North Texas Daily

DBFF Women in Entertainment Panel left both women and men inspired

DBFF Women in Entertainment Panel left both women and men inspired

Moderator and Journalist Sybil Wilkes (left) prompts questions to a panel of those with experience in the entertainment industry: (left to right) Valeshia Butterfield Jones, Catrina M. Craft, Ward White IV, Ashleigh Smith, and Carrie Navarro. Katie Jenkins

DBFF Women in Entertainment Panel left both women and men inspired
January 30
12:16 2017

The second full day of the Denton Black Film Festival kicked off with the Women in Entertainment Panel, a new addition for the annual festival.

A full audience gathered at 10 a.m. on Jan. 28, in the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center to listen to five panelists: CEO Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, CPA Catrina M. Craft, producer Kerri Navarro, jazz recording artist Ashleigh Smith and entertainment lawyer Ward White IV. Moderated by morning talk show host Sybil Wilkes, the hour-long panel delved into the rewards and hardships of entering the entertainment business as a woman.

“I entered this field 21 years ago and it’s still male-dominated,” said Butterfield-Jones, National Chair of the Denton Black Film Festival and CEO of Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network. She has worked in music, politics and technology fields.

CEO and Founder of Craft Entertainment, Catrina M. Craft, speaks to the audience about money management in her industry. Craft was one of five panelists to answer questions at the “Women in Entertainment” panel at the Denton Black Film Festival on Saturday, January 28. Katie Jenkins

The panel mainly focused on women empowerment and staying true to a personal brand throughout the professional process. The panelists each shared their advice for getting started in a competitive field as well as their personal stories.

For Navarro, the people around her helped push her forward. She credits her networking skills for getting her where she is today.

“I was always around women who inspired me to continue on,” Navarro said. “My thing is always about advocacy and getting involved in organizations. That is essential in doing what we’re doing.”

Topics in the panel also included how to handle the multiple facets of the entertainment business that are often overlooked or forgotten entirely.

“In your craft, become the best,” Smith said, a UNT alumna. “But if you don’t know [how to do something], ask until you get an answer, and be relentless with that.”

The panelists also noted the importance of education, whether it be in a creative field or in a business field.

“Sometimes there are obstacles,” Craft said. “Remember what your end goal is and educate yourself.”

“Particularly, we tend to be more on the talent side, as opposed to the executive side, the management side and the decision-making side,” White said. “Once you learn how the wheels turn and how this business actually works, when you come to the table with that knowledge and education, that helps to balance the scales.”

Smith specifically reiterated the vitality of determination and a strong personal drive while pursing any type of art.

She also explained the significance of establishing a strong network at home. She said you must “bloom where you are planted” before making the big move to a bustling city like Los Angeles, where individuals tend to blend into the mass of aspiring entertainment stars.

“No one is going work harder for your dream than you,” Smith said. “You have to be the hardest working part of team ‘you.’”

The panel was complete with a brief Q&A. Representatives from a few Denton Black Film Festival sponsors, including Dorothy Bland, Dean of the Mayborn School of Journalism, were in attendance to talk with festival attendees.

Overall, the panelists left the audience with numerous inspiring lessons and mottos to reflect on.

“Be resilient,” Butterfield-Jones said. “When it gets hard, know you’re doing the right thing.”

Featured Image: Moderator and Journalist Sybil Wilkes (left) prompts questions to a panel of those with experience in the entertainment industry: (left to right) Valeshia Butterfield Jones, Catrina M. Craft, Ward White IV, Ashleigh Smith, and Carrie Navarro. Katie Jenkins

About Author

Abby Jones

Abby Jones

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

Search Bar

Social Media

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
Junior wideout Jaelon Darden headlines as Conference USA announces All-Conference selectionshttps://t.co/sJcrQqgejg
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
RT @jazwriteswords: My last game covering women’s basketball for the Daily 👍🏽 https://t.co/kbJtr0JccT
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
Letter from the Editor: Becky is signing out@RebeccaNajera42 's time as our Editor-in-Chief has come to an end.… https://t.co/Lj51rzLvhD
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
A Q&A with athletic director Wren Baker (@wrenbaker)by @ZacharyACottamhttps://t.co/6Q3BVD0SJH
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
ICYMI: Women's basketball holds off the Ragin Cajuns, win 69-66by @jazwriteswordshttps://t.co/yxVsRwMSo4
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad