Posted February 24, 2018
Happy New Year! I decided to take a break to gather new materials for some new articles, both on Entrepreneurs and a new focus on retirement. Additionally, I have been following the article “How Do Black People Spend Their Money,” by Gary A. Johnson on Black Men In America.com. If you read that article and the Mr. Free Spirit articles a light bulb may come on.
With the current political environment, we could get depressed, if you remember or read about the struggles we have encountered in the past, it becomes hard to be positive. I have been enjoying the month off from writing my articles however I have been reading articles from some of the new Black Men In America.com (BMIA) columnists.
The new sports articles by Chris Johnson are awesome and the videos by Harold Bell and Chris are very informative and entertaining. These columnists inspired me to get back to writing my articles. I wrote an article in Nov 2017 identifying a company that was formed in the 1980s (Dante Productions), I recently had the privilege of interviewing the new President of Dante Productions Ms. Kristen Smith and it was refreshing to understand her perspective to not only bring the company back to life but enter a mass expansion. In Oct 2017, Dante came back to life and presented a Fashion Production in Central Fl. Kristen explained her vision of “Yesterday vs Today.” Below is the interview and some graphics of her vision:
Interview with Kristen Smith – President, Dante Productions
Mr. Free Spirit: Hello Kristen, now that you have taken over the position of President of Dante Productions I would like to have you answer some questions.
Kristen Smith: Sure. I’m ready.
Mr. Free Spirit: How do you feel about being the President of Dante Productions?
Kristen Smith: Although the new role was unexpected, I am excited. I am looking forward to my future growing with the company.
Mr. Free Spirit: What plans do you have to expand the company?
Kristen Smith: I intend to grow Dante Productions organically; this growth will begin with modernizing some of the business practices such as E-Tickets and an enhanced social media presence. We will continue this process of expansion through the introduction varying forms of entertainment.
Mr. Free Spirit: Now that the company is headquartered in Florida, does that enhance your role or is it more challenging?
Kristen Smith: No, the company being headquarter in Florida neither enhances nor hinders my role with Dante Productions. Although I intend to have a regular presence in Florida; we live in a virtual world and as a result most things can be done without physical presence.
Mr. Free Spirit: I understand the company has expanded to both Fashion shows and the Management of entertainers does this expectation make for a more fruitful company?
Kristen Smith: Yes, Dante Productions understands that entertainment extends beyond the world of fashion. Re-branding ourselves as a more diverse entertainment company creates endless possibilities.
Mr. Free Spirit: I understand the past President and founder of the company has moved into the position of COO, is he active?
Kristen Smith: Yes, our COO plays an extremely active role in Dante Productions. His name is Chauncey Dunham. He is responsible for all of our operations in addition to client engagement.
Left to Right: COO, Chauncey Dunham, Gary Johnson, Founder, Black Men In America.com and singer Stanley Alston.
Interview with Chauncey Dunham – Chief Operating Officer, Dante Productions
Mr. Free Spirit: I understand that you as the COO has made a big move to bring Central Florida into a new era of entertainment. What can you lend to this move?
Chauncey Dunham: Hopefully I bring fresh ideas, in addition to the understanding that the landscape and demographics of our customers will slowly change over the next several years. I understand what future Dante Productions customers will demand and I plan to ensure Dante Productions remains on the bleeding edge of entertainment.
Mr. Free Spirit: I understand that the first new entertainer being managed is Stanley Alston of the singing group “The Main Ingredient.” Is that true?
Chauncey Dunham: This is true. We look forward to growing with Stanley and building an amazing future together.
Mr. Free Spirit: I saw in social media Dante Productions is doing a concert in Central Florida at a Museum with an Orchestra, is this a part of the expansion?
Chauncey Dunham: Yes, this is a large part of the expansion. With such a high demand for quality entertainment we would like to provide enhanced experiences in sunning and dramatic entertainment spaces; leaving those who patronize our events eagerly awaiting the next. I’m going to give you a scoop.
Mr. Free Spirit: OK, what’s the scoop?
Chauncey Dunham: We are going to introduce “Silver Citizen Entertainment” to Central Florida. This area will be our test market.
Mr. Free Spirit: What is a “Silver Citizen?” Isn’t that a watch?
Chauncey Dunham: (Laughing). Yes, there is a watch made by the Citizen watch company called “Silver Citizen.” A “Silver Citizen” is a very active and progressive senior citizen. I mean active and progressive in every way — mentally, physically and emotionally. “Silver Citizens” are on the move.
As a result, Dante Productions is developing an entertainment entity with four major divisions:
- Art for Silver Citizens
- Dance for Silver Citizens
- Music for Silver Citizens
- Fashion for Silver Citizens
Mr. Free Spirit: Wow! That whole “Silver Citizen” entertainment sounds exciting. I can’t wait to see how this turns out. Let me get back to your position in the production company. How did you pick the President of Dante Productions?
Chauncey Dunham: The position was passed down from me through a plan of succession. This plan ensures Dante Productions will remain a force in entertainment and will continue to serve long after we the current Principals choose not to. Additionally, Since Kristen is my Daughter she is a natural to succeed me and with her business savvy she will be successful.
Mr. Free Spirit: Is the President going to continue to live in the Washington DC area or will she move to Florida?
Chauncey Dunham: She intends to remain in the DC metro area to continue expand Dante Productions demographically.
Mr. Free Spirit: What is the new plan for Central Florida from your view point?
Chauncey Dunham: We are developing entertainment for “Silver Citizens.” Yes, I said Silver Citizens. It is our intent to bring Central FL Music that appeals to Silver Citizens. There is nothing wrong with the new music, however Silver Citizens don’t relate to the current musical trends. Therefore, I am working with Mr. Will Covington who is a music guru, and he has joined me in developing something called “Music for the Silver Citizens.”
Mr. Free Spirit: What is your marketing strategy?
Chauncey Dunham: We have engaged Mr. Gary Johnson Founder/Publisher of Black Men In America.com, to develop the marketing strategy. Gary follows current trends and develops new marketing strategies for future endeavors. Additionally, Gary is trending and writing about “How Do Black People Spend Their Money?”
Mr. Free Spirit: When and how will this effort begin?
Chauncey Dunham: March 31, 2018 is our kick off, using our newly developed Touch of Class Orchestra, who will back both Flo Logan-Worsham and headliner Stanley Alston.
Mr. Free Spirit: Thanks to both Kristen and you for allowing us to interview you and allowing us to publish your company plans. Do you have any final comments?
Chauncey Dunham: Yes, with my daughter at the helm “A Dante Production” will be a force to be reckoned with on both the Fashion Show and Musical world. We are developing a website. It is not operational at this time. We have secured the following domain name www.adanteproduction.com.
You are never to OLD to set a new goal or dream a new dream!
Mr. Free Spirit Out!