Mary J. Blige Hired Black-Owned Agency To Get More Black Women On Her Festival Team

Mary J Blige’s Strength of A Woman Festival (SOAW) is all about putting women first, especially Black women. So it only made sense to have a team of women work together to bring the second annual event to life.

To do this, the Grammy Award-winning singer tapped Ayars Agency, an Atlanta-based, Black woman-owned brand and marketing firm, tasked with putting together a team to organize this year’s festival.

“We had women in all roles throughout the weekend, not just administrator roles, but we had women doing the lighting at the concerts held at the State Farm Arena, we had women building stages and doing the tech packs for the stage,” Ayars Agency Founder Ashaunna Ayars told AfroTech.

“We also had women programming the screens on the stage — so not just in traditional roles, but women were also in roles that you typically see men in, so that was another goal.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Ayars Agency (@theayarsagency)

It was a part of the intention Mary put into the festival aimed at elevating women in all areas of life. So Ayars made it her business to put as many Black women in roles supporting the festival as possible.

After seeing the success of this year’s festival, which included sold-out shows, powerful panel discussions and activations, and support for small and local businesses, Ayars knows this is only the beginning of how monumental the SOAW Festival will continue to be.

“I think we accomplished that. I think women left inspired, they left with more than they knew about anything that they were passionate about,” she said.

“They left making friends and building community. They left happy and celebrated, so I think we accