A Conversation With:
President & CEO
How long have you been volunteering in the community?
I have been volunteering in the community for 18 years. With a son on the autism spectrum, initiatives supporting autism awareness has always been near and dear to my heart.
I co-founded the Chaka Khan Foundation in 1999. Our mission was to assist at-risk women and children. In partnership with Cure Autism Now, another not-for-profit organization, we helped raise over $1.4 million for autism awareness.
I also co-founded Colored My Mind, an organization established to help parents of children with autism in underserved communities. I have also lobbied on Capitol Hill meeting with both the Black and Hispanic Caucus’ for the reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act of 2006.
I currently serve on the Advisory Board for Urban Fitness 911 which addresses the disparity of health, fitness, and academic skills among teenagers in low-income communities.
Tell us a little about yourself.
You might call me an artist-anthropologist. I come from a family full of brilliant artists. My mother is an artist, my siblings are artists, my nieces and nephews are artists as well as my children. I am a single mother of two teenaged boys. My 19-year old son is on the autism spectrum and my 16-year-old son is a very gifted singer, composer, and producer.
I have managed award-winning talent for the past 25 years. I understand the unique challenges as well as the wants and needs of an artist. From my experience, it is essential that there be a holistic approach to supporting the artist mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically which is why I offer Empowerment Consulting and have established the Artistology Academy.
Where do you see your business in the next 3 years?
In the next three years, I see the Artistology Academy being an extremely viable business and thriving community for artists, both on and offline. It is my desire to debunk the myth of the ‘starving artist’ and grow a community of ‘artistpreneurs.’
My program is specifically designed to empower artists because they are the architects of society. The messages that artists deliver through music, film, and television are what guides popular culture. If we want to see more love, peace, and prosperity in the world, artists must take responsibility and lead. The Artistology Academy is committed to nurturing a community of conscious artists who are in turn committed to transforming our world for the better.
Why did you join The Valley Economic Alliance’s Business Accelerator Program?
A dear friend of mine, Lydia Nibley, recommended that I connect with Jeff Cohen about The Valley Economic Alliance’s Business Accelerator Program (BAP). I joined this program because I wanted to be a part of an intimate community with other entrepreneurs who are supporting and holding one another accountable.
Because I am developing an Artist Collaboratory, similar to the BAP, I felt it would be important for me to experience this program. Jeff and his partner Ron have been great mentors as have my colleagues in the program. They have asked me to lead our group the past few weeks of the program which has been an invaluable experience for me.
What are you most excited about your business accomplishing in the near future?
I am most excited about launching Artistology Academy’s online platform and offering my first course. My signature course is your Heart Truth Journey™ and Manifesting Abundance Plan™ (M.A.P.) It is delivered as a self-paced course.
In the first half of this course, you write your Heart Truth Journey which is your life story in a specific and succinct “Hero’s Journey” format from the perspective of being an artist for the purpose of extracting your life lessons, discovering your gifts & passions, and identifying your life purpose.
In the second half of this course, you create your Heart Truth M.A.P. where you design your strategic plan and future-author your story for an empowered future. Other courses designed specifically for artists will be offered through the online academy as well.