Turn your side hustle into your livelihood with the
Creative Catalyst Certificate Program
The online, affordable & flexible program gives you:
Insights from working artists and entrepreneurial experts in an engaging experience
Practical skills specifically for the creative mindset
The confidence to design and take charge of your creative future
In the Creative Catalyst Certificate Program you’ll learn
from people like you who have turned their creative passions
into sustainable artistic enterprises.
Discover how to be more creative and confident in your leadership roles. Get tools to shake up your perspective and map out a new personal leadership journey.
Spark innovative thinking, facilitate experimentation, visualize strategy and engage across differences. Loaded with practical tools to help you drive innovation!
Everything you need to launch your creative idea. Fill your “go-to-market” toolbox, develop a start-up plan and raise the money you need to shape a more sustainable future.
Donovan Livingston is an award-winning educator, spoken word poet, and public speaker — and a believer in the enormous opportunities that education provides. Delivered at his 2016 Harvard Graduate School of Education convocation address, his poem “Lift Off” went viral with 13 million views. He inspires students, educators and communities with his conviction that every child has the right to “lift off” and achieve their dreams. Following in the footsteps of his educator parents, he has earned master’s degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University, and is now a doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is currently serving as Assistant Dean in the Office of University Collaborations at Wake Forest University.
DeLanna Studi, is an award-winning actor, screenwriter and playwright. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, she has gained critical acclaim for her one-woman play “And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears.” Recently she was named Co-Artistic Director of Native Voices at the Autry Museum, the only Equity theatre dedicated exclusively to developing and producing new work by Native American artists.
“I became a leader not because I was wanting the power of being a leader, it’s because I wanted what was best for my community.”
John Bowhers is a UNCSA graduate and the co-founder of Winston-Salem’s Peppercorn Theatre, which has produced plays for family audiences since 2010. John continues to serve as Peppercorn’s Producing Director, where he serves as a jack of all trades, building shows, choreographing lighting and heading up marketing efforts. In April 2020, he launched a project called Letter Size Little Theatre, a DIY kit for families to build their own tiny theaters, complete with short scripts and characters.
"The creative skills I think are most valuable in leading as an artist are the ability to listen and reflect your surroundings, and the ability to refine your craft…could I be exploring this further? Could I be learning a new practice, learning a new tool?"
Monica Johnson is an entrepreneur, director, teacher, choreographer and business owner who resides in Winston-Salem, NC. She is certified as a trainer with the American Ballet Theatre and has choreographed “Twelfth Night” with the National Black Theatre Festival. With her brother, Jerome Johnson, she operates the Monica and Jerome International Dance Experience, a training program offering high quality dance instruction in a supportive environment with a gentle and holistic approach. She is project manager for Happy Hill Arts, a place-based arts and cultural initiative in the historically African American community of Happy Hill, adjacent to the UNC School of the Arts.
"When an artist steps up to lead, it creates an opportunity for change, for a hope of moving towards something that is bigger than what we can see."
Kyle T. Webster is an international award-winning illustrator, living in North Carolina, who has drawn for “The New Yorker,” “TIME,” “The New York Times,” “Wall Street Journal,” “The Atlantic,” “Entertainment Weekly,” “Scholastic,” Adobe, Nike, IDEO and many other clients. His illustration work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Communications Arts and American Illustration. In 2009 and 2010, Kyle created two top 50 iPhone games. He is known throughout the world as the founder of KyleBrush.com, the brand behind the world's best-selling Photoshop brushes for professional illustrators, animators and designers. His brushes were the first to be officially licensed by Adobe for inclusion in the Adobe library of tools for Photoshop and Photoshop Sketch (iPad). Kyle also currently teaches Life Drawing, Portraiture, and Digital Painting at the UNC School of the Arts
Emily Simoness is the founder and executive director of SPACE on Ryder Farm, a nonprofit artist residency program and organic farm located on a 225-year-old, 127-acre family homestead in Brewster, NY. She is currently committed to being a solution to food insecurity caused by COVID-19 in her area, by fully subsidizing 50 percent of SPACE’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares, and ensuring that 56 local families get a weekly delivery of fresh organic produce at no cost.
