The final day of the 6th annual CultureCon conference was packed with panels and discussions from some of the industry’s more influential creatives who play a major role in everything behind the scenes, and on camera. Speakers such as Carri Twig, Shareese Bembury, Kyle “KP” Price, Jacob Latimore, and others shared their insights on building and expanding their network, while also broadening their creative ventures.
The second day also facilitated discussions centered on preserving your wellness while also working towards your goals – a struggle that young professionals deal with far too often in the early stages of their careers.
For their first “In Conversation With…” segment, Tamika Mallory took the stage to discuss her political activism, the controversy that comes with being a community organizer, and allowing yourself to be open to criticism. “As I get older, I’m not frustrated when people say wait your turn. Not because I think that any person should be waiting, but there is a process that comes with being a great leader. Over time, as we live we become stronger and more clear, more capable of accepting when we may have messed up or when we need to change the ideas in the way in which we approach our work […] young people need to understand that leadership comes with wisdom.” she shared to the crowd. Moderated by Kahlil Greene – known as ‘The Gen Z Historian’ – Mallory also touched on the importance of Black voters, encouraging all to show out in the upcoming election.
The knowledge didn’t stop there though. Scottie Beam and Sylvia Obell – hosts of Raedio’s The Scottie & Slyvia Show sat down with Dr. Joy, licensed psychologist and host of the leading mental health podcast dedicated to Black women, Therapy for Black Girls. The duo discussed Dr. Joy’s debut book, Sisterhood Heals, and what showing up for not only yourself looks like, but for the ones in your circle as well. During their dialogue, Dr. Joy also dropped some gems on what flags to look out for while networking as a creative. “A red flag is someone who is always asking something of you, but never available when you need something. A green flag though, is people who volunteer to help you without asking. For a lot of us, asking for help is hard to do so to have people to volunteer without having to ask is huge. A yellow flag would be people who are not available when you call.”
Continuing with the theme of focusing on personal well-being in the midst of working towards your passions, actress and composer Tinashe took over the CultureCon stage for the first time to discuss with Sidney Madden – host and reporter for NPR Music – for the second “In Conversation With…” segment of the day. Tinashe discussed her latest album, her musical journey, and her dedication to using art as a tool for self-empowerment and translating the unspeakable. Her 6th studio album, BB/ANG3L, was released just last month. She spoke about her creative process, and how she’s able to use her music as a way to share her emotions, while also healing herself and listeners. “One of the top two things about art is that you’re able to transmute your emotions. You’re able to take something that is maybe negative, difficult, or sad and be able to make something that’s beautiful, really positive that can connect and help other people. I think just by being purposeful of making that exchange of energy […] art is beautiful that way.”
Tinashe’s mental health is her primary focus, especially as an artist in an industry that has never been the easiest for Black women. She spoke about overcoming imposter syndrome and anxiety “I think in the way that I’ve dealt with imposter syndrome, it is always on such a deep core level that maybe I won’t even realize it at the time, but it is the beliefs about myself that are limiting. You don’t recognize them when you’re feeling good and everything’s going well, but as soon as something goes wrong and all of those negative emotions come back up, that’s when you realize that you have to work on it.”
While the panels and discussions were over, CultureCon was still buzzing with attendees. Hosted by American Express, the CultureCon Block Party kicked off as a final opportunity for creatives to continue networking and building community with one another. The Block Party also hosted a Creative Careers Job Fair, giving individuals an opportunity to connect with recruiters across all media industries like NBC Universal, Max, Shea Moisture, and Kickstarter. The job fair allowed for folks to get personalized career advice from experts in their desired fields.
Missing the festivities already? For more information on The Creative Collective NYC and the work they continue to do outside of CultureCon, visit their website for more resources, job opportunities, and future events.