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Arts & Entertainment Summit

Thursday, Oct. 27 & Friday, Oct. 28

The Spelman College Arts and Entertainment Summit is designed to inform students of the various non-performing opportunities in film, television, music and more.

The breakout sessions will cover a variety of topics including trending new media, TV and film producing, programming and casting, the music business, marketing, public relations and entertainment law.

Students will engage with alumnae and other entertainment professionals who are eager provide valuable advice for future careers. For the first time, the Summit will allow students to participate in a "Pitch Fest."

Students, to secure your seat for a breakout session, send your request to lhill13@spelman.edu. Please include your name, class year and session(s) of choice. The Deadline to Register is Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 3 p.m.

Spelman College Arts & Entertainment Summit

Alumnae Panels, Breakout Sessions and More


HBO Series Insecure Screened at Spelman

Spelman Arts and Entertainment Summit

Thank you to our sponsors

Thursday, Oct. 27

Next Wave Media

"What’s Streaming into Your Mind”

9:25 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
Rockefeller Fine Arts Building, Black Box Theatre

Phylicia Fant, senior vice president of Lifestyle & Marketing, Warner Bros. Records

In Conversation With ...

    • Mjeema Picket, global head of R&B/Soul programming, Spotify
    • Whitney Benta, music partnerships, Facebook


11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Sisters Chapel

Suzanne dePasse Speaks at Spelman

Special Guest
Suzanne dePasse, the television, music and film producer as well as the co-chairman of de Passe Jones Entertainment Group, discovered Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Lionel Richie and the Commodores, Rick James, Debarge, and many other successful recording artists and signed them to Motown Records when she oversaw the company’s records division for Berry Gordy.

dePasse was instrumental in taking the Motown label to television with a host of critically acclaimed and highly rated specials, including the multiple award winning "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever" produced while she was president of Motown Productions.

Ayoka Chenzira, Ph.D., division chair for the arts, interim chair of Art and Art History and founder of the Digital Moving Image Salon will interview dePasse.

TV & Film Producing Programming & Casting

“The Story, the Development, Get it into the Stream”

1:30 p.m -- 2:45 p.m.
The Beverly Daniel Tatum Suites Private Dining Room

Get the most inside information on how television programs and films are written, produced, programmed and cast. From “Black-ish to “Insecure”; from “Containment” to “Being Mary Jane.”

Fonzworth Bently, producer and host of MTV's From G's to Gents

In Discussion With . . .

  • Brielle Urssery, senior manager program planning and scheduling, BET
  • D’Angela Proctor, executive producer, TV One
  • Saptosa Foster, managing partner, The 135th Street Agency
  • Kelly Edwards, vice president Talent Development and Programming, HBO
  • Traci Blackwell, senior vice president of Current Programming, CW Network

Entertainment Law

"What Crisis?"

3:00 p.m. -- 4:15 p.m.
The Beverly Daniel Tatum Suites Private Dining Room

How do you negotiate an actor’s contract, create a partnership with another media company, get a singer out of a record deal, or navigate a difficult situation?

Margaret Johnson, counsel, Business and Legal Affairs, Odd Lot Entertainment

In Discussion With...

  • Michelle Rogers, vice president and associate general counsel, BET
  • Omara Harris, The Law Office of Omara S. Harris, Esq. LLC
  • Traci Bransford, partner Stinson Leonard Street LLP

Speed Mentoring

“Listen at the Speed of Light”

4:30 p.m.-- 6:00 p.m.
Manley College Center, June Gary Hopps Atrium

Kristin Dockery, TV production manager

Arts and Entertainment Speed Mentoring

Want advice on everything entertainment? This is where you can get personal information from all of Arts and Entertainment Summit panelists and special guests. Receive internship and recruitment materials as well.   

Friday, Oct. 28

PR, Marketing & Advertising

"After the BUZZ…How You Like Me Now?"

9:30 a.m. - 10:30  a.m.
Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center, Lower Level Room 31

Tosha Whitten Griggs, senior vice president Publicity, TV One

In Conversation With ...

  • Michelle Bailey, senior vice president, Data Strategy & Insights, BET Networks
  • Brucetta Williams, vice president Consumer Marketing & Brand Strategy, BET Networks
  • Syreta J. Oglesby, PR and Communications TV/Film/Music
  • Kimberly Stephens, Talent Executive/Associate Producer, KSG
  • Anika Hawkins, community affairs manager, ABC Television

The Business of Music

"It’s Not What You Think"

10:00 a.m. -- 11:00 a.m.
The Beverly Daniel Tatum Suites Private Dining Room

Phylicia Fant, senior vice president of Lifestyle & Marketing, Warner Bros. Records

In Conversation With ...

  • Heather Lowery, president, Agency for Artists
  • Cynthia Charles, director of Ticketing and Tour Operations, AEG Live Urban Touring
  • Ashunna Ayers, brand marketing executive, Ayars Agency     
  • Jenya Meggs, founder and CEO, T.E.S Group

Arts and Entertainment Summit Pitch Fest

Pitch Fest

"Your Ideas Matter"

11:10 a.m -- 12:15 p.m.
Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center, Lower Level Room 31

Pitch Fest at Spelman CollegeStudents, here is your opportunity to PITCH ideas for screenplays, teleplays, web series, short films, documentary, film or TV shows, music videos.

Pitches have to be verbally presented to the judges within five minutes. Additional rules will be announced shortly. A special opportunity will be awarded to the student that presents the best PITCH.


D’Angela Proctor, Executive Producer, TV One

Pitch Tips From Industry Leaders . . .

  • Tosha Witten-Griggs, senior vice president, Publicity, TV One
  • Roger Bobb, BobCat Productions
  • Eric Tomonsous, Swirls Films

Closing Session

Advance screening of the upcoming episode of the HBO series “Insecure” by Issa Rae

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D  Academic Center Auditorium

Arts and Entertainment Summit

Moderator: Tia Brown, Ebony lifestyle director
In conversation with . . .

  • Issa Rae, actress, writer, director, producer and creator of the Awkward Black Girl web series and "Insecure"
  • Kevin McFall, senior vice president of business development, Ebony Media
  • HBO Series Insecure Screened at Spelman
    The HBO series "Insecure" is a comedy about two friends navigating the tricky professional and personal terrain of Los Angeles. Rae stars as Issa and Yvonne Orji stars as Molly. #InsecureHBO

    To properly accommodate everyone at the film screening, participants are asked to register in advance.

    Register Now