Following two stops in L.A and Atlanta, CultureCon made its third stop in the Big Apple, bringing many famous faces with it. Bridging the gap between culture and technology, the day-long “conference” (more like festival) hosted an amazing lineup of talks destined to ignite and inspire creativity.
Sponsored by HBO Max, Cash App, LinkedIn, Squarespace, Nike, and Reebok, to name a few, there were tons of activation booths, freebies, photo ops, and panels hosted by culture icons. Taraji P Henson, Meagan Good, Tracee Ellis Ross, Angie Martinez and Tabitha Brown were just some of the famous faces to light up the stage at CultureCon 2022. Creatives gathered gems on asking for what you’re worth, investing, protecting your intellectual property and sooo much more! Check out more below!
Entergalactic creator Kenya Barris, and producers, Maurice Williams, and Karina Manashil, shared their joy in having created a black animated love story, and the lasting impact and legacy Virgil Abloh left as Costume Designer of the Netflix show. Williams noted within the conversation that as a creative, getting major funding can also have a downside—oftentimes, having to relinquish creative control. Broadway producer Keenan Scott II, (Thoughts of a Colored Man) echoed the same sentiment on different panel, gratefully sharing that he was able to maintain creative freedom by prioritizing the heart of his work over the desire for money.
Creator and writer Lena Waithe sat down with author Elaine Welteroth (More Than Enough) and opened up about her journey to success. She credited her ability to go from intern at The Real World to assistant to Mara Brock Akil, Gina Bythewood and Ava Duvernay (and in that order) to her go-getter attitude and serious work ethic, while never quitting on her own creative visions. Similarly, author and celebrity (read: Beyonce) stylist, Ty Hunter shared his advice for achieving success— “be humble and be ready and go above and beyond in your work”.
Filmmaker Malcolm D Lee confirmed to us that the final installment of The Best Man franchise, “The Best Man Final Chapters” will arrive on Peacock December 22nd!
Actress and legend, Taraji P. Henson talked about the importance of black mental health and her foundation’s (The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation) commitment to providing access to helpful mental-health resources and services for black people. In speaking on the upcoming The Color Purple musical, in which she stars, Taraji emphasized the need for black writers, directors, producers in the telling of our stories, noting that the difference is very notable, in a good way, in this version of the 1985 film. As for advice, she encourages creatives to not wait on people to open doors, but to continue creating their own lanes. And a bonus— a life lesson she wishes she knew sooner… “You can’t fix nobody.”
In addition to multiple Instagram-worthy activation booths, Clinique set up a separate activation room to offer makeup touch-ups to talent and eventgoers. Maya Martin, the head of the Northeast Marketing Division shared that Clinique desired to demonstrate and remind people that they have products that meet the needs of brown people.
Tracee Ellis Ross sat down to talk creativity and her new Hulu series “The Hair Tales”, which she executive produces alongside Oprah Winfrey. Meagan Good closed out the day’s event, lighting up the red-carpet where she talked about the power of girl-friendship to “make [you] aware of all your incredibleness even on [your] worse day”.
If CULTURECON comes to your city next year, I highly recommend grabbing a ticket, it’s only going up from here!
Check out more content from our day at CultureCon on our Instagram page, @sheenmagazine.
Images by Elizabeth Samuel