One of the most destructive explanations one may ever hear is “because that’s just how we do things”.
We define Creativity Empowerment as the “Ability to see more options”. This is important for a number of reasons. By allowing ourselves to see more options, we are actually seeing more of ourselves. As our personal bandwidth increases, those around us can sense the power of our presence to increase, as well as the overall scope of our lives.
In this way, Creativity Empowerment is true healing. We are healing from the concept that we are ‘small’ or ‘incapable’. We are healing from the idea that we must do things the old way, and that the pioneers have already come and gone.
As we see more options in our lives, we realize all the ways in which our beliefs have been causing us to sabotage ourselves. In this new age, we are able to empower each other toward a healthier sense of self, and the greatly expanded options that come with it.
Erika Alexander truly exhibits this type of empowerment. Alexander has partnered with former Google exec and block-chain tech entrepreneur Ben Arnon. Together they’ve created Color Farm, a multi-platform content company. The company aims to feature a lineup of film, television and digital projects from diverse creators.
The company’s inaugural slate includes an untitled horror/thriller film, written by Alexander for Lionsgate Entertainment. Color Farm has also teamed with producers Jamie Patricoff (Half Nelson, The Zookeeper’s Wife) as well as Paul and Tammy Garnes (Selma, Queen Sugar) to develop a feature about the famed Boys Choir of Harlem, which Alexander is penning.
Best known for her co-starring role in the ‘90s Fox sitcom Living Single and who was also seen in the Academy Award-nominated film GET OUT, Alexander also collaborated with Joss Whedon and Dark Horse to co-write “Buffy” spin-off graphic novel series.
Now, Alexander’s focus is on making Color Farm a success.
Erika chimes in about her partner, Ben Arnon:
“I’m mostly a creator and an actress but he knew about being an entrepreneur, he had gone to business school at UCLA and he knew how to be aggressive. Putting together his hustle with my flow, we had something!” – Erika Alexander
Alexander has continued to delve into her creativity and commitment to making sure people of color are represented in a variety of spaces from graphic novels to the big screen. Alexander has always felt there weren’t enough roles for women of color in the entertainment industry since the beginning of her career. Additionally, she felt writing was the quickest way to do something about it, even if it didn’t come naturally:
“Of course, it took me longer to learn the craft and get the momentum to have the discipline for it. In the meantime, my life kept going and my career kept going.”
Opportunity came knocking for her vision when she bumped into businessman, Ben Arnon during the 2008 presidential campaign:
“We met during the 2008 campaign. He was an Obama delegate and I was a Hillary delegate. I was telling him about all these scripts I had written over the years and he asked me what I was doing with them.”
Alexander says Arnon helped her put a value to her writing and become familiar with the business side of things.
“He really put his business acumen on it and then we were on our way.”
The production company hopes to provide opportunities to tell stories of diversity and inclusion to an audience that reflects those qualities. Color Farm Media also invites storytellers from all different types of platforms:
“Color Farm is changing the face of media but the face of media had to change in order to acknowledge or support companies like Color Farm.”
“Over these past few years, studios have been very interested in new voices. Their whole business model changed in Hollywood. They saw that they had been wrong all this time. Not only do black people sell, they were essential.”
“At Color Farm, the whole idea is not just to say the word ‘diverse.’ Diversity means many different voices and perspectives. Black, white, Latino, Asian are a given. But you also have the elderly, the disabled. I’m from Arizona and grew up in a Lutheran Church. We’re looking for those types of people who may not fit in those stereotypical ways.”
“We’re looking for things like podcasts, plays, graphic novels. These all have low barriers to entry. If it’s right, we can build that audience organically and connect it to the audience that would normally be attracted to it, or find an audience for it.”
More recently, Alexander and Arnon have partnered with Emily Best, CEO and Founder of Seed and Spark.
NOTE FROM COLOR FARM FOUNDERS:
Hollywood has finally noticed that minorities are the New Majority and we are here to stay. At Color Farm we bridge the gap to new voices and talent, who have traditionally been outsiders with no access or financing. We want Color Farm Media to be a place where colorful creators can win and be profitable on multiple platforms.
Color Farm is the New Majority power center, like Motown or Def Jam, but for the moving image.
Creativity is empowerment. We aim to provide the skills, tools, and access necessary for underrepresented creators to fully maximize their potential.
Color Farm is on a mission to ‘change the face of media.’