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Women in the Industry
February 28 @ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Motor House Resident Producer Von Vargas presents a FREE panel and networking event to celebrate and learn from women leaders in the entertainment industry. With special guest panelists April Washington Chandler, Anshia Crooms, Heidi Klotzman, Elise Perry, and moderator Nia Rice.
The event includes pre- and post-panel networking opportunities. This event is part of Motor House’s Creative Crossroads Producer Residency program.
To register for the events, click here.
About the Panelists:
April Washington Chandler
April Washington Chandler, a music enthusiast and entrepreneur has over 20 years’ experience in entertainment industry providing marketing, production and promotional services to both secular and gospel music industry clients. Areas of expertise include high profile collaborations on music productions, live concerts, special events, grassroots and lifestyle branding campaigns. She has provided expertise on award-winning projects for clients such as Cece Winans, Boyz II Men, Wu Tang Clan, Lisa Page Brooks, Vickie Winans, Kevin Levar, Detrick Haddon and record labels such as Universal Music Christian Group, Sony Music and Tyscot Entertainment.
April’s extensive career in the entertainment industry include a variety of positions in sales and promotions at Capital Records, EMI, Motown, Warner Music Group and Loud/RCA. Her influence encompasses a wide range of music genres including gospel, classical, pop, hip-hop to country.
In 2008, April formed Habakkuk Music, Inc., whose music products are distributed by Universal Music/INgrooves. The label’s products are distributed in both brick & mortar and digital outlets, such as, Wal-Mart, Family Christian Bookstores, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores and other specialty retail outlets.
In 2014, she expanded her efforts to include corporate branding and advertising initiatives under the brand name, HBK Media. Under HBK Media, Chandler created the highly successful Musical Soul Food Festival (MSF Fest). In just three years, the MSF Fest has attracted over 60,000 gospel music fans to the Hampton Roads area.
April also supports her husband, Michael Chandler’s business, Rejoice! Musical Soul Food Radio Network (MSF) – the nation’s premier family-friendly syndication network. MSF develops entertainment content and syndicates programming to over 112 affiliates across the USA.
Anshia “Briclyn” Crooms, M.A. is the CEO of Briclyn Entertainment Group, LLC a Boutique Booking and Creative Agency. Briclyn specializes in Talent Booking, Talent Buying and Event Programming. Briclyn’s roster includes: GRAMMY Nominated Artist Eric Roberson, GRAMMY Nominated Artist Maimouna Youssef, GRAMMY Award Winning Artist PJ Morton, and more.
After obtaining her B.S. in Communication Broadcast Journalism from Bowie State University, Anshia moved to New York City to pursue her Master’s degree. By the age of 23 she not only obtained her Master’s degree from The New School in New York, but she also launched her own company in 2007. Utilizing all the skills and knowledge she obtained from impressive internships with Hidden Beach Recordings, Island Def Jam, and TV One to name a few, Crooms drive to make her mark was insatiable; and some of her hard work paid off when she was recognized in 2011 as a nominee for the Billboard Women in Music Special Feature.
In 2015, Briclyn Entertainment secured contracts for Bowie State University Homecoming, produced The Language of Love Music Festival sponsored by Toyota, and for the last eight years has booked clients at legendary music venues and festivals domestically and internationally. Such venues and festivals have been The Jazz Cafe, The Howard Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Performance Arts Center, Winter Park Music Fest and Essence Music Festival. Since 2016, Anshia has been the sole Producer and Talent Buyer for the East Orange New Jersey Music Arts Festival (MACFest). In 2018, Anshia along with her business partner Tiffany Taylor created “Crush Your Craft” a monthly workshop series that features creative individuals within the Entertainment Industry such as Film, Music and Marketing. This series is held at City Winery DC.
As her roster and philanthropic efforts continue to grow, Crooms remains just as excited about her work now as she was in the beginning as a bright eyed college graduate working six seasons in Music Programming at Central Park Summerstage and falling in love with the live show production process. Anshia is also the Co-Founder of Project Hygiene, Inc, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization established to support underprivileged youth ages 10-18 to enhance health and wellness while denouncing bullying by providing toiletries.
When she is not booking clients or producing events you can find her volunteering her time with the DC GRAMMY Chapter where she serves as Membership Co-Chair, Board Member to Creative Nomads LTD and she is a member of the Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc.
Heidi Klotzman is the Founder and CEO of HeidnSeek Entertainment, LLC (HNS) and an award-winning events and marketing specialist. Under Klotzman’s creative direction, the HNS brand has become synonymous with Baltimore’s event planning and brand promotion culture. She has cultivated a following of thousands of professional subscribers to her weekly entertainment guide and advises them where to go and what to do for fun in the DMV area.
