This past weekend (Oct. 12) creatives came from all over to attend the 3rd annual CultureCon in Brooklyn. The Creative Collective NYC, a group dedicated to “facilitating brave spaces for multicultural creatives” puts on the jam-packed, day-long festival to inspire emerging creatives as well as provide attendees with practical knowledge they can put to use in their own creative endeavors.
Attendees partook in breakout sessions on topics that included creative collaboration, strategy and building a business brand. Sanaa Lathan, Regina King, Keke Palmer, Elaine Welteroth and Tracee Ellis Ross are just a few of the big names CultureCon secured to lead panels discussions on the current creative climate. BET Digital was onsite to connect with some of these folks about their best advice on how to make it in the industry.
Here’s What You Missed At CultureCon 2019:
Actress and producer Sanaa Lathan spoke to us about what it really means to learn your craft.
“I am a big believer in studying your craft. You can learn from others that have been down this road and aside from that, it’s really just doing it. Doing something every day towards your dream. CultureCon is so important for us as creatives of color to have that support and inspiration to have a place to come to share ideas and exchange. This world is finally being more inclusive,” she said.
Pattern founder and CEO Tracee Ellis Ross brought all the laughs and teachable moments during her Creative Genius panel with New York Times best-selling author Elaine Welethroth.
“Learning and understanding who I am, what is important to me. That often small no is actually a big yes. All of those kind of things have really helped me to know the path I want to navigate. But, everything is a journey, everything is a process. Mistakes of falling. I had to sit with the discomfort and learn from those experiences and it has made me become more comfortable in my skin growing up,” said Tracee.
She discussed her new haircare line that's been “20 years in the making" as she threw some of her sold out products out to the audience. She said, "20 years ago I started dreaming when I finished, Girlfriends in 2008, I wrote my first haircare brand pitch and it has taken 10 years for this to happen. It has been the lifelong dream of mine to actually fulfill the unmet needs of the community when it comes to haircare. The beauty industry has not supported what we need for our hair. The culture of beauty has not made space for us because we have been gorgeous and gravity defying and stunning and powerful forever.”
Throughout Sophia Chang's career, she's managed Wu-Tang members, A Tribe Called Quest, and so many more and now has released her new memoir, The Baddest Bitch in the Room.
She said, “Learn how to negotiate. Learn how to read a contract. Understand what your value is. Do not let the dominant culture tell you your value. Determine it yourself because if we let the dominant culture tell us whether or not we are beautiful or powerful or valuable, we will never be any of those things. Network, network, network all day. Do not be afraid. Go up and introduce yourself to people. Especially for women of culture, get a mentor.”
Ladies were all ears for the Black Masculinity panel with eye candy favorites Quincy Brown, Kofi Siriboe and Mack Wilds. Both Quincy and Mack Wilds gave us their advice on careers and entrepreneurship.
“The only genius thing I did was not giving up. I didn’t stop. I kept going even through the dark times, the hard times, and the good times. The biggest thing for me is creativity. I hate to be boxed in just doing one thing. I also understand If you’re going to do something and you are jumping in from a different venue, people are going to look at you in a different way. You have to make sure you are extremely proficient at something to be recognized. I make sure I study and pay attention. Even with my next endeavor, I will be proficient at that as well,” said Mack Wilds.
“The best business advice I can give is making sure you have a team that is going after the same dream just as much as you are. Of course, everyone has separate dreams. But, in order to make dreams happen, teams have to be put in place,” Quincy added.
(Photo: Nigil Crawford/CultureCon)