Shauna featured on FOX 5 News NY

We're proud to announce that Shauna Wade and MoodyGrams were featured this week on FOX 5 News, New York.

Zachary Kiesch interviewed Shauna in Union Square where they discussed her personal story, passion for photography and growing a phenomenal community through MoodyGrams. 

 

“Shauna Wade’s work is both thought-provoking and eerie. There are layers that typically don't meet the eye.”

In less than two years MoodyGrams has exploded with a global community posting more than 6 million images using the #moodygrams hashtag. Featuring a wide variety of subject matter captured by photographers from all walks of life, the community is highly engaged. On average, photos curated receive upwards of 30k likes and hundreds of positive comments.

Created and curated by Shauna, the MoodyGrams community started through a personal experience with a small band of friends exploring an abandoned building in Queens. At the time Shauna did not think of herself as a photographer nor a curator, but saw how her friends enjoyed the adventure and desired to showcase the beauty captured in their photos. Instagram provided a community of people that had common goals and aspirations, expressing themselves uniquely, which ultimately inspired Shauna to keep building MoodyGrams.

 
Neil Brown
Pursuit of Portraits at W New York
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We’re thrilled to announce a special collaboration and event with Pursuit of Portraits and the W New York, Union Square. 

Pursuit of Portraits partners with W Hotels for the launch of PoP Up at the W; a photography takeover curated by Pursuit of Portraits (PoP) in collaboration with W New York, Union Square. Launching at the start of New York Fashion Week on Monday, February 6th, 2017, this is a first of its kind concept with five guest rooms completely transformed into an immersive photo exhibition focused on different genres of portraiture photography (street style, travel, and more). The five rooms will be curated by six PoP photographers; @skinnywashere, @saunakspace, @anishaspice, @5thphvse, @aundre and @neivy. You can also book various PoP packages available to you when you book a room at the W that include a Pursuit of Portrait Magazine + Pin, a Personal Street Style/Fashion Portrait Shoot in NYC or a Documented Helicopter Tour Around NYC. 

Location
W New York - Union Square
201 Park Avenue South, 21st Floor

Date & Time
Mon, February 6, 2017
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM EST

 
 


Update: The event is SOLD OUT and we are currently over capacity. The event is first come, first serve. Come early or closer to 9pm to avoid waiting. Please note, having a confirmed ticket does not guarantee entrance. 

 
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Neil Brown
Karston Tannis #skinnywashere
 

Spectrum Co-Founder, Karston Tannis.

The bitter winter months in New York City bring a triple threat of car-sized piles of solid ice, slush puddles deep as the ocean and biting cold temperatures that prove an insurmountable challenge to a specific sporting group — street BMX. Where most would only observe challenge, Karston Tannis perceived an opportunity. A time to bring together a disparity of individuals from various walks of life with a common bond — visual art. At the intersection of the arts and a desire to build community, I met Karston.

His goal was simple. Curate an exhibition of young, African-American artists in New York and pull together a gallery show during Black History month — something to bring together his BMX buddies while they couldn’t ride along with other friends of friends. Not one to shy away from firsts, Karston reached out to me via our website for Salt Space. He had ambition and relationships. We had know how and loft space. Our visions were aligned, and it was the beginning of a fledgling relationship we still value over seven years later. Thirteen young talented artists presented their work at an overflowing launch party with a line around the block in bitter February weather; no broken elevators made for a wildly successful event.

 
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Getting to know Karston over the years has been one of our greatest privileges in New York City. It was in that first collaboration that we learned much about each other … quickly. Karston is a natural creative director, strategist and marketer. His upbeat and easy going attitude is not only infectious but it also quickly puts others at ease (an invaluable asset when you’re having crowd control challenges.) We quickly learned that he is always perfecting his craft and that he learns by doing. Karston is a self-taught photographer and the world that he documents is his classroom.

“The photography community in NYC has been my source of inspiration.”

Karston hustles. He networks. He is kind. He is humble. And he has become a phenomenal creative director, photographer and storyteller! When we first met Karston he was at the genesis of his creative journey. That was seven years ago. Today he has worked his way into partnerships with world class brands such as Cadillac, American Express, W Hotels, the Gap, Coach, Armani, and more. He has amassed a significant following on Instagram in short order — all because he developed a love for photography through his love for BMX. Karston has worked hard to hone his craft, connect with individuals authentically and capture stunning moments. He explains “the photography community in NYC has been my source of inspiration. I’ve looked up to so many talented shooters, and they always welcome questions and offer advice.” It is this community that Karston gives credit for his continued development and burgeoning success as a creative director and photographer. This is core to the DNA of Spectrum — a common thread from his BMX days, the African-American Arts Collective, and today.

