Dear Readers,

July is gearing up to be a very busy month for The 4208 Group. We have made some dynamic changes to our website, launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for our new web series Room 513, and the second season of our podcast, Write Tea, premiere's today. In conjunction with the launch of our Indiegogo campaign, we are releasing the Room 513 Pilot Episode. We want potential investors to get a taste of what Room 513 is all about. Lastly, we've added a new page to the site, called The W-List. The "W" is for "writer," and it's a map to our featured writer's essentials; the things they need to live creatively. 

Our July guest, for Write Tea, is poet and curator, Fred Joiner. I first met Fred years ago, when I was a teenager. We used to run in this circle of original DC hipsters who frequented U Street's thriving Hip-Hop and poetry scene. It was a great time to be a young black artist. There were so many venues where independent artist's could express themselves and build a key audience. Many of these places - The Kaffa House, Nyala's, Mango's and State of the Union - are now closed or no longer exist. As the U Street area became grossly gentrified, the scenes of our youth have evaporated, only existing in our minds and hearts. Be sure to check out Fred's creative essentials on our new page, The W-List. He mentions DC's beloved U Street, and local photographer, Jati Lindsay, who often shoots in that area. 

In my interview with Fred, he brought up an important point for every artist: the necessity of archiving your work. I couldn't agree with him more. Growing up in the 90s, I graduated high school just as the internet was beginning to become an information resource. Back then the internet dialed up, we all used AOL for email, and the web was mostly known for creepy guys in chat rooms. So, for an older generation of artist's - used to accumulating lots of paper and floppy disks - the vast amount of cloud-based storage options, that now exist, can be overwhelming. It certainly was for me.

Four years ago I kept a paper calendar, had a BlackBerry and had no idea what Google Drive was. I was at a major crossroads in my business and desperately needed to step into the future. I was shutting down my former company and starting over. My best friend is a certified tech geek and business wiz. He sat me down and introduced me to a whole new world: smart phones, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, electronic calendars. I smartly pulled him in as my partner for my new company, The 4208 Group. 

And now, I consider myself to be a bit of a tech geek. My personal and professional life is about 90% digital, to the point where I could run my business, entirely from my phone. And best of all, there's a great relief in not worrying about the physical placement of scripts and notes, photographs and videos. With a tap and a swipe, I have immediate access to our entire portfolio and we're able to grant immediate access to collaborators. Digital archiving is truly a breeze and I'm so looking forward to new technologies.

We hope you enjoy Fred's episode on Write Tea, and all that we have in store. 

Thanks for continuing to support The 4208 Group!

Live Creatively,