This week on Everything Co-op, Ashley Walden on nurturing Black creative leadership

Ashley Walden is founder and CEO of Unlock Creative, and founder and president of the National Black Women’s Creative Cooperative. 

Tune in to WOL 1450 AM, 95.9 FM and WOL Livestream on February 15, 2024 at 10:30 AM EST for Everything Co-op, hosted by Vernon Oakes. In honor of the 2024 Black History Month theme, “African Americans and the Arts,” Vernon interviews Ashley Walden, founder and CEO of Unlock Creative. Vernon and Ashley will discuss her cooperative journey and how she has used the arts to impact lives and history.

Ashley is a proven leader, change agent and visionary. She is a focused executive who effectively manages the day-to-day operations of multi-layered organizations while keeping equity and inclusiveness at the forefront. Ashley has 18 years of experience in nonprofit management and community-based arts business administration. She is a diligent producer driven by authenticity and a love of people.

Unlock Creative is a social enterprise with the mission to nurture, grow and sustain Black creative leadership. Ashley is also the founder and president of the National Black Women’s Creative Cooperative, a worker-owned limited liability cooperative and mutual aid network of Black women creatives whose mission is to liberate Black Women from oppressive and toxic work environments, generate wealth owned and stewarded by and for us toward a goal of political and financial freedom.

Ashley built her career at Alternate ROOTS, a nearly 50-year-old Southern-based regional arts service organization for artists, cultural bearers and organizers. She held several roles including Managing Director, Program Director, and Director of Strategic Partnerships. Ashley was the Associate Producer for Cornerstone Theater Company based in Los Angeles who creates socially relevant plays with communities throughout the USA. She has also been a Lecturer at University of California at Longbeach, an Assistant Professor of Theater at Kennesaw State University in GA, and served on the Board of Directors of Appalshop based in Whitesburg, KY.

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