Thank you to the incredible creative industry leaders who have joined our events!
Vice President of Creative Strategy, Blavity Inc.
Love Beach is a creative strategist and management consultant with over 20 years of experience advising go-to-market strategies and facilitating decisions to scale teams and business units. Currently, as Vice President of Creative Strategy at Blavity Inc., Love is responsible for brand strategy, experiential design, and creative production. On a mission to develop young Black professionals, she sits on several advisory boards forging pathways to build diverse creative teams and improve a consumer-focused design that drives business objectives.
Sitting at the nexus of art, fashion, and academia, Dario is an artist, urbanist, director, and brand consultant currently based in New York City. He received his master’s in photography from the School of Visual Arts and his bachelor's in psychology at Rockhurst University in Kansas City. Classically trained in the performing arts, he uses his knowledge of movement, gesture, and psychology to create complex characters and narratives that explore history, race, class, and what it means to be human.
In 2020 he made history as the first Black photographer to shoot a cover for Vanity Fair in its 106-year history with his portrait of Oscar-winning actress, Viola Davis. 2020 also saw the
launch of his widely-acclaimed podcast, The Institute of Black Imagination, featuring
conversations from the Pool of Black Genius through the lens of design. Most recently, he
collaborated with Adobe Lightroom to design presets specifically for people of color.
Dario serves on the global advisory board for Estee Lauder Companies and is a professor at
The New School’s Parson’s School of Design in New York City. He is currently a NYC Urban
Design Forum Fellow and his show direction for the fashion brand Pyer Moss has been
consistently hailed in Vogue and The New York Times as the “best show of Fashion Month.”
Director of User Experience Design - Education, Fresco & Fonts at Adobe
Matthew Carlson is a design director, game designer and non-stop doodler. He's launched products, ran workshops and filled whiteboards at Adobe, Twitter, Facebook and a half-dozen studios and agencies before that. At Adobe, his teams include the Creative Cloud Website, Search, Learn, Fonts and his favorite drawing app, Adobe Fresco. He's passionate about helping teams to envision the future - and unlock their creative potential- using any means necessary. In his spare time he designs fantasy role playing games for kids; drawing monsters, crafting stories and making maps. Matthew is part of the CDE-AME Advisory Group focused on writing curriculum standards for design education in California Public Schools.
Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Studio Operations
Dan Dark serves as Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Studio Operations (WBSO). Dark oversees all studio operations both in Los Angeles and the UK. This oversight involves all production services, including stages, offices, workshops, set lighting, grip, costume, property, archives, transportation, and construction, as well as continuing to drive WBSO’s ongoing investment in creating additional facilities and services to meet the ever-growing production demands.
Dark is responsible for supervising all operations across WBSO’s multiple Los Angeles-based facilities, anchored by the historic Warner Bros. Studios Main Lot in Burbank, a significant fixture of the Burbank community dating back nearly a century, the 110-acre main lot is widely renowned as one of the world’s foremost production and post-production facilities, providing state-of-the-art production resources that include 31 soundstages and 11 exterior sets ranging from a rainforest jungle to a bustling metropolis.
Nonny de la Peña
CEO, Emblematic Group
Nonny de la Peña is an American journalist, documentary filmmaker, and entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Emblematic Group, a digital media company focused on immersive virtual, mixed and augmented reality. De la Peña is widely credited with helping create the genre of immersive journalism.
Singer, Songwriter, Producer
James Fauntleroy II is an American singer, songwriter and record producer from Inglewood, California. He is best known for featuring on tracks by high-profile artists such as Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J. Cole, Vince Staples and Big Sean as well as writing songs for artists including Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Rihanna and Justin Timberlake. In 2014 and 2018, Fauntleroy won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.
Founding Partner, CVL Economics
Adam J. Fowler is a recognized thought leader in economic analysis, workforce development and public policy. He has provided expert commentary to a wide variety of media outlets, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio. Previously, he was the Director of Research at Beacon Economics and served on Gavin Newsom's Governor's Economic Development, Housing, and Agriculture Policy Committee. He has presented on workforce development policy to the California Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism & Internet Media and recently presented research at LA 2021: Future of Creative Talent Summit, Amplify Music, and the Sociable Cities Summit.
Producer, Founder and CEO, Prettybird
Kerstin Emhoff is an American film producer and founder and CEO of the production company Prettybird. Under her leadership the company's films have won Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards, and Cannes Lions, while she personally won a News & Documentary Emmy Award in 2012.
Larrance “Rance” Dobson
Larrance Dopson is a Grammy Award Winning producer / instrumentalist known for singer Ella Mai’s song “Boo’d Up” that charted at number one, further winning ‘Best R&B’ song. Dopson also won Grammys for “These Walls” and “To Pimp A Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar. He was nominated for Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton’s, “Say Something” and Nipsey Hussle’s “Victory Lap”. He’s been musical director for Usher, Khalid, Jay-Z, Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Migos, Rick Ross, and others. He has written and composed on several records including Mi Declaración which resulted in Maluma’s first Latin Grammy for ‘Best Pop Contemporary Pop Vocal Album’.
