Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Elaine Small. She has started Brooklyn Ubuciko Festival with the aim that many great artists and entrepreneurs from the Art industry are still struggling to have a proper platform to promote their dreams and hard work.
Please tell us something about yourself.
I have two dogs and five cats.
How did you get into what you do right now? Please tell us more about your journey.
I have been wanting to do my own festival for a while, but I just never went after it. I retired at 29 due to an injury that happened, and I found myself with time to finally do it. I had just got my business license when the pandemic had hit. In fact, I was sick with the coronavirus when I applied for my license. Then I was stuck with a choice. Do I plan something two years down the line after I just purchased all that I did just to get started? So I said you know what I will figure it out. I was one day watching a friend perform online, and it made me mad that she was working and showing her gifts for free. Thousands of views and not one penny going to her pocket. I said, forget this, I am going to throw my own virtual festival. No sooner did I begin planning it; everyone came out with a festival or some kind of online experience. But what I had planned and in store no one else did.
Please tell us about Brooklyn Ubuciko Festival.
Brooklyn Ubuciko Festival is a Festival to celebrate people of color.
We have been all feeling like the world is against us, so anyone that would like to be surrounded by love, I encourage you to attend. You do not need to be of any specific race to join. We have hand-picked about 20 artists to sell their work through our platform. We created a fun gallery for everyone to purchase artwork in. There is an array of prices for everyone. Our most expensive piece is $30,000. I take absolutely no commission from these artists. We are in a pandemic, and they deserve every penny they make. I then thought about that friend that that was playing on live for free and added the element of music. I formed a team within a month, and we got to work, all of us working for free. We started reaching out to different musicians new and upcoming to the well-seasoned veterans, and the response was great everyone was interested. Which hit me different I was honored, but I can not afford to pay anyone. Most people agreed to work for a percent, and some said don’t worry about it; they will do it for free if that means they will get their music heard and signed or more fans, then they were fine by it. The famous ones, of course, wanted money and I understood they have a life to keep up with too. So now we are at the point where we are almost ready to announce the first tier musicians. To be considered the first tier, you would need to have less than 25,000 followers. Then go up each tier every couple of days.
What’s your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience was a few days ago, I cried because I was stressed out for like two mins. Then I got over it and went back to work. There’s no time for tears unless they are happy tears.
Which social media channels work best for promoting your work?
We are best on Instagram @brooklynubuciko. We have three people running that profile.
What’s your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is that we won’t get Erykah Badu in time!
Looking back, what’s one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started?
Funding, giving myself time to find funding.
What are the strategies that can help you to become successful in your journey?
I need to complete this project. I have a date in mind, and I want to keep it on that date.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
Every time someone buys a ticket, it keeps me going. So, thank you to everyone that has donated to our Indiegogo and bought tickets online.
Any message for our readers.
Don’t give up. You can keep crawling until you’re able to stand.
How can people connect with you?
You can buy the tickets now.