radio and TV commercials and most recently, appeared in “Ozark” and “Tyler Perry’s Boo! 2”.  From 1994-2017, he represented Atlanta on both the local AFTRA Board and local SAG Council (before merger) and has served as the Atlanta AFTRA President and SAG-AFTRA National Board Member.  He is also the Chair of the “Lend Me an Ear” Committee, overseeing the annual member-driven Old Time Radio fundraiser for the Atlanta Community Food Bank, helping raise thousands of dollars and meals for the ACFB.

Additionally, he is the writer/producer of the new musical revue “I Can’t Techno”. Trained in behind-the-scene work as well as in front of the camera or microphone, he is a graduate from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Radio/Television and award-winning filmmaker.  He looks forward to continuing as a DeKalb Entertainment Commissioner, to carrying on the union Call to Arts program with the Atlanta Area School Systems, and to contributing to this hometown team of entertainment professionals.

 Michelle Rivera                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chair & Board Member
SAG-AFTRA & Women In Film & Television

Michelle is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of combined finance, management, performance and production experience. She started her entertainment career on the Off-Broadway stages of New York while putting her finance degree to use by managing the Latin American business line at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. on Wall Street.  She re-located to Georgia in 2004, and has performed at the 14th Street Playhouse, Whole World and the Aurora Theatre to name a few and has been seen on hit shows Nashville, Sleepy Hollow and The Resident, as well as feature films Triple 9, The Nice Guys and Chris McKay’s upcoming sci-fi/action film The Tomorrow War out July 2021.

Michelle has produced and written several short films including the award winning cross-generational film, Encuéntrate, which was distributed internationally by the Shorts Entertainment Network. She is currently Executive Producer alongside Arthur Wylie in an upcoming thriller written and directed by Jeffrey Reddick scheduled to shoot Summer 2021.  Michelle has previously served on the SAG/AFTRA Atlanta Board; Co-Chair of the SAG/AFTRA Atlanta Diversity Committee and currently the Board of Women In Film & Television Atlanta as Chair of the Scholarship Committee.

 Brian Kurlander                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Actor

Brian Kurlander is a Georgia and New York based Actor/Teacher and sometime Writer. Brian’s work in theatre extends from New York City to Los Angeles, as well as with most of the Atlanta’s professional theatre companies. Brian has worked steadily in Georgia’s rapidly evolving film and television industry. In March of 2021 he wrapped production as the lead in the thriller Black Balsam slated for theatrical release in the fall of 2021. He has also appeared in The Good Lie with Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon, Hot Summer Nights with Academy Award Nominee Timothee Chalemet, and played Tupac Shakur’s high school teacher in the bio pic, All Eyez Me as well as the soon to be released WWII drama Sehen/du.

Brian has guest stared on hit shows like House of Cards and Cobra Kai, on Netflix, STAR on the Fox Network, Queen Sugar on OWN, The Inspectors on CBS and on several Tyler Perry shows. An award-winning playwright, Brian co-authored MOXIE which was the recipient of the Suzi Bass – Gene-Gabriel Moore Award as well as the Atlanta Broadway World Award for Best Play. Brian is celebrating 23 years of marriage to his beautiful bride Carrie. They have two exceptional (adult) children.

 Nikki Young                                                                                                                                                                                                              Actor/writer/Director/Producer
Chair of Diversity/EEO Committee – SAG-AFTRA

Nikki Young has been involved in television, film and stage productions – either behind the scenes or as a performer – since childhood. She earned a BA from Georgetown University where she was artistic director of Black Movements Dance Theatre.

In 2003, Nikki starred in the independent short film “WINNING LISA,” which she wrote, directed, and produced through her company Nikkiyo Films. In 2006, she produced the theatre production Medley of a Playwright: A Tribute to the Life and Work of August Wilson, featuring scenes from the playwright’s epic ten-play cycle. Nikki’s second film, “WHISTLE LESSON” was an official selection in the 2008 Hollywood Black Film Festival.  She was named an August Wilson Center Fellow in 2013.

A proud member of SAG-AFTRA, she currently serves as Chair of the Diversity/EEO Committee for the Atlanta Local. Her stage, screen and production credits include For Colored Girls, West Side Story, Silence of the Lambs, Drumline, Abduction, Jack Reacher and the Netflix film adaptation of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The Sound of Success – Careers in Music
March 17, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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Are you a high school student who is interested in a Career in Music? Join DeKalb Entertainment Commission, the DeKalb County School System, and our other event sponsors as we bring the experts to you. Register now to experience an up-close-and-personal conversation with some of the top Music Industry Experts. The event is free and open to all students.

Martina Albano                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mastering Engineer & Vice President
Atlanta Chapter of The Recording Academy

Marisa Martina Albano is an Italian Mastering Engineer based in Atlanta, GA. She works on albums for independent artists and record labels. She currently serves as a Vice President on the board of the Atlanta Chapter of The Recording Academy. She is also an Advisor on the board of ATL Collective.

In 2020, Martina Co-founded Onda Blu Studios at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, a Recording and Mastering Studio. Onda Blu Studios also offer Music lessons and Music Production classes.

After Graduating from the Berklee College of Music with a major in Contemporary Writing and Production, Martina spent time in Los Angeles assisting the film composer Nima Fakhrara. Here she worked on the creation of original sound libraries for the video game Resident Evil Revelation2, which sold more than 3 million copies worldwide.

Martina has a rich and diverse background in music. Her extensive experience in singing and writing contributes to her unique approach to mastering. Bridging the gap between musicians, writers, and engineers, Martina lends a unique sonic perspective to every
musical production with which she is involved.

Martina has mastered a wide variety of music including Cassie, Jade Novah, Ro James, Theo Croker, Kameron Corvet, Avery Wilson, Young Greatness, Lucy Graves, and numerous other works for artists worldwide.

 Kennard Garrett                                                                                                                                                                                                              Diversity Equity and Inclusion
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS)

Kennard Garrett is an award-winning record producer, composer, and arranger. He has produced and received musician/arranger credit on numerous chart-topping songs for various artists, from the PussyCat Dolls, Jesse McCartney, and Korean pop star BoA, to multi-platinum R&B singer Case, megahit raping sensation J. Cole, and four-time GRAMMY® Award winning rapper-phenom Drake.

In 2018, Garrett produced “Don’t Make Me Wait,” the lead single on the collaborative album 44/876 by international superstars Sting and Shaggy. Don’t Make Me Wait debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae Digital Singles Sales chart and headlined the Super Bowl LII pre-show and Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final series that year. The song was also performed on Good Morning America, the Jimmy Fallon Show, for Queen Elizabeth at her 92nd birthday concert at Royal Albert Hall, and at the 60th Grammy Awards Show. The album 44/876 was toured all over the world across North America, the Caribbean and Europe. It spent 19 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard, and won the GRAMMY® Award for Best Reggae Album at the 61st Grammy Awards in February 2019.