Founder & Director, UCLArts & Healing
Ping Ho, MA, MPH, is Founder and Director of UCLArts & Healing, an organizational member of the UCLA Integrative Health Collaborative, of which Ping is a steering committee member. She was founding administrator for the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, which led to the privilege of writing for Norman Cousins and co-writing the professional autobiography of George F. Solomon, M.D., founder of the field. She has a BA in psychology with honors from Stanford—where she was appointed to spearhead the still-thriving Health Improvement Program for faculty and staff, an MA in counseling psychology with specialization in exercise physiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MPH in community health sciences from UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Ping is associate editor for the Creative Arts Therapies section of the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She developed the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA) and the SEA on a Shoestring program of supportive art, movement, music, and writing for individuals or groups in any setting.
Founder, Meow Wolf
Vince Kadlubek is a Founder of Meow Wolf, an art collective that has transformed into an award winning Art and Entertainment Production Company that specializes in immersive, open-world walk through experiences. Vince acted as leader and CEO for Meow Wolf though its formidable years, having created the business plan for Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return and leading the team towards the project's completion in March of 2016. In January of 2017 Kadlubek formed Meow Wolf, Inc as a full-fledged arts
production company and creative studio positioned to create the largest, most innovative and audacious monumental art exhibits in the world. After raising series A funding he announced two new Meow Wolf
exhibits in Las Vegas and Denver, opening in 2021. Kadlubek has been a force of vision in the realm of experiential art, and in 2020 launched a creative consulting agency called Spatial Activations as a platform to usher in a new era of experiential art in modern developments and everyday life. Vince is most passionate about co-creating fully-realized alternative realities that bring paradigm-shifting transformation and inspiration to the world.
Tech Entrepreneur, Founding Member of N.W.A.
Arabian Prince - A songwriter, rapper, producer, DJ, technologist Pro Gamer and futurist, Arabian isbest known for being a founding member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted rap group N.W.A., pioneering west coast electro music and producing the Grammy nominated #1 hit song Supersonic. He is the founder of iNov8 Next Open Labs and president of LAFTC - The Los Angeles First Tech Challenge robotics competition and Co-Founder Covitech. He is also very active in the ESports and Gaming space. His passion for technology led to him create a 3D animation and special effects studio in the 90’s
working with companies like Saban Entertainment and Fox, including 100+ video game, film and TV Titles for Fox interactive and Vivendi Universal. As a consultant, Arabian has advised many companies on bridging the gap between technology and the youth, while bringing new product innovations to
market. He is currently working with his tech partners to bring Open Labs to communities across the country in support of youth, women, diversity, veterans and anyone else who wants to explore the future of technology. He is currently launching a new gaming product that will hit the market soon called mClassic.
Dean, Howard University
An accomplished actor and stage director, Phylicia Rashad became a household name whenshe portrayed Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show, a character whose enduring appeal has earned her numerous honors and awards. She has appeared in NBC’s This Is Us, in the popular Fox TV series Empire, and in Tarrell Alvin McCraney's Peabody Award-winning series David Makes Man, on the OWN Network. While television was a catalyst in the rise of Ms. Rashad's career, she has also been a force on the stage, appearing both on and Off Broadway, often in projects that showcase her musical talent such as Jelly's Last Jam, Into the Woods, Dreamgirls and The Wiz. In 2016, Ms. Rashad was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame and received the 2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for her performance as Shelah in Tarell Alvin McCraney's Head of Passes at the Public Theater. Ms. Rashad performed the role of the Duchess of Gloucester in Richard II, the 2020 Shakespeare on the Radio collaboration between The Public Theater and New York public radio station, WNYC.
On Broadway, Ms. Rashad has performed in Dominique Morriseau’s Skeleton Crew ( Tony and Drama Desk Awards), August Osage County, Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (a role that she reprised on the London stage), August Wilson’s Gem of The Ocean (Tony Award nomination) and in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline at Lincoln Center.
Ms. Rashad received both the Drama Desk and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for
her riveting performance as Lena Younger in the 2004 Broadway revival of Lorraine
Hansberry’s A Raisin in The Sun. Among Ms. Rashad’s film credits are Creed and Creed II, Just Wright, Tyler Perry's Good
Deeds, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf and the
2020 release, A Fall From Grace. Recent film projects include Black Box, Soul, and the Netflix
holiday musical, Jingle Jangle.
Ms. Rashad made her critically acclaimed directorial debut at the Seattle Repertory Theater with August Wilsons Gem of the Ocean. She has also directed Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Our Lady of 121 st Street, The Roommate, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (2014 NAACP Theatre Award for Best Director), Immediate Family, Fences, A Raisin in the Sun, and Four Little Girls.