Klotzman has been recognized as one of the Most Influential Professionals in the Baltimore event field by Baltimore Magazine’s Power Issue, The Queen of Clubs by The Baltimore Sun, a Top Professional Under 35 by b newspaper and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a Rising Star by Baltimore Business Journal and Living Classrooms Foundation, an Emerging Leader by The United Way of Central Maryland, a Very Important Professional Under 40 and a Leading Woman by The Daily Record, a Woman of Power by E Media, a Woman of The Year nominee by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and a Community Game-changer by Cre-a-TV.
She has been invited on Baltimore CityBizList as a featured CEO, KHZTV Radio with Gina Geppi Social Scene, WCBM Radio for Women Talk Live, her alma mater, Roland Park Country School, on the young women’s entrepreneurial and diversity panels, her alma mater, Goucher College, on the subject of leadership talk, the Baltimore Music Conference for the Women in Entertainment Panel, the Successful Revolution Conference panel, and Maryland’s New Directions, Inc. to share her experience as an inspirational entrepreneur. She has also contributed as a writer to Wedding411 Magazine and Mobtown Music Guide.
She is the creator of Rock & Soul, Baltimore: The Live Music Showcase that honors the city’s promising young musicians and the Founder and Co-Host of the Jill of All Trades Union, a personal and professional support group for businesswomen. She mentors annually at the Cool Women, Hot Jobs summit at The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women and served two years as a board member of Congressman Elijah Cummings’ Youth Program to Israel. She is currently a Maryland Music Award judge and a volunteer on the publicity committee at the National Alliance for Mental Illness. She is most fulfilled when activating her platform to raise awareness and donate resources and advertising to the charitable causes about which she is passionate in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.
Elise Perry is a Veteran Production Music Producer/Arranger, Video Director and Content Creator for broadcast, web, corporate, government, Film, TV, Ad Agency and artistic & musical performance. From government programs to nationally broadcasted network news, Presidential Inaugurations and great performances, these productions are seen locally and worldwide
Ms. Perry has held positions such as a Music Producer/Arranger (Kindred The Family Soul “Far Away”, “Rhythm Of Life”, “My Time” ) (DC Soul In The Cut “Share A Moment Of Love”) Film Score Producer (Maxie Collier’s “Mind Games” 1992 BET’s “Hits From The Street”). Vocal Producer/Arranger (“Tamara Wellons “Smells Like Teen Spirit” 2009, “Behind The Veil” 2013) Music Supervisor & Documentary Editor (“Citizen Consumer” 2013, “DogParks & CoffeeShops” 2014) Various Programs (PBS/WHUT
Live performance Director/Technical Director, Camera Operator, broadcast specialist for (NBC, BET, National Geographic, PBS, TEDxWDC), Video/Film Director (Kindred The Family Soul, “Going To The Go-Go”, “Behind (Zo’s) ManMade”, LilSoSo’s “AudioTrip” ).
Currently, Ms. Perry producing music for various artists, creating innovative applications like the “Kindred Presents” weekly talk/musical performance show on Facebook Live. Constantly creating while building new bold distribution platforms and programming structures for independent programming is her goal.
Tanzania “NiaEvents” Rice was born in Silver, Spring Maryland with drive and ambition. From a youth, she showed independence and positivity. Nia is an event planner, brand builder, publicist and author of event planner guide; “#EventProof”. During college, she interned for top PR firms and event companies within the Washington D.C. area. She took a position at a former Sirus-XM radio station called 66 Raw. There she went from an intern to running events, marketing, public relations and assisting the program director. After working with the company for a few years, she branched out with her then colleague, Megan Alston and they both founded Serene MGMT. There, they also created Ladies in the Industry: Music and Media, an organization that curates events and developed a mentoring program to discuss and bring together women. They discuss adversities and celebrate accomplishments. She moved to New York where she immediately dived into PR working at firms such as Hunter PR (with Bic, 3M, Amazon and more) and the Chamber Group (Future, Chaka Khan, Big Krit, Jeezy and more).
All the while, working on her company, Serene MGMT, who has worked with some of the top entertainment companies and brands on the east coast. The brand has worked with; Atlantic Records International dancer and artist Yvng Swag, International Records Artist Letoya Luckett, Clothing Brand; Shoe City, NonProfit- Toys for Tots, Author, Blogger, and Fashion Mavin, Claire Slummers and more. Serene has no plans on stopping, they are constantly growing.