As we begin the New Year I want you to think about your social and professional network. Who is part of your inner circle, who is helping you to build towards your dreams, and also think about areas of your life where you’re stagnant. Starting now you need to focus on your Network and how you’re helping each other, but also how your network contributes to the brand of YOU.
Chi@Glance Spotlight issues focus on a Chicagoan YOU should know. I like introducing readers to different industries and Chicagoans that play a vital role in your social world. Whether it’s finding out about a new restaurant, clothing boutique, where to get your hair done, or what classy gala you should attend….I like shining a Spotlight on the places that offer something different and entertaining.
This month I want to share my network with you and introduce you to a PR Consultant that works with Chicago Organizations YOU should know. I took my own advice and have been working on expanding my network and delving into different projects. This month Spotlight is on PR Consultant Chelsea Whittington. She may be an Indiana native, but Chelsea works with Chicago based organizations that play a large role in the makeup of Chicago and our defining values.
I met Chelsea back in November when I covered a piece for the Chicago Urban League Golden Fellowship Dinner Gala. Chelsea was the media contact that held everything together. I noticed right off the back how responsive she was. I knew she was getting assignments thrown at her left and right, but she would always respond to my emails in mere minutes. I definitely knew she was someone that had her act together and I wanted to get to know her better. 🙂
Chelsea has been in communications/public relations industry for about 23 years. She graduated from Howard and Perdue University with degrees in Journalism and Organizational communication. She’s worked in non-profit, for-profit, government, and has worked with some big name companies like Ebony Magazine, US Cellular, and for her home town mayor of Gary, Indiana Karen-Freeman Wilson. As most of us do Chelsea works different roles and she showcased all of them while working for the mayor. From being a spokesperson for the city, image control, image building, social media, website, media relationships, and booking public appearances…..she did it all.
As much as Chelsea loved working for the Mayor and her hometown of Indiana she knew there was a huge opportunity for her to make a difference within the Chicago Urban League. She started as a consultant for the Centennial edition gala. She was then hired on as the Manager of External Affairs and a few short months later was promoted to Senior Manager of External Affairs. Chelsea took on the role of working with a Chicago organization YOU should know.
Chicago Urban League
So what exactly is the Chicago Urban League?
It’s a voice for African Americans when it comes to economic empowerment, employment, and social justice. The Chicago Urban League has been in existence for 100 years now. It was created to help blacks moving from the south to the north get acclimated. It was a source for how to get a job, where to go to get your housing, etc.
The Chicago Urban League has a voice when it comes to the civil rights movement and any discrimination. The Urban League has a big youth service program (scholarships, summer jobs, college tours, transitioning from middle school to high school). Apprenticeship programs (construction, manufacturing). Also an entrepreneurship center for people looking to start their own business! The ChicagoUrban League is a source with foreclosure dilemma’s or buying a home for the first time by working with banks/lenders to assess your credit/assets. Financial literacy classes (car, house, save). All of these programs are at no cost!
Subdivisions of the Urban League include 3 Auxiliary Boards (MetroBoard (millennial age) Woman Board (late 30 early 50’s) Leaguers (seniors). All the auxiliary boards conduct community fundraising and volunteering. Goals of the Chicago Urban League are to increase employment, increase graduation rate, and decrease crime.
Chelsea LOVES working for the Chicago Urban League and is very invested in the Chicago community. The key to all of the projects she takes on is she has to believe in it and she has to have a huge desire for her client to WIN. Everyone she works with she wants to see WIN.
One of the main projects Chelsea is focused on right now is shining a light on the Noise Makers. The Noise Makers are a Chicago based film making trio that covers various different societal issues. This pass autumn The Noisemakers highlighted the fall out from abusive relationships on college campuses and they plan on making a movie called “shut up the silence” to educate on the domestic abuse that occurs on college campuses. Check out the press release below and really think about how you can get involved in different causes and expand your network as well in 2017.
Thanks Chelsea for being a voice for the Chicago community! To get in touch with Chelsea send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Film Producing Trio See Holidays as the time to ‘Make Noise’
About Domestic Violence
Indiegogo Campaign to Support Film about Abusive Relationships on College Campuses in Full Swing
The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and festive occasions, but for many, it is when occurrences of domestic violence tend to escalate. To the female filmmaking trio Noisemakers Entertainment this season is ideal to shed light on the issue and ‘shut up the silence’ about domestic violence. This fall, the group launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund a film highlighting the fall-out from abusive relationships on college campuses.
“I am a writer, producer, director and survivor of domestic abuse. For so long, I was reluctant to share my ordeal and caved to the accepted societal norm of suffering in silence,” said Natasha Parker, award-winning writer/director and one of the founding partners of Noisemakers Entertainment. “The holidays are especially hard when abusers take out their depression, loneliness or whatever issues they face on their victims.”