 
 
 
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Neil Brown
Diversity in the Great Outdoors
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While our nation's public lands are open and welcome to all, many communities in our great country simply do not have a culture of outdoor recreation. In some cases, access and proximity can prove challenging.

Last year, for seven months, Jen and I traveled the U.S. driving over 18,500+ miles. During that time we fell in love with our country’s national and state parks and public lands. Prior to this lengthy adventure, we only casually and conveniently enjoyed the outdoors. But during this journey, we become avid (and overly ambitious) outdoor enthusiasts. As outdoor novices, this opportunity for vast exploration radically impacted our lives, world view, and perspective on the importance of the great outdoors and our nation's protected lands.

Once we hiked beyond the tourist limits – typically about 2.5 miles – we met some amazing individuals committed to our environment, parks, public lands, conservation, and more. The interests of these individuals were highly varied: hiking, climbing, kayaking, trail running, camping, over-landing, and much more. However varied these personal passions, culturally and ethnically there was little diversity on the trail. 

 
 
 
 

While I (a white American male) was hyper-aware of the lack of diversity, I did not think I could play a role in changing that norm. Who was I to speak into this reality? That self-absorbed perspective has now changed, especially in light of our efforts in building Spectrum with a core focus on cultural and ethnic diversity. Recently, Stewy (pictured above and below) made a very simple statement to me – an inspirational comment.

“I feel they [outdoor brands] don’t reach out to black people enough and I feel we should do something about that. Just an idea.”

A simple thought, and a wonderful opportunity. Also, a real challenge facing an amazing and growing industry that drives $646 billion in consumer spending each year, and generates 6.1 million jobs in the U.S. Diversity and inclusion is a priority for the future sustainability of our national and state parks, public lands, and the environment at large. As minorities become the majority in the U.S. we must create a culture of outdoor recreation for these communities – awareness, access, inclusion, and education.

 
 

The conversation of diversity and inclusion is growing, and there are a number of individuals and organizations leading the way.

Shelton Johnson, Park Ranger in Yosemite National Park
Rue Mapp of Outdoor Afro
Glenn Nelson of Trail Posse and High Country News
James Mills, author of The Adventure Gap: Changing the Faces of the Outdoors
Angelou Ezeilo of the Greening Youth Foundation
Teresa Baker of African-American Explorations
Carolyn Finney, author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors
Frank & Audrey Peterman of Earthwise Productions
Everyone at Diverse Environmental Leaders 
Paddy O’Connell of  The Adventure Journal
Hansi Johnson of The Minnesota Land Trust and The Adventure Journal

As well as many, many others. We have a lot more research to do!

At Spectrum we can not solve for all of these challenges. However, we most certainly can help drive awareness and general engagement for brands, organizations, parks and more in order to nurture a broader culture of outdoor recreation and involvement for people and communities of color. We are developing a series of concepts we’ll be presenting to a number of companies and organizations in order to accomplish this goal. If you’re interested in participating, please don’t hesitate to reach out about a possible project or collaboration.

Check out the case study on our Pacific Northwest Adventure as a reference point for the type of project our team can coordinate, and the results we deliver.

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Neil Brown
Hudson River Weekend Retreat
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A quick escape can be wonderfully refreshing. Finding time to reflect and envision is a critical element in the creative process.

We joined forces with Ben and Micole Messner to design a weekend away—a retreat—nestled in the rolling hills in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. No stranger to short term adventures, Ben Messner is a mastermind of planning, logistics, organizing, sourcing and especially, vision for nurturing community. After months and months of nonstop travel, we were thrilled at the notion of a weekend to pause with old friends, and the growing Spectrum team.

“We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race.” 

Our goal was simple: to get away and know each other better. Naturally, we spent some time dreaming and scheming for the year to come. And part of the group adventured out along the mighty Hudson River, the marshes and forests, and found a few mansions tucked away. We have a number of big ideas and brand partnerships for 2017, so we talked through a variety of ways to develop a number of opportunities.

 
 

We headed into the weekend with a loose agenda – time to relax, plenty of eating well, personal coaching workshops with Ben, and a two hour session with our accountant. While the last bit might sound like a drag, it was exceptionally insightful for the whole team. We learned a lot. We love our accountant! Andrew specializes in working with creatives of all stripes: designers, writers, photographers, freelancers, and more. 

Everyone had a blast. All around, the weekend was a great success and everyone wants to regroup in the spring for our second retreat. Seems we'll have to make this regular and recurring effort. Who one works with will always be more important than the work itself. People matter, and we always strive to do great work with and for the best people. Yes, we are professionals! But. We are friends, colleagues, partners, collaborators, and we know how to have a good time in the midst of it all. 

See the video of our #MannequinChallenge that we threw together at the last minute, as we were heading back to NYC at the end of the weekend.

 
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Neil Brown