In 2020, Garrett formed the company Westview Drive Enterprises, with multi-platinum, award winning producer Justin “Henny” Henderson. Westview Drive strategically innovates at the intersection of music/media, education and technology. The Company’s first project was the music app “House Mark 1” released in Apple’s App Store in November 2020. Within the first week of its release, it was the No. 1 music app and the No. 4 paid app overall in the App Store. The Company has also consulted on exhibits for the National Museum of African American Music, which opened in Nashville, TN in January of 2021. Henderson and Garrett also served as content creators for the museum.

Garrett serves as the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Ambassador for the Atlanta Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and is a longtime member of the Producers and Engineers wing. A graduate of Morehouse College (Applied Physics) and Georgia Tech (Mechanical Engineering), Garrett is also an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Morehouse College.

 Ed Long Jr.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Host & Radio Celebrity of LiT Nights
Radio One’s Praise 102.5 FM

ED Long, Jr. is a true prodigy, whose multi- dimensional talents and alluring personality make him the eye-catching 3rd generation global minister, award winning music artist and entrepreneurial multimedia producer who is sure to educate and empower “The New Skool” to live the “Good Life”. ED is favored and blessed to routinely be invited to speak, perform and serve people in five different continents across the globe.

ED earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Florida A & M University along with his Master of Religious Studies degree from the Beulah Heights University and a Digital Media Production Certificate from the Emory University. Formerly known as Young Dirty Bishop, ED has previously served as the Senior Director of the student ministry at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Stonecrest, Georgia, USA; Host the LiT Nights with ED Long, Jr. Radio Show on Radio One’s Praise 102.5 FM in Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Host of The New Skool Live Radio Show on Streetz 94.5fm in Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Host of The Inspiration Network’s The Mixx Masters Lounge Show, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Founder of The Conquerors Bowl Prostate Cancer Awareness Initiative; and Founder of Empower ATLanta ministry.

ED currently serves as a Special Advisory Board Member for New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Stonecrest, Georgia, USA; Chaplain of the Stephenson High School Football Team, Stone Mountain, Georgia, USA; In-Game Host for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream; Music Recording Artist; DeKalb County Office of Youth Services Program Manager, Decatur, Georgia, USA; DeKalb County Police Department Chaplain, Decatur, Georgia, USA; and Founder of Empowering Destiny non-profit organization.

He is also a recipient of The Bernice King BE A KING Award, Atlanta’s Top 30 Under 30 Award, The Trumpet Awards Honorary Award, The Frank Ski Foundation Service Award and a 2006 Stellar Award-winning song writer. ED made multiple appearances on the Oxygen Network’s hit reality television show the PREACHERS of ATLANTA. ED also host In The Spotlight with ED Long on the Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting (AIB) Network. ED is continuously curating educational & inspirational multimedia-based programs that empower this age to #DontStopKeepGoing!

Cleveland P. Jones                                                                                                                                                                                                                Singer & Songwriter
Graduate of Morehouse College and Berklee College of Music

A distinguished gentleman, Cleveland P. Jones is a singer/songwriter and native of South Carolina. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and Berklee College of Music where he prepared diligently for the stages of the world. He has toured internationally, collaborated with notable artists and opened for the soul legend Chaka Khan. Past winner of Soultracks.com New Artist of the Year, Cleveland has released two albums and is currently composing new music to spread love and healing one song at a time.

I’m an Animator – Careers in Digital Entertainment
February 17, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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Are you a high school student who is interested in a career in digital entertainment? Join DeKalb Entertainment Commission, re:imagine/ATL, and the DeKalb County School System as we bring the experts to middle school, high school, and college students of DeKalb County. Students will experience an up-close-and-personal conversation with some of the top Entertainment Experts. The event is free and open to all students.

Marisa (Ginger) Tontaveetong                                                                                                                                                                                                   Executive Director
ASIFA – South International Animation Society

Marisa (Ginger) Tontaveetong is a multidisciplinary Creative Director/ Producer with a specialization in digital/animation production and 12+ years of design background with an MFA in Animation and B.Tech in Computer Graphics/ Multimedia. She is currently the executive director of 501c(3) ASIFA-SOUTH International Animation Society-South headquartered in Atlanta. As an Oscar long-listed animated shorts director, she was a filmmaker-in-residence with the Atlanta Film Festival and currently holds an 01B Extraordinary Ability Visa. She is an independent animation producer/hybrid animation pipeline consultant for studios such as School of Humans in Atlanta and Ubongo edutainment animation studio in Tanzania. With a passion for the synergy of tech automation in the creative field and a passion for improving the creative industry, she works in many capacities for ACM SIGGRAPH as the Early Career Development Chair and as a strategic adviser for the board of directors at ACM SIGGRAPH on the Nurturing communities and Digital Presence committee.

 Jeff Yu                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Member of VR Content Development Team
Pulseworks

Jeffrey Yu is a multi-media design professional with more than a decade of experience in the creative industry. He has worked on graphic novels, video games, board games, real-time animated televised cartoon series, Netflix feature films, and developed VR experiences located around the United States. Jeff graduated in 2012 from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a double BFA in Sequential Arts and Animation.

Jeff illustrated several key storyboard scenes for a show pitch with Persistence of Vision Pre-Vis that eventually became the NBC Universal syndicated real-time animated cartoon show called Zafari. Afterwards, Jeff worked at Cool Mini Or Not as a graphic designer and visual artist to create marketing materials for board game titles such as Zombicide, Rising Sun, and Song of Ice & Fire. During that time, Jeff became involved with in-house game development to create concept art and illustrations for table-top skirmish games such as Dark Age, Wrath of Kings, as well as card games and mobile app games released for STEAM based on the Xenoshyft series. He provided graphics for CMON’s ubiquitous Kickstarter campaigns, many of which reached the funding goal within an hour. Several campaigns broke one million dollars in pledges in less than a day.

Today, Jeff is part of a VR content development team at Pulseworks, creator of simulator rides with locations in the Georgia Aquarium, The Smithsonian, Warner Robbins Airforce Museum, and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Since 2019, he has worked on titles such as Cosmos Coaster, and Apollo & Beyond released for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing mission.

 Cristina Moreno                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Animator
SCAD Graduate

Cristina Moreno is a 2016 graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design, with a Master’s
Degree in Animation. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Cristina has been entrenched in the arts from an early age and considers herself a jack of all trades when it comes to artistic disciplines–she has worked on modeling, rigging, animating and developing textures for 3D projects, and has also participated in fan-run ‘reanimation’ projects where different artists recreate scenes from a cartoon episode and edit the shots together to form a collage of styles. She has also created illustrations for video games and private clients and taught as an instructor at Painting with a Twist.