Respected in the academic world as well, Ms. Rashad was appointed Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University in May of 2021. She has conducted Master Classes at many colleges, universities, and arts organizations including Howard University, New York University, Carnegie Mellon, The Black Arts Institute of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and the prestigious Ten Chimneys Foundation. Ms. Rashad also holds the distinction of being the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham University. Ms. Rashad’s commitment to excellence in the performing arts has been recognized by the numerous colleges and universities that have presented her with Honorary Doctorates. Ms. Rashad has also received countless esteemed awards including the BET Honors Theatrical Arts Award, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre Spirit of Shakespeare Award, and the Inaugural Legacy Award of the Ruben Santiago Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center.
Dr. "Suga-T" Stevens
Dr., Legendary Recording Artist, Sprinkle Me Social Enterprise, CEO
Suga-T is originally from Vallejo, CA, and since 1984 stayed in her own lane, although she helped found and build the success of her family record label “Sick Wid It Records” and Legendary group “The Click.” The Click features her brothers E40, D Shot, and cousin B-Legit and is a Multi-Platinum & Gold nationally acclaimed group respected for their historical trendsetting up to date. Together they accomplished one of the biggest joint venture deals in history with Jive Records and set the blueprint for independent success in music and innovative business practices today. Dr. Suga-T is a legendary multi-facet recording artist, CEO, performer, writer, speaker, producer, author, creator, and game-changing trendsetter. She celebrates 36 years in the music industry, produced 20 solo albums, and 5 group albums, and possesses a large catalog of soundtracks, independent & commercial releases, and acting roles. In the midst of producing music and film projects, she runs a social enterprise that includes Suga-T Music/Film And Publishing, Sprinkle Me Learning Academy, Sprinkle Me Boutique, and recently added HER Museum to her list of visionary conglomerates. She is also the executive director of The Work It Well Project. Dr. Suga-T Stevens uses her national brand, education, and experience to make positive changes in the community, business, and the music industry and sacrifice her entertainment career to return back to school to acquire up to a Doctorate Degree.
Executive VP Film Production, Pixar
Jonas Rivera joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1994 to work on “Toy Story” as the studio’s first and only production intern at the time. He advanced roles on almost every subsequent Pixar feature film until becoming producer of the studio's 2009 film "Up." In 2015, Rivera teamed up again with director Pete Docter for “Inside Out,” which won an Academy Award® for best animated feature and was nominated for best original screenplay. He most recently produced “Toy Story 4”, which also won an Academy Award® for best animated feature.
Rivera's various past roles at the studio include art department coordinator for “A Bug’s Life,” marketing and creative resources coordinator on “Toy Story 2,” art department manager on “Monsters, Inc.,” and production manager on “Cars.” In his executive role as senior vice president, production, Rivera oversees all of feature film production at the studio. Rivera has been awarded Producer of the Year in Animated Features by the Producers Guild of America for his work on "Up", "Inside Out" and “Toy Story 4.” "Up" earned a nomination for best picture by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—only the second animated film in history to do so.
Broadway Actor and Entertainer
Seth Stewart is one of today’s most exciting and energetic all-around entertainers! Seth is an original Broadway cast member of the award-winning hit show, Hamilton. With Hamilton, he has performed for the President of the United States, the Grammys, and the Tony Awards. Seth also played the role of Graffiti Pete in the Broadway show, In The Heights.
Seth has also performed all over the world alongside some of the world’s most well-known artists including Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Ne-Yo, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Hudson, and Jay-Z.
Founder, Executive Director, Inneract Project
Maurice Woods is the Executive Director/Founder of the Inneract Project, an organization dedicated to empowering Black, Latinx and underrepresented groups to pursue a career in design. He created the design education framework which serves as the program’s core curriculum, provides leadership, helps set organization and education policy and develops IP’s strategic vision.
As a visual communication design graduate of the University of Washington (BFA and MFA), Maurice played basketball as an undergraduate and professionally worldwide for seven years before returning to the United States to focus on design.
As a professional designer, his work experience spans over 25 years across advertising, a design agency, startup and large tech companies such as BSSP, Pentagram Design, and Yahoo and Microsoft. He has won numerous awards for design and community service as well as teaching and lectures nationally and internationally. Maurice has also contributed to various media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Letterform Press Archives and UX Collective. He currently works as a Principal designer at Microsoft.
Design Education Thought Leader and Advocate
Tacy Trowbridge is a lifelong educator whose passion is inspiring learners, empowering them to develop essential skills, and helping them find their voice. She spent more than a decade leading initiatives for Adobe’s Global Education team, advocating for the importance of teaching creative and digital literacy skills, and recently hosting The Creative Educator Podcast.
Tacy started her career as a teacher and tech coordinator in California schools, earned a master’s degree in Learning, Design and Technology, and then led learning and research initiatives at the University of California and Stanford.