The film, titled “Shut up Silence,” takes place in a university setting where the lead character finds herself in a relationship with her college sweetheart that seems impossible to walk away from. A rollercoaster of events, including ignored abuse, lead to a critical choice she must make between freedom and love. View a short presentation about the film here.
“There are so many young women and girls who are in abusive relationships and either don’t realize it or need help confronting their circumstances,” said Parker. “This film will help them see that’s it time to get out or their life may depend on it.”
Indiegogo is an online fundraising tool that allows filmmakers to develop a customized campaign designed to create buzz, build support and secure donations for film projects. Their first campaign yielded close to $20,000. They have started a second push with a goal to raise a total of $50,000.
Using all of their social platforms, the Noisemakers are asking supporters to donate $5 or more and then challenge five friends to do the same. It is their hope that the concept of “Donate $5 and share with 5 people” will move multitudes to rally behind the cause.
“Making a quality film takes money, and we thought Indiegogo was a great route to go,” said Adrienne Swan, fellow Noisemaker and accountant. “It’s my job to make sure the numbers are right and that we approach every project in a manner that is fiscally sound.”
Noisemaker partner LaTrice Edwards couldn’t agree more. Edwards, a celebrity makeup artist and philanthropist looks forward to the film “Shut Up Silence” becoming a reality and intends to add her creative touch.
“Not only do we feel compelled to help Natasha tell her story, but we want to save lives too,” said Edwards.
Pending the success of the Indiegogo campaign, filming is set to begin in the spring of 2017.
“We are looking for donations of all sizes,” added Parker. “Every contribution gets us one step closer to shutting up the silence about domestic violence.”
To learn more about or contribute to the campaign, visit https://www.indiegogo.com key word : Shut Up Silence. For more information and updates about the film, visit Noisemakersentertainment.com and follow the Noisemakers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ShutUpSilence. To interview the Noisemakers, email email@example.com.
About Noisemakers Entertainment
Noisemakers Entertainment’s purpose is to create and develop unique diverse stories through film that entertain, empower and stir the human spirit while providing creative outlets and platforms for industry talent.
Meet the Noisemakers
Natasha Parker is a writer, director and producer raised on the West Side of Chicago. Parker graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in Speech Communications, with a minor in African-American Studies. Working various corporate jobs after graduation, her true passion guided her towards filmmaking. With continued studies at the Independent Screenwriters Group, she began a career in the entertainment industry in 2004.
In 2009, Natasha created Noisemakers Entertainment and co-founded the company. Writing, directing and producing two shorts in three days, “The Package” and “The Lost One” have garnered the attention of the Library of Congress, competed in the Martha’s Vineyard HBO short film series, Urban World, Pan African Film Festival, Black Harvest and a nominee for an African Movie Academy Award in Nigeria.
Balancing the dual hats as an independent filmmaker and studio craftsman, Natasha learned the skilled professions of wardrobe, props and coordinating for various departments becoming a proud member of IATSE 476. Reaching further, Natasha strived for and earned the title of Location Manager joining the esteemed Director’s Guild of America. Her credits range from films such as Transformers 3, Empire, Man of Steel, Chiraq, as well as a multitude of television shows and commercials.
Gary, IN native, LaTrice L. Edwards’ industry experience started in 2001 as a make-up artist. The I.A.T.S.E. Union members’ (Studio Mechanics Local 476) work has been seen on several A-list Films, TV shows and celebrities. However, her tugging interest in film producing never allowed her to let go of her business roots in Corporate America. Edwards’ philanthropic efforts as founder of Triumphant Transitions, Inc. (www.triumphanttransitions.org) have been recognized by several media outlets, including CBS 2 News Chicago.
The recipient of a B.S. Degree in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing from Ball State University, Edwards is also the creator/designer of Power Style Tees (a charitable empowerment t-shirt initiative of
Triumphant Transitions, Inc.) The Ball State University Alumni Association honored Edwards in 2007 with the Alumni Award of Achievement, in recognition of her professional accomplishments and voluntary service. Edwards is a 2011 life membership inductee of the Northwest Indiana Society of Innovators. She is now combining
her passion, corporate and film experience for the greater good of creative arts with Noisemakers Entertainment, LLC.
Chicago native, Adrienne Swan, is a consummate professional with 20 years of experience in Production Accounting. She is a member of the IATSE Union for Accountants both in Los Angeles and New York. Her experience is sought after by the industry on both the major studios and independent film level with over 30 credits in her filmography. Adrienne’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, coupled with corporate experience, has more than prepared her for a successful career in the entertainment industry. In recent years, Adrienne has added Line Producer and Production Management to her industry experience. In addition to her commitment to social advocacy and youth empowerment, Adrienne is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.