Creatives make the world go round and The Creative Collective NYC (CCNYC) is proof of it. Birthed in the one-bedroom of founder Imani Ellis, the organization has quickly become a safe place for creatives of colors to thrive.

“I invited a few friends over and we all went around the room, sharing what we were going through and what resources we needed to succeed,” said Ellis, who also serves as the VP of Communications for NBC Universal. “It felt so incredible to realize that there were other creatives of color experiencing similar experiences – and we left feeling inspired.”

Despite her original dreams to keep the group small, it has since grown into an ever-evolving community that is home to both creatives and young professionals of color.

The Creative Collective NYC

As a founder and a veteran in the communications industry, Ellis understood the importance of holding space for creatives who look like her and believes that the path toward success requires collaboration and community.

“It’s just a testament of what happens when you build something in collaboration with your friends – we’re stronger and braver together,” Ellis told AfroTech. “Our mission has been the same since day one. We curate brave spaces for creatives of color so they can be their full and unapologetic selves.”

However, it’s way beyond just connecting with people based on the projects that they are working on. The CCNYC wants to inspire action.

“I think so many businesses start with having a business and not with having a community and they look at their customers as just that – customers but not as a community,” said Amber Mayfield, Director of Operations at The CCNYC. “I’ve always loved that about The Creative Collective and CultureCon. This is a community-oriented business. We are our own audience. It has been so organic to watch Imani grow this team from being in her small apartment and hosting everybody for an event to now this large conference where it’s really the core of the community building.”


One of the biggest initiatives to come out of The CCNYC is the renowned CultureCon conference which is a “conference that celebrates culture, community and creatives of color.”

“It’s authentic because we’re always going to be true to the foundation of what The CCNYC is, as well as CultureCon. We’re authentic to the brand, but it’s inherent in the DNA of being together, being distinct and individual, but coming together and being part of something greater which is the gem of genuine networking,” said Talent Lead at The CCNYC, Eric Jones. “It’s all about those genuine connections that are made and built upon community and being together and having common goals all while encouraging one another’s dreams, ambitions, and making them real. Helping them come into fruition in any way that we can. We’re meant to uplift one another and be there for one another.”

The Atlanta leg of CultureCon kicks off this week in Atlanta featuring activations led by HBO Max, LinkedIn, Netflix, Audible, and more! 

Click here for more on how to attend.