New creative agency Hue House capitalized on its fresh energy by launching “The Block” on Feb. 13 at Johnson C. Smith University.
The agency, which aims to connect cultural and government groups — and their funds — with traditionally underutilized creative individuals and communities, packed the top floor of JCSU’s STEM Innovation Center with young artists, designers, entrepreneurs and makers eager to connect and collaborate.
Hue House founders Davita Galloway, David J. Butler and David “Dae-Lee” Arrington served as panelists along with Grammy-winning poet Boris “Bluz” Rogers and Quintel Gwinn, owner of Quin Gwinn interior architecture and design studio. The mostly young audience peppered them with questions from ways to make their hustle profitable to best ways to protect their intellectual property when partnering.
“Essentially this event was to bring Black artists, entrepreneurs and creatives together because a lot of us operate in silos, and there are a lot of us out here,” Galloway said. “This was an opportunity for us to gather and be in community in real life, instead of just interacting on social media.”
At times, the panelists and audience members disagreed on finer points, but Arrington emphasized the purpose of The Block: a safe space for Black creatives to communicate, collaborate and share valuable information.
“We’re here to equip, empower, inform, and see each other shine,” he said. “There are many different roads, so long as everybody has the same goal.”
“That’s what we’re here for, if we’re really about community and building ecosystems,” Galloway said. “We’ve got to make sure we get there together.”
The Block meetings will take place the second Thursday of every month. The March 12 meeting’s location is TBA, but contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list.