Gaming With A Cop
February 15, 2021 from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
For Individual or Group Registration
Registration Now!

Are you ready for some esports? Join DEC, in partnership with DeKalb P.A.L. Plus and DeKalb County’s Office of Youth Services for an eSports League Online Virtual Event. The event will be held on February 15, 2021, from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Participants who are 12 – 16 years of age can register as individual players or teams. The games that will be played are Madden 21, Brawhalla, and League of Legends. Prizes will be given to 1st and 2nd place winners for all games. To learn more, register with the above registration link.

 

I Want To Be in Entertainment – Careers in Film
January 27, 2021 at 1:00 PM
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Are you a high school student who is interested in a career in film? Join DeKalb Entertainment Commission, re:imagine/ATL, and the DeKalb County School System as we bring the experts to students of DeKalb County. Students will experience an up-close-and-personal conversation with some of the top Entertainment Experts. The event is free and open to all students.

 Kenya Brock                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Director of Digital Operations and Marketing
Katz Network (A Division of The E.W. Scripps Company)

Kenya Brock is the Director of Digital Operations and Marketing for Katz Networks, a division of The E.W. Scripps Company. In this role, Brock is responsible for showcasing the best in class consumer experience as well as developing and executing digital marketing strategies for all Katz Networks websites, apps, and platforms, which include Bounce, Brown Sugar, Court TV, Court TV Mystery, Laff, Grit, and The List. Brock is a multi-platform B2B/B2C marketing, partnership, media, and e-commerce professional with over 15 years of experience leading teams that promote high-quality, revenue-generating content and brands for the media and entertainment industry.

Prior to her current role, Brock solely focused on Brown Sugar as the Director of Marketing. She also worked as a Senior Account Supervisor at POSSIBLE in Cincinnati, OH, and subsequently as the Director of Partner Development for WCPO-TV Digital/EW. Scripps.  Previously, Brock spent 10 years with WarnerMedia (formerly Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.) in Atlanta, GA. She began as a marketing assistant for Turner Network Television (TNT) and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and was promoted to roles of increasing responsibility. She rounded out her stint at WarnerMedia as Senior Manager of Partnerships. She was responsible for developing and implementing strategic promotional partnerships with leading brands that increased sampling, reach, and awareness for the Turner networks.

Brock has a Bachelor of Science degree in Film and Television from Boston University. She currently serves on the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Southeast Chapter board as Sr. Director of Marketing and Communications. She is also on the Alumni Board of Visitors at The Seven Hills School (Cincinnati, OH) as a writing, resume, and career coach for The Posse Foundation and is a Marketing Committee Member for The Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

Lisa Cunningham                                                                                                                                                                                                   Director/Producer
Radiant3

Lisa Cunningham is a native of Atlanta and entered into film production while attending the University of Georgia. She is a sought after Producer/Director and over the past 20 years she has been actively involved in the production community in Atlanta with her work spanning throughout film and television on hundreds of projects. Now with a strong footing in digital content, Lisa has produced and or directed projects for McDonalds, W Hotels, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, The City of Atlanta, The History Channel and many more. Lisa is also a diversity and inclusion consultant and has produced digital content and events within that space.

As an influencer, Lisa was selected by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to serve on the inaugural LGBTQ Advisory Board for the City of Atlanta. Her community involvement continues as a philanthropist who devotes her time to several local charities focused on disadvantaged youth and underserved minorities.

Lisa is also a sought after motivational speaker whose topics range from Diversity + Inclusion to Atlanta Film Advocacy and Personal Development.

Bem Joiner                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Culture Curator and C-Founder                                                                                                                                                                                              Atlanta Influences Everything

Bem Joiner believes in Atlanta. Born and raised in the city, he has a pure passion for its people and its progress, and he majorly contributes to what makes culture in Atlanta, cool and captivating. As a culture curator and co-founder of the creative consultancy/brand, Atlanta Influences Everything, Bem has managed and consulted a variety of lifestyle brands and designed meaningful programs for clients like Sprite, Mississippi Dept. of Education, truth.com, Jack Daniels, Nissan, the National Black Arts Festival and countless others. He has also booked “early-adopter” shows for Drake, Kendrick Lamar and the Goodie Mob reunion.

Bem is also one of the founders of CreativeCall.org which is a community service effort/collaboration between Atlanta and Stockholm creatives and was most recently the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Center for Civic Innovation in South Downtown Atlanta. He is also currently sitting on the boards of three non-profits, Chop Art & The Wren’s Nest and the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project.

2020 Virtual Entertainment Expo

November 18, 2020 at 1:00 PM
Missed This Panel? Click Here For The Tapped Panel!

This virtual panel will be the last Virtual Entertainment Expo for the year. We will have experts weigh in on how the global pandemic has affected the entertainment world and how it could shape the dynamics moving forward this fall, in the fourth quarter of 2020 and first quarter of 2021.  This is our last event for the year.  We promise there will be special guests and surprises!

Kimberlin Bolton                                                                                                                                                                                                   Executive Director
re:imagine/ATL

KIMBERLIN BOLTON is a Renaissance woman in the truest sense of the term. Equally gifted as a businesswoman and an artist, the Bloomfield, Connecticut native holds a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan (’ 11/Vocal Performance) and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College (’ 09/Music). As a leader, Bolton brings over ten years of experience in the arts and entertainment industry. While Operations Manager for The Muddy Water Group, Bolton founded the Muddy Water Rep Program, a network for students interested in working in the entertainment industry. Alumni of the program have moved on to become major label artist managers, musicians, music acts, production assistants, bloggers, and filmmakers.

Upon graduating from the University of Michigan, she traveled to France to perform with the Franco-American Vocal Academy Theater. Looking for a change of pace, Bolton returned to the United States in August 2011 to accept the role of Personal Assistant to Grammy and Oscar-nominated artist Janelle Monáe. As Ms. Monáe’s assistant, she was ultimately responsible for managing the artist’s day-to-day schedule, as well as all communication. Her boundless responsibilities afforded her the opportunity to develop a very extensive resume.

Kimberlin is currently the Executive Director of a 501(c)(3) organization called re:imagine/ATL that trains, equips, and inspires Generation Z (ages 11 – 24) to build careers in the creative and digital media industries. Kimberlin is ultimately passionate about building infrastructures that create space for access and equity within the creative industry. She’s passionate about building infrastructures that create pathways for more inclusion and diversity within the creative industry.

Avery Floyd                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Atlanta Program Coordinator                                                                                                                                                                                              Usher’s New Look (UNL) 

Lawrence Avery Floyd (Avery) joined Usher’s New Look (UNL) in November of 2018 as the Atlanta Program Coordinator. In this position, Avery enables his students to discover and utilize their “spark”, gifts and talents to enhance their potential of excelling academically, professionally and socially. His essential responsibilities include successfully implementing the daily activities of the New Look Leadership Academy, creating diversified events/programs to meet the needs of UNL students and increasing community awareness of UNL through identifying and maintaining strategic partnerships with other local community agencies/organizations.

Avery specializes in sports, community outreach and leadership development. His passion to empower and impact the youth has developed through his strong sports background. Avery is a graduate of Xavier University’s Sport Administration Master’s Program (M.Ed.) and is also a graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University’s Sport and Leisure Management Program (B.S.). Avery has significant experience being a coach, mentor and teacher for the youth. Having worked for AmeriCorps, the Cincinnati Reds and the YMCA (Greater Cincinnati and Metro Atlanta), Avery has embodied a strong attention to detail and a continuously positive attitude towards the development of the youth.

Derrick Crooms                                                                                                                                                                                                                      CEO                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Rockfort Management, Inc. 

Derrick Crooms is a long time veteran in the Atlanta music scene. He has had a lot of success in many roles. He began his music career as a road manager for the multi-platinum selling and Grammy nominated recording artists The Ying Yang Twins. After two months in that capacity, he became the manager for the Ying Yang Twins. He created Rockfort Management, Inc. and handled the act during the two platinum albums “Me and My Brother” and “United State of Atlanta”.

Rockfort Management also obtained another multi-platinum act in Soulja Boy Tellem. Crooms managed the artist during his platinum selling freshman and sophomore albums. Derrick Crooms, brother of super producer and label executive Michael “Mr. ColliPark” Crooms have worked together since then DJ Smurf was an artist. Together, they have seen several platinum selling singles and albums. Derrick served as A&R for Mr. ColliPark’s label ColliPark Music.

It was only a matter of time before Derrick Crooms would venture off as a label. He launched the record label Young Mogul Entertainment. His first artist was Hurricane Chris who had the hit singles “A Bay Bay” and “Hand Clap” on his debut album. Crooms then found V.I.C. in conjunction with Mr. ColliPark, the brothers catapulted the artist into stardom with the two platinum selling singles “Get Silly” and the ground breaking line hit “Wobble”.

Derrick Crooms continues to work with young Atlanta talent as well as manage Mr. ColliPark. With Mr. ColliPark going back to his deejay roots and production, the duo will definitely be heard. He continues to assume an A&R role with the newly formed Advent Music Group. Plans are underway to kick start the career of Atlanta artist ItsMoeWorld.

John Thomas                                                                                                                                                                                                               CEO/Founder
The 411 Brand Foundation

John Thomas merged his love of sports, his drive for the community and over 25 years in the Youth Development industry into a passion with a purpose.

Growing up in Buffalo, NY, John developed his basketball skills and dominated high school basketball as an All-New York State athlete, receiving full scholarships to various schools across the country. John chose to make Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama the literal launching pad for what would be his athletic and educational career.

After earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication & Journalism from Samford, John received an invitation to attend the NBA Summer League in Los Angeles, California. Although it was a dream to play in the NBA, John quickly realized that playing professional basketball was a job that required an unwavering desire that he found out that he didn’t have anymore. Once the Summer League ended and he wasn’t invited to play for an NBA team, John moved to Atlanta in 1993.

Shortly thereafter, John met the Promotions Director at heritage radio station, V-103. It was during that meeting that a conversation turned into an opportunity for John to coordinate a Celebrity Basketball Game with Jamie Foxx, Brian McKnight and more. After a few months, John was offered the position of Promotions Coordinator and was responsible for promotions for V103 and WAOK radio.

In 1993, John created the 411 Knowledge & Entertainment Show which is a talk show that allows successful individuals from popular culture an opportunity to share their journey with young adults beginning their own journey. John produced over 50 shows throughout the country and secured several partners to enhance his vision, including Magic Johnson Theaters and Sprite to name a few.

In 2002, John wanted to give back to the city that had made him the driven individual that he had become. He achieved that by hosting the annual 411 All-Star Weekend in Buffalo, New York by bringing together several generations from the Western New York community through several events and culminating with the 411 All-Star Basketball Games featuring some of the greatest talent in history of Western New York history.

From 2004-2006, John accepted the position of Director of Programs at Carver Community Center in Schenectady New York. He was responsible for creating and implementing youth programming in the areas of athletics and education for young people ages 6-18 years old.

In an effort to reunite with his roots in Atlanta, from 2006-2010, John accepted a position as Director of Programs at George Washington Carver Boys & Girls Club in the Edgewood section of Atlanta. He managed a staff of 10+ and was responsible for overseeing programming for over 100 kids a day.

DJ Jelly                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Atlanta Based DJ                                                                                                                                                                                                             v103 Radio Station

DJ Jelly began his illustrious DJ career when he was a teenager throwing parties in his home town of University City, MO.  Jelly’s natural ability on the turntables earned him an apprenticeship with U City’s legendary DJ Kutmaster K, who took the budding DJ under his wing by letting him hang out with him on various gigs and would occasionally show him a few things about the fundamentals of DJ Jelly’s claim to fame is that he was the first Southern DJ to sell major units (he clocks in at about 120,000 units per year) while doing all Southern mixes. As the word began to spread around town about Jelly’s high-energy parties, he soon became one of the most popular club DJs in Union City. In 1989, Jelly graduated high school and moved to Atlanta with the intention of pursuing a career in music. He won a scholarship to Atlanta’s prestigious School of the Arts. At Atlanta’s School of the Arts, Jelly was introduced to a whole new world of music including jazz and reggae.

He continued mixing tapes in his dorm room at night while attending classes in the day. Eventually he landed an internship at Bobby Brown’s studio. Jelly went on to DJ at Atlanta’s most upscale clubs. Jelly had a syndicated mix show called Oomp Camp Radio which ran on six stations including V-103 and Hot 107.9 in Atlanta. In essence, what Jelly does is remix records by taking the beat from old R&B or hip hop songs and match them with the verses from a current R&B and rap song. But the key to Jelly’s success is his focus on Southern music, not East Coast music like so many early southern mix tape DJs were doing. The impact of DJ Jelly’s mix tapes are felt all over the world. The Atlanta based DJ has a huge following in Germany, Japan, Korea, France, and the UK, where his tapes and club gigs are in high demand. In addition to being one of the Souths leading DJs Jelly also heads up the Oomp Camp production team, which has produced tracks for Baby D, Loko, Intoxicated, Pastor Troy, Too $hort, Youngbloodz, Young Jeezy, Crime Mob, Lil Jon, Rasheeda, Hitman Sammy Sam and TI’s group P$C.