"So many folks’ impulse is to wait to be invited, to wait for the moment of inspiration, to wait for all of the things to be exactly right to start. That’s not gonna happen…for me, I had to give myself permission. It was messy, it continues to be messy, but it is my way of working."
Angel Fant, along with her two daughters, Danielle and Tenijah, co-founded No Punching Bags, a fashion line focused on bringing awareness to domestic violence, abuse and social justice issues. In 2019, she attended and was featured at Fashion Week in Paris and in New York, where she debuted her line of all-orange clothing as a statement about gun violence. Recently, in response to COVID-19, she has begun designing masks in natural tones that match skin complexions, to be inclusive to the black and Latino communities.
Lisa Mount is the Director of Artistic Logistics, working as a consultant with nonprofit arts organizations and facilitating dynamic meetings for groups large and small. As an independent artist she produces, directs, and appears in contemporary performance work. Before embarking on her consulting career in 1997, Lisa served as the Managing Director of 7 Stages theater in Atlanta. Lisa received the 1996 “Abby” Award from the Atlanta Arts and Business Council for Outstanding Arts Professional, and was named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by "Georgia Trend Magazine" in 2008. In 2009, she was given the first Paula Vaughn Community Arts Lifetime Achievement Award by the Georgia Assembly of Community Arts Agencies. She currently serves on the boards of Alternate ROOTS and the Network of Ensemble Theaters.
Chris Chopyak has worked as a business strategist for more than 20 years, designing and leading visionary processes for and with multiple industries. Chris is the author of “Picture Your Business Strategy: Transform Decisions with the Power of Visuals” (McGraw-Hill Professional), a go-to-resource for how to plan and execute great business ideas. Using strategic illustration and three simple design principles, she inspires the use of pictures, words and metaphors to realize business ideas and address challenges. She has worked in in leadership roles in the private and non-profit sectors, is a consultant with Artistic Logistics and and is an addicted and determined entrepreneur, owning several businesses, including Arlosoul: Visualize Innovation.
Kendal Henry is an artist and curator who lives in New York City and has specialized in the field of public art for over 25 years. He illustrates that public art can be used as a tool for social engagement, civic pride and economic development through the projects and programs he’s initiated in the US, Europe, Russia, Asia, Central Asia, Papua New Guinea, Australia and the Caribbean. He’s currently the Director of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program and an adjunct professor at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, as well as a guest lecturer at various universities and educational institutions.
Alan Shelton is the founder and executive director of Mixxer, a nonprofit makerspace in Winston-Salem, NC. When he grew stagnant in his previous 20-year career at the age of 40, he reinvented himself by going back to school and eventually coming to realize the need for a creative community collaborative venture in his city—and Mixxer was born. With classes in electronics, sewing, woodworking, metalworking and more, there’s something for everyone.
"If you’re really passionate about what you’re doing, or what you intend to do, just get started. Do it wrong until you get it right."
Damon Butler is a videographer and the president and founder of Triangle Blvd, an award-winning creative services agency located in downtown Raleigh, NC. After spending 10 years as an engineer, he went back to school for creative marketing, which led to the creation of Triangle Blvd. By pairing technology with storytelling, he brings authenticity and continuity to brands.
Shayla Herndon-Edmunds is the founder and owner of Oh My Goodness Wellness Bar, which makes products, services and programs that support and are inspired by the needs of women of color. What began as a passion for making her own personal care products for herself and her family, has grown into an online business that offers her own branded line of products, as well as a brick and mortar wellness boutique where her husband works as a licensed bodywork therapist. Oh My Goodness Wellness Bar isn’t just their family business, it’s their lifestyle and calling. With products and services inspired by their children, loved ones and customers, they have something for everyone.