The Community Leader for Creatives of Color
When CultureCon founder and CEO Imani Ellis was a VP at NBC, she’d often attend conferences and was not seeing the diverse community she had cultivated at work reflected on stage. In response, Imani started hosting get togethers for friends in her apartment as a safe space for professional exchange — but a community can only grow so much in a cramped, NYC apartment. These gatherings became the inspiration for CultureCon, which premiered in 2017 and continues to grow and expand to new markets and audiences. The event convenes a community of creatives and entrepreneurs of color for multiple days of connection and shared experience. Ellis has been lauded in the press as a “Breakthrough Creative” (Ebony) and a “Visionary” (Forbes). Ultimately, both CultureCon and Imani’s agency — Creative Collective NYC, which works with blue chip clients and also runs community events and workshops — exist because she couldn’t find what she was looking for in the world. So she set out to build it herself.
At its core, CultureCon is a community experience that prioritizes scaling intimacy among creative professionals of color. Billed as the Ultimate Creative Homecoming, CultureCon’s NYC event hosts 3,500 guests over three days and offers talks, tools, entertainment and peer engagement throughout, fostering deal making, and professional and personal connection. And, with recent outposts in both Los Angeles and Atlanta, the NYC event anchors a growing network of more than 100,000, and brings A-list names like Spike Lee, Quinta Brunson, Lena Waithe, and Billy Porter onstage. Imani’s community development extends to her agency, Creative Collective NYC, which centers around building trust, and fostering the feeling that comes with belonging, being acknowledged and recognized.