The City of Austin Small Business Program is hosting a celebration of women’s entrepreneurial spirit. Austin area women entrepreneurs are invited to join us in recognizing the contribution of local women business owners. Our panelists will share their insights and experiences in achieving entrepreneurial success. Time is allowed for questions and answers. Come prepared to network with other female business owners.
Join Lolis Garcia-Baab, former host of The Ladies Room with Lolis, as she interviews Masha Poloskova of GARMENT Modern and Vintage and Moss Designer Consignment, Jeanette W. Hill of JWHill Productions LLC, and Rosie Mendoza of R. Mendoza & Company, P.C. – Certified Public Accountants.
June 17, 2016
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Hyatt Regency Austin
208 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704
Fee: $45 includes lunch and parking Annual Sellout! Purchase Your Tickets Today!
Whew! Urban Playwrights United Conference! Every year I say that the annual Urban Playwrights (UPU) United Conference can’t be topped and yet, every year turns out better than the previous year. 6th UPU Conference in 2015 was no exception! Warning: This is NOT a “sit back and relax your on vacation” type of conference. Attendees hit the ground running! Many are warned weeks before to rest up!
The conference this year came with a special surprise! National touring playwright/promoter, Angela Dunlap was in attendance for the entire conference. She even sponsored a synopsis contest with the prize being the opportunity for the writer(s) to create a full script which she would consider producing!!
Our other special guest was the UPU perennial favorite, actor DeEtta West from UPTV and AspireTV! (Watch her most recent Christmas movie this Sunday night (12/13) on UPTV!
Not only did we reunite with old UPU friends and colleagues but we met new ones. Playwrights and producers from Michigan, Ohio, Rhode Island, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Texas descended on Columbia the capitol city of South Carolina for a four day information-fest covering the craft of playwriting, fine points of directing, successful producing, effective networking and marketing techniques.
The Thursday afternoon opening included and overview of the national organization of urban playwrights, directors and producers but quickly moved into a mini-course on developing multiple streams of income including a dynamic presentation by founder, visionary Vanessa Lynn on how to ‘write for hire’. Following this presentation was UPU Board member, Professor Ursula Robinson’s dynamic ‘Directors Intensive’ workshop where we learn in depth methods of not only directing our work but how to get the most out of our actors.
The highly anticipated and competitive Two-Minute Play Competition team assignments were made next. This exercise teaches the attendees to work with others and about collaboration. Each team is composed of a producer, writer, director, technical director and marketing manager. They have approximately forty-eights hours to write, market and produce a two-minute play. If you don’t believe that the competition was fierce, check out the promos, pictures, videos and posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Assistant Principal Robyn Rease-Burdette, conducted early morning coffee groups about faith and theater and Art in public schools.
The conference included several field trips. One was a tour of Walk on Water (WOW) Productions studio, managed by UPU members Tangie Brickhouse-Beaty and Donna Johnson where additional workshops were conducted including one on Marketing and Budgeting by Tangie Brickhouse-Beaty.
Winston-Salem State University professor Andre Minkins covered the difference between musical theater and music in theater, children’s theater and one person shows including audience participation.
UPU’s version of Shark Tank Pitch with panelists DeEtta West, Gail Lyles and Angela Dunlap. The field trips continued to South Carolina Educational Television and to Township Auditorium where manager Aundrai Holloway gave a presentation on touring theater productions and negotiating power.
Saturday was spent on the campus of the gracious South Carolina State University with a very informative presentation on Small Business Development by Charles Robinson, who explained that the creatives in attendance were in business and how the Small Business Develop Centers can help in establishing their businesses started on the right foot.
DeEtta West and yours truly discussed the power of effective networking and how positioning yourself can benefit one’s career.
Milta Ortiz, moved to Tucson with her husband solely to write the documentary drama play titled Más, about the banning of Mexican-American studies in the Tucson Unified School District.
Ortiz, Borderland Theater’s marketing and outreach director, is passionately working with her husband, Marc Pinate, the theater’s producing director, to bring the theater centerstage to new audiences in Southern Arizona.
Borderlands Theater has undergone various changes since being founded 30 years ago by Barclay Goldsmith. But the emphasis of the theater has always been on the border voice and telling native stories, a mission that continues to thrive under Pinate’s direction.
The proximity between Mexico and Arizona has continually had a distinct influence on the culture and people of this state, and it is this culture that has distinctly begun to shape the performing arts in the southwest.
Niche regional theaters continue to establish giving voice to community members and often minority groups in cities around the country. As the Penumbra Theater gives voice to the African-American community in Minnesota, Borderlands Theater gives voice the Hispanic and Latino community in Arizona.
Más debuted as the first play for Borderlands Theater’s 2015 season. The play brought together people of all ages and cultures, which was unique for the theater whose typical patrons are liberal retired white individuals.
“We are now really interested in targeting that younger population, that hip audience and of course the Latino audience,” said Ortiz, “For very complicated reasons they are not going to the theater so our mission is to say the theater is for you, it is about you, you can partake in the theater experience.”