Doug Fick                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Art Director                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Film Industry

Doug Fick is all about film and is an Art Director and is known for his work on Tag and Venom filmed in 2018. He has also worked on several television shows, such as 4 episodes for P-Valley, Dispatches from Elsewhere, and 3 episodes of Raising Dion.

Atlanta Pitch Summit
November 7, 2020 at 12:00 – 7:00 PM
Register Now!

The Atlanta Pitch Summit is the home to where content meets distribution. Learn How to Pitch Your TV & Film Project, ONLINE or in person!

This is the most anticipated entertainment networking event in the Southeast. Established in 2011, The Atlanta Pitch Summit elevated Atlanta yet another level by creating a local platform that’s as common in Hollywood West as movie premiers. Aspiring and professional screenwriters, filmmakers and content producers had an opportunity to sit at the feet of accomplished Hollywood veterans and content acquisition executives to learn the ropes and pitch their ideas. This annual event draws Motion Picture and the Television industry’s most prominent studios, development/creative executives, producers, talent/literary agents, managers, attorneys & casting directors.

This years collaboration is a unique one. The Atlanta Pitch Summit and the Dekalb Entertainment Commission decided to join together and bring content creators and executives to one place online. This years virtual summit will cater to those who are searching for answers, collaborations and a greenlight. The history of both organizations are great at bringing the right people together at the right time. Please join us this year and be apart of this event that will give you a great insight on how this type of industry is moving forward and still working despite of our new normal.

This year we have crafted a special virtual event for content creators to be anywhere in the world and participate with the Atlanta Pitch Summit for 2020! JOIN US!

Decatur Book Festival and DEC Presents
Virtual Panel: Going from Book to Screen presented by DeKalb Entertainment Commission
October 3, 2020 at 1:00 PM
Watch The Live Recording!

Join us along with our partners the Decatur Book Festival as we host a panel discussion with Atlanta’s own Andrea Thornton Bolden, producer/writer (Nancy Drew, Lucifer, The Spanish Princess), Adam G Simon, actor/writer (Point Blank, Man Down, Synapse), and Sean Sorensen, producer/writer (Black and Blue, Mayhem, Worth) about the process, business opportunities, and personnel that translate books to film and television.

The Atlanta Writers’ Society is a community of underrepresented performing arts writers. Founded in the summer of 2020, the organization provides a much needed space for a diverse pool of passionate creatives during a historic time for our nation. Its mission is to educate, promote, support, and produce writers of underrepresented communities and their projects.


Decatur Book Festival and DEC Presents
Virtual Panel: How to Pitch, Package & Sell Your Television & Film Project: Talks with the Atlanta Pitch Summit Panel
October 1, 2020 at 2:00 PM
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Join us along with our partners the Decatur Book Festival as we host a special panel entitled “How to Pitch, Package, and Sell Your Television and Film Project.”  This will be a panel moderated by the Atlanta Pitch Summit with special guest comedian/actress Cocoa Brown.  In this panel, you will learn the key tips on how to creatively package and pitch your television or film project.

  • How a writer breaks into the biz
  • Creating a pitch deck
  • Finding a producer or director for your project
  • Setting the Pitch meeting
  • Finding the right distribution home for your project
  • The final sell

Webinar Panel: The Wide World of Digital Entertainment
September 15, 2020 at 1:00 PM
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This virtual panel will discuss the past, present and future of digital entertainment:

Marisa (Ginger) Tontaveetong                                                                                                                                                                                                   Executive Director
ASIFA – South International Animation Society

Marisa (Ginger) Tontaveetong is a multidisciplinary Creative Director/ Producer with a specialization in digital/animation production and 12+ years of design background with an MFA in Animation and B.Tech in Computer Graphics/ Multimedia. She is currently the executive director of 501c(3) ASIFA-SOUTH International Animation Society-South headquartered in Atlanta. As an Oscar long-listed animated shorts director, she was a filmmaker-in-residence with the Atlanta Film Festival and currently holds an 01B Extraordinary Ability Visa. She is an independent animation producer/hybrid animation pipeline consultant for studios such as School of Humans in Atlanta and Ubongo edutainment animation studio in Tanzania. With a passion for the synergy of tech automation in the creative field and a passion for improving the creative industry, she works in many capacities for ACM SIGGRAPH as the Early Career Development Chair and as a strategic adviser for the board of directors at ACM SIGGRAPH on the Nurturing communities and Digital Presence committee.

Jeremy Poore                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Director of Partnerships                                                                                                                                                                                                   Atlanta Esports Ventures 

Jeremy Poore is the Director of Partnerships for the Atlanta Reign and Atlanta FaZe, the city’s professional esports teams, owned and operated by Atlanta Esports Ventures. He is on a mission to educate prospective partners on the power and growth potential of the thriving global esports industry.

With expertise in brand partnerships and marketing, Jeremy has over 10 years of experience working with prominent brands including ESPN, FOX Sports, and Scuf Gaming. Jeremy’s passion for esports and gaming started when he was young while playing against his brothers on the Atari 2600. Originally from Louisville KY, he has called Atlanta home since 2001.

Christen Munroe                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Owner, CEO & Founder                                                                                                                                                                                                              VS Realm eSports Arena 

Christen Munroe is a police officer by day, but gamer by heart. This passion started when he was growing up in Queens, New York, playing video games at a neighborhood comic bookstore with tabletop, cards, and computer games.   This passion led him to be the Owner, CEO, and Founder of VS Realm eSport Arena. VS Realm is metro-Atlanta’s premier family-friendly gaming venue. It’s a judgment-free space for casual video gameplay, TCG (trading card games), and board games. It’s a place for people to come out of the house and enjoy video gaming. Patrons and members have access to console gaming (PS4, Xbox, Switch, Wii, etc.), PC gaming, VR, tabletop, trading card, and board games. VS Realm sets itself apart because it caters to a wide range of patrons.

Webinar Panel: Power Moves: Women In Entertainment
August 25, 2020 at 1:00 PM
Missed This Panel? Click Here For The Tapped Panel

In honor of Women’s Equality Day 2020, we will celebrate by hosting two all women panels entitled: “Power Moves: Women in Entertainment” as part of our 2020 Virtual Entertainment Series. Each panel will be live on Zoom and Facebook @ 1 PM.  Panel 2 is scheduled for Tuesday, August 25:

 Danielle S. Price                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Senior VP Business & Legal Affairs
TenThousand (10K) Projects

As SVP, Business and Legal Affairs at 10K Projects, Danielle Price is a key deal maker at one of the fastest growing independent record labels in the world. In addition to negotiating cutting edge artist and joint venture deals, Danielle overseas the day-to-day business affairs needs of 10K, and helps to shape the music careers of label artists including Trippie Redd, Surfaces, Iann Dior, Kierra Luv, and others.

A graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law and the University of Southern California, Danielle began her career as an attorney in the Legal Affairs department of Warner Music Group handling matters of content protection and resolving claims of copyright and trademark infringement. In 2016, she joined the prestigious entertainment law firm, LaPolt Law, P.C., where she supervised the firm’s hip-hop music division, servicing artists such as Nicki Minaj, 21 Savage, Megan Thee Stallion, SAINt JHN, Tinashe, and others. Danielle was an integral part of the team that freed 21 Savage from ICE custody last year. Danielle sits on the board of “Future Hope” – a subset of City of Hope’s Music, Film, and Entertainment Industry group – co-chairing a committee focused on eradicating racial disparities in healthcare. Danielle is currently leading the committee as it plans a series of events designed to address the impact of COVID-19 on the Black community. At 10K Projects, Danielle is a founding member of the 10K Together “taskforce” where she advises the company in its efforts to combat racial injustice and support Black causes.

Jessica D. Lane Alexander                                                                                                                                                                                                    Co-Founder, Head of Digital Content & Marketing                                                                                                                                                          Pop’N Creative 

Jessica D. Lane Alexander is the co-founder and head of digital content and marketing of the recently launched multicultural agency Pop’N Creative. Based in Atlanta, Ga., Pop’N Creative was established because she and co-founder Lori Hall wanted to help brands authentically connect with the highly coveted multicultural audience.  Tired of seeing brands shoot for relevancy and fail miserably. Tired of hearing that marketers were looking for strong multicultural agencies and could not find them. Tired of not seeing women launch and lead in the advertising business. Pop’N Creative was born because Lane Alexander and Hall wanted better.

Prior to founding Pop’N Creative, Lane Alexander was the Head of Digital & Social Content at TV One. She was responsible for all of TV One’s digital platforms including, online, social, mobile, and video on demand. She led the charge in creating a dynamic digital brand that drives audience growth while delighting and exciting fans. Lane Alexander delivered record-breaking traffic on TVOne.tv, increasing page-views, unique users and video views double-digits year-over-year. Additionally, she developed and launched the award-winning digital and social exclusive series Unsung Live with viral success – more than 5 million video views and climbing.

She has been at the intersection of pop culture, marketing and technology for her entire career.  She has built and grown digital brands and led the digital marketing strategy for several entertainment properties including Unsung, When Love Kills, Conan, Men At Work and the Tyler Perry comedies on TBS. Lane Alexander’s launched multi-screen interactive experiences, including the Team Coco and TVOne apps, led live event activations at the NAACP Image Awards, Essence Music Festival and Comic-Con and created groundbreaking interactive promotions like “Conan’s First Guest Poll.”

Her work has won several industry awards including a Telly Award for the Family Matters Cast Reunion and Unsung Live, Creative Arts Emmy for the Team Coco Sync App, a PromaxBDA Promotions & Marketing Award for Conan and NAMIC Excellence In Multi-cultural Marketing Awards (EMMA) for both Lopez Tonight and the Meet the Browns campaigns. She received her B.S. in Journalism from The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and her M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Lane Alexander currently resides in Atlanta, Ga. with her husband Christopher K.G. Alexander. She was born and raised in Trenton, N.J.

Lori J. Hall                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Co-Founder & Head of Creative                                                                                                                                                                                              Pop’N Creative 

Lori J. Hall is co-founder and head of creative for the recently launched multicultural agency Pop’N Creative. Based in Atlanta, Ga., Pop’N Creative was established because she and co-founder Jessica D. Lane Alexander saw too many brands offend Black consumers in their marketing creative. They wanted to help brands do better with highly coveted multicultural audiences. Hall and Lane Alexander built Pop’N Creative to serve brands better and help them avoid the pitfalls of marketing in a multicultural world.

Prior to founding Pop’N Creative, Hall was Senior Vice President of Marketing for TV One, an African American targeted cable network.  Under her leadership, she spearheaded the network’s new brand look and promise, which included a comprehensive creative overhaul of TV One’s on-air and off-air brand elements, including its new tagline, “REPRESENT.” She also led the new brand look and marketing for TV One’s recently launched Millennial and Gen-X targeted network CLEO TV. During her tenure at TV One, Hall
managed all phases of marketing, including advertising and branding outreach efforts in order to maximize TV One’s business and programming objectives.

In Before joining UP, Hall oversaw numerous successful marketing campaigns at Turner Entertainment Networks, including TBS’s Cougar Town and Men at Work, as well as Tyler Perry’s hit sitcoms For Better or Worse, House of Payne and Meet the Browns. She also launched several TNT campaigns, including Rizzoli and Isles and Hawthorne. While there she negotiated and executed multi-million dollar partnerships with multiple Fortune 500 companies to reach new audiences.

Hall is an active member of Nielsen’s Advisory Council and served as a 2019 WICT board member. She was named a 2018 NYC Television Week “40 Under 40” honoree, a 2016 Multichannel News “40 Under 40” honoree, a recipient of the 2018 WICT “Know Yourself” award and has been a featured panelist for numerous industry events and conferences. She holds memberships with NAMIC and PromaxBDA. Hall is a Northwestern University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Melissa McGhie Proctor                                                                                                                                                                                                          Exec. Vice-President  & Chief Marketing Officer                                                                                                                                                                Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena 

Melissa McGhie Proctor is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena. In this role, Proctor oversees the day-to-day operations of the club’s marketing, Hawks Studios, live experience and production, brand merchandising, creative services, corporate social responsibility, brand communications and basketball development teams. She also works closely with executive leadership to provide strategy for the organization.

Proctor joined the organization in June 2014, when she was named Vice President of Brand Strategy.  In her former role, she was responsible for brand development and building marketing & business plans that propelled the organization’s long-term strategy. Throughout her tenure with the Hawks, she has played an instrumental role within the company, spearheading internal corporate employee initiatives and executive communication.

Beginning her career with the Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Proctor served in brand development and strategy positions for Turner Entertainment Networks (including TNT, TBS, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), truTV and Peachtree TV), Cartoon Network and Turner Media Group. Additionally, she helped to create the first Corporate Social Responsibility division in Turner’s UK office. Among her accomplishments, she was responsible for managing the naming and identity for the re-branding of Court TV as truTV, and leading corporate culture initiatives to foster employee engagement, collaboration and innovation.

Part of the NBA since high school, Proctor was the first “team attendant”/ ball girl for the Miami Heat organization, and in later years, returned to work for the Heat in the basketball operations division.  Over her career, Proctor’s professional achievements have earned her accolades from a multitude of publications and organizations. She has been recognized with Leaders and Aspire Academy’s Leaders.  Under 40 Award; earned a mention on Atlanta Magazine’s 2018 list of Women Making a Mark, and was recently selected as part of the Sports Business Journal/Daily’s 2020 class of Forty Under 40.