Austin area Playwright wins Atlanta Black Theatre Festival award for her Black Lives Matter themed play!
Multiple-award winning playwright Jeanette Hill has garnered another award. This time for the Festival Favorite Award Best Reader’s Theatre Series for her black lives matter themed play, ‘Don’t Call Me Brother!’ at the 2015 Atlanta Black Theatre Festival (ABTF) held at the historic Morehouse College from October 8th through the 11th.
Jeanette Hill is the founder and executive director of JWHill Productions LLC, a creative arts organization. JWHill Productions LLC uses the stage to tell original stories depicting the resilience of the African American people, spirit and culture. This is Ms. Hill’s fourth award in the last three years for her plays.
The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival is fast becoming one of the premier outlets for quality black theater for audiences, actors and playwrights across the nation. In its fourth year, guided by executive director, Toni Simmons Henson, it continues to grow in both numbers and quality of productions. The 2015 Atlanta Black Theatre Festival received submissions from forty-two states and two countries.
Ms. Hill was honored to have AspireTV, whose principal owner is Ervin ‘Magic’ Johnson as the presenting sponsor for her staged reading and panel discussion. The play’s theme resonated with AspireTV because of its timely and relevant subject matter. ASPiRE is dedicated to deliver enlightening and entertaining programming to African-American families that reflect positive images of the African-American community.
The staged reading was followed by an informative panel discussion, ‘The Conversation We Need to Have’. The panelists included -National Order of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE) member Rafiq Ahmad, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General Atlanta Regional Office; Timothy Tukes, a junior at Morehouse College and a 2015 All-Star Student Ambassador for the White House Initiative on HBCUs; Andre Minkins, Associate Professor at Winston-Salem State University; Reemo Rod, actor, co-owner of 3511 Media; Trebor Randle, Special Agent in Charge Georgia Bureau of Investigation-Child Fatality Review Unit and playwright Jeanette Hill. Clark Atlanta University instructor Eric J. Little, actor, director and writer moderated the panel.
Don’t Call Me Brother! addresses the impact of current events on individuals who carry the dual citizenship of being African American and working in law enforcement.
‘Don’t Call Me Brother!’ is the story of recently promoted Assistant Police Chief Andrew Merritt, whose close ties to the police force and to the black community come into question with the suspicious death of a black youth by a police officer, he is at a crossroad. Where is his loyalty? Each side wonders if they can trust him? More importantly, who can he trust?
It takes an amazing group of talented actors to bring a story to life and the ‘Brother’ cast did just that!
Derrell Lester, Eddie Oliver, Curt Keller Williams, Schelle Purcell, Tiffany Roberts (director), Kelvin Rowe, Noah Artis and Stephanie J. Williams.
What people are saying about ‘Don’t Call Me Brother!:
“This play captures exactly both the internal and external challenges that African Americans in executive law enforcement positions live with everyday. ”
Patrick Ockletree, Assistant Chief, Austin Police Department
“Especially enjoyed the way the family dynamic was shown in the play. We seldom think about the impact these situations have on police officers of color. ”
This play should be seen in every major city in the United States!
Steve Savage, KAXI-FM Community Radio Station Manager
“Don’t Call Me Brother! is a voice carrying a message that some may have missed. It encourages us all to think critically about our role in creating the change we want to see in our community.”
Charles Robinson, Director Travis County Adult Probation
I am excited about the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival this year! Not only has my play ‘Don’t Call Me Brother!’ been selected as a special event for the ABTF but AspireTV has chosen to be the presenting sponsor for it!
The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival (ABTF) is fast becoming one of the premiere outlets for quality black theater audiences, actors and playwrights across the nation. In its fifth year the ABTF continues to grow in size and the quality of its productions.
AspireTV is dedicated to deliver enlightening and entertaining programming to African American families that reflect positive images of the African American community. Aspire also creates new and unique opportunities for the next generation of the African American creative community.
Don’t Call Me Brother! addresses the impact of current events on individuals who carry the dual membership of being African American and being in law enforcement. A panel talkback, ‘The Conversation We Need to Have’ with community leaders will be held immediately following the reading to discuss possible solutions to bridging the gap of distrust between our communities and law enforcement.
‘Don’t Call Me Brother! is the story of Andrew Merritt, a high-ranking African American police officer with ties to both the police force and the black community. With the death of a black youth by a police officer under questionable circumstances and his recent promotion, he is at a crossroad. Where does he place his loyalty? With his family who has a long history of civil rights activism or with the police department where he has devoted twenty-four years of service. All eyes are on him.
Another black youth has been killed by a police officer under questionable circumstances. Recently promoted Andrew Merritt’s first task as Chief of the Community Liaison Department is to restore his former community’s confidence in the police department. At the same time he attempts to maintain the respect of his activist family and his fellow police officers. His loyalty is in question from both sides.
Is this new job a step up…or a set up?
Join us Sunday, September 27th at 2pm:
The Boyd Vance Theatre
1165 Angelina Street
Austin, TX 78702
Doors open at 1:30pm
Light refreshments will be served
This is a dramatized stage reading followed by a panel discussion from community members.