Proctor is on the board for The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and 48 in 48 in addition to serving in an advisory capacity for The Dagger Agency. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in design studies/branding from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design at The London Institute. A native of Miami, FL, she now resides in the City of Atlanta.

Webinar: Power Moves: Women In Entertainment
August 11, 2020 at 1:00 PM
Missed This Panel?  Click Here for the Taped Panel!
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This Virtual Entertainment Panel is designed to honor Women’s Equality Day 2020, we will celebrate by hosting two all women panels entitled: “Power Moves: Women in Entertainment” as part of our 2020 Virtual Entertainment Series. Each panel will be live on Zoom and Facebook @ 1 PM. Panel 1 is scheduled for Tuesday, August 11:

 Kenya Brock                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Director of Digital Operations and Marketing
Katz Network (A Division of The E.W. Scripps Company)

Kenya Brock is the Director of Digital Operations and Marketing for Katz Networks, a division of The E.W. Scripps Company. In this role, Brock is responsible for showcasing the best in class consumer experience as well as developing and executing digital marketing strategies for all Katz Networks websites, apps, and platforms, which include Bounce, Brown Sugar, Court TV, Court TV Mystery, Laff, Grit, and The List. Brock is a multi-platform B2B/B2C marketing, partnership, media, and e-commerce professional with over 15 years of experience leading teams that promote high-quality, revenue-generating content and brands for the media and entertainment industry.

Prior to her current role, Brock solely focused on Brown Sugar as the Director of Marketing. She also worked as a Senior Account Supervisor at POSSIBLE in Cincinnati, OH, and subsequently as the Director of Partner Development for WCPO-TV Digital/EW. Scripps.  Previously, Brock spent 10 years with WarnerMedia (formerly Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.) in Atlanta, GA. She began as a marketing assistant for Turner Network Television (TNT) and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and was promoted to roles of increasing responsibility. She rounded out her stint at WarnerMedia as Senior Manager of Partnerships. She was responsible for developing and implementing strategic promotional partnerships with leading brands that increased sampling, reach, and awareness for the Turner networks.

Brock has a Bachelor of Science degree in Film and Television from Boston University. She currently serves on the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Southeast Chapter board as Sr. Director of Marketing and Communications. She is also on the Alumni Board of Visitors at The Seven Hills School (Cincinnati, OH) as a writing, resume, and career coach for The Posse Foundation and is a Marketing Committee Member for The Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

Nevaine Rhodes                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Author, Actress, Speaker                                                                                                                                                                                                                Drama Therapy Specialist 

Nevaina is as unique and gifted as her name, Nevaina (Nih-von-yah) has empowered thousands of women and youth nationally and internationally.  This graduate from UNC at Chapel Hill has more than 15 years of experience as a drama therapy specialist and twelve years with The Academy Theatre, the region’s forerunner in educational theater. Nevaina worked with and performed for students grades K-12, serving more than a half a million young people during her time with The Academy.  She served as a Communications Specialist with the Emory School of Law Training Program for four years and has worked with the NFLPA for the past three years as a featured presenter. Nevaina has recently been featured in many national ad campaigns, movies, and television shows such as Greenleaf, Black Lightning, and The Oval.

Nevaina is also a published author. It was her role as the award-winning lady in Green in the stage play “For Colored Girls…” directed by Jasmine Guy that inspired her to write the women’s wellness workbook, The Color of Inspiration and the soul-stirring memoir “Conversations with Colored Girls” in which she tells of her play experience with Jasmine, Nicole Ari Parker, and Robin Givens.  With a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Nevaina has magnetic eloquence and charisma. She is called to be a STAR…Speak Teach Act Reach many through the art of drama.

As an actor, she has been seen in films, commercials, TV, and theater. As a Drama Coach and dynamic acting coach but also a highly effective life coach, her skills have been seen on The Braxtons, Mom-prenuers, and more. Some of her acting students have been seen in projects like David Makes Man, The Quad, Just Mercy, Legacies, and many more.  Whether in front of the camera herself or coaching talent to be camera-ready, Nevaina adds unique value and is a proven project asset.

Monica Brown                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Global Vice-President Product Development, Senior Technology Executive                                                                                                                        Tucows, Inc. 

Monica began her technology career over 20 years ago after a brief career in broadcast journalism. As a journalist, she worked in college radio at South Carolina State University, as a receptionist/writing assistant at Upscale Magazine, and an audio specialist for The 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.  Shortly after starting her IT career, she became extremely interested in project management and focused on growing her leadership skills in that area. Within a year, she began working for a major telecommunications company and was quickly promoted for her excellent work delivering quality technology solutions.

In January 2019, Monica joined SiriusXM + Pandora Vice President of Digital Product Development. She was responsible for setting the strategy for initiatives supporting the Pandora Music App development and user experience. She recently joined Tucows, Inc. based in Toronto, Canada. Tucows is the second-largest web domain registrar in the world and also provides Wireless and Internet/TV service in the US. Monica earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional English and Broadcast Journalism from South Carolina State University and subsequently completed her Master of Business Administration degree from the Michael
J. Coles School of Business at Kennesaw State University. She has also completed project management classes with Villanova University, SixSigma Greenbelt Certification, received the Project Management Professional Certification, and completed Agile Methodology training.

Monica has received multiple awards for her contributions to the IT Industry. In 2016, she received The Women of Color STEM Special Recognition Award and was featured in the 2017 Edition of Who’s Who in Black Atlanta publication. Monica has also served as a mentor for multiple organizations and was hand-selected as the Board of Directors Chairperson for The Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center’s non-profit board in Decatur, GA. She is also the founder and CEO of The Marcell Williams Entertainment Agency, where she manages talent and projects related to television, film, music, and social media.

Webinar:  Entertainment Talk Back
July 14, 2020 at 1:00 PM

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This Virtual Entertainment Panel is designed to provide a perspective to attendees on how Creatives can sustain themselves during this COVID-19 pandemic:

Kendall Minter, ESQ.                                                                                                                                                                                                         Founder, Minter & Associates, L.L.C.
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Blk. Ent. & Sports Lawyers Association

Kendall A. Minter, a native of New York and graduate and Senior Class President of Flushing High School began his professional path at Cornell University where he participated in the six year combined arts/law program, graduating with a B.A., majoring in Political Science in 1974, and with a J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1976.  Upon his graduation from Cornell Law School, he joined Fairchild Industries as Associate General Counsel and Corporate Representative for Broadcasting.  In 1984, Kendall joined the law firm of Barnes, Wood, Williams and Rafalsky as counsel, where he remained until establishing Minter & Gay in 1987. Minter & Gay was a boutique law firm which specialized in entertainment, sports and labor law. Based in the Wall Street district, the firm grew to nine attorneys with an internationally diverse clientele. In September 1992, Kendall merged his practice into the firm of Phillips, Nizer, Benjamin, Krim & Balon as counsel. In early 1995, Kendall relocated to Atlanta and joined the firm of Sales Goodloe & Golden, as counsel, where he established and developed an entertainment department. Kendall has also been Of Counsel to the New York City entertainment law firm Rudolph & Beer.  In 2004, Kendall established Minter & Associates, L.L.C. in Atlanta, Georgia and subsequently established an Of Counsel affiliation with regional law firm Gibson & Behman, P.C. Minter & Associates, L.L.C. is a boutique law firm which represents a diverse international clientele in the areas of entertainment, corporate, intellectual property, sports and new media matters.  Kendall is a co-founder and inaugural Executive Director of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association and currently serves on its Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Rhythm & Blues Foundation and is the Chairman Emeritus of the organization and is a member of the Board of the Living Legends Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of Sound Exchange, Inc.

Chawn Payton                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Financial Advisor                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Northwestern Mutual 

Chawn was born and raised in South Georgia in the city of Valdosta. After graduating from Florida A&M University in 2008, he moved to Atlanta to start his career in financial services. Chawn married his lovely wife, Yolanda in fall of 2012. He enjoys spending time with friends & family, playing drums, fishing, traveling and supporting the Falcons.  After spending 9 years consulting in financial services, Chawn decided to pursue his passion in helping others achieve financial security. He was blessed with the opportunity to do that with Northwestern Mutual in 2018.

Dustin Cicero                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Director of Music Clubhouse                                                                                                                                                                                    Freelance Artist/Audio-engineer

Dustin Cicero is a musician, audioengineer & producer. Born in New Orleans, grew up in Stone Mountain, GA & spent a decade in NYC, earning a Masters Degree from Manhattan School of Music and working full-time as an audioengineer & musician. In his lifetime, Dustin has had the distinct honor of sharing the stage, studio or camera with such artists as Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Dianne Reeves, Skooly, Trevor Jackson, 30Roc (Producer of The Box), B.o.B., T.I, Domani Harris, Mulatto, Young Dro, Ricco Barinno, Speech (Arrested Development), members of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert band, NY Philharmonic, NY Metropolitan Ballet & Ballet Orchestra & many others. Over the past 20 years, he has dedicated his life to artist & youth development, achieving this by teaching private and group workshops as a teenager, working with 1st-12th grades at Drew Charter School though Georgia State University outreach, teaching undergraduate courses at Emory University, founding Street Muzik ATL, working with the Music & Youth Initiative out of Boston and leading youth development programs for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. His recordings have received multiple Grammy Nominations & millions of streams. During Covid-19 quarantine, Dustin has spent a lot of time mixing, mastering & producing at his home studio in Decatur, GA.

Chef Sean                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hip-Hop Artist                                                                                                                                                                                  

Chef Sean is a Chicago Native and has been a force in the music industry under the genre of rap/ hip hop with an ample amount of accomplishments under his belt such as charting number four on the Billboard Charts for single “Hot Single Sales” and for a 2016 summer release entitled “Dope Boy.” Chef Sean is also known as a Trap Rock artist with his rap-infused rock group “Chef Sean & Blaze” based in Los Angeles, CA.  He decided to go solo for his newest ventures and feature rap singles. In his music, you can see elements of his Chicago roots where he first began his music career by learning music production, songwriting, and the art of rapping.  Chef Sean is also a talented actor that has appeared in Television & Film since the age of 12. Some of his credits include; lead in “Jason’s Lyric,” starring alongside Allen Payne, Forrest Whitaker & Jada Pinkett Smith, “There Are No Children Here” (Harpo productions) and “Missing Persons” on ABC. A recent Sci-Fi / Thriller film “Teeth & Blood” Chef Sean starred in, he performed and produced the theme song in the movie as well as additional song placement. Most recently, Chef Sean started “Ask a Rap Dude” on IG TV, averaging over 3k per stream.

Webinar:  Returning To Production
June 9, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Missed This Webinar?  Click Here For The Taped Webinar!
Password: 3c.ClB03

This virtual webinar is going to be a panel designed to provide a perspective to attendees on the essential steps for location permitting and insurance that is mandatory for Film and Television production:

Dee Dee Murray                                                                                                                                                                                                         Production Manager                                                                                                                                                                                                                DeKalb Entertainment Commission

Dee Dee Murray is an entertainment professional with over 25 years of industry experience. Dee Dee is the owner of Murray Media Production Partners, LLC, a private agency that provides film permitting facilitation, entertainment industry consulting and a host of a la carte services to support the growing motion picture industry in the State of Georgia. Dee Dee managed Organized Noize Productions and played an intricate role in the development of the Dungeon Family and its roster of award-winning artists including Outkast and Goodie Mob. For fifteen years Dee Dee was responsible for production management, publishing administration, and contract negation. Dee Dee is featured Netflix documentary “The Art of Organized Noize” which chronicles the production company’s musical impact over the past twenty years. A graduate of Savannah State University with a Bachelors of Arts Degree, Dee Dee’s work has supported the careers of nationally recognized recording artist such as The Whispers, The Gap Band, MC Hammer, Full Force, and Freddie Jackson. Dee Dee’s current clients include The DeKalb County Entertainment Commission, The House of Hope Atlanta , and the historic Apollo Theatre in New York.

Patrice DeChabert                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Executive Producer                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Stonecrest Film & Entertainment Committee

Patreece DeChabert is a production veteran with 2 decades of experience in television, advertising and virtual production. She is a graduate of Howard University with a BA in Tv/Film production and Strayer with an MBA in Marketing. She began as on-camera talent for commercials and a teen talk show in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands before working behind the scenes there and later in New York. From creative producer to camera operator to editor to executive producer, Patreece has worn many hats in the industry. She has worked locally with WSB-TV, Turner Studios, BBDO, Trick 3D and is currently a Field Producer at Tyler Perry Studios.  Patreece has resided in Stonecrest, Georgia for 12 years and represents District 1 with the Stonecrest Film and Entertainment Committee. She was a former Board member with Women In Cable Telecommunications and is an active member with other industry organizations such as GPP and WIFTA.

Matt Watkins                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Vice President, Property & Casualty                                                                                                                                                                                    USI Insurance Services

Matt Watkins is a Vice President in the property and casualty practice of USI, the largest privately held insurance broker in the nation. He works with film & TV studios, production companies, DICE producers, music labels, touring entertainers, and more to lower their overall cost of risk. Matt works with clients throughout Georgia and the nation. Before joining USI, he worked with ADP’s insurance agency for a number of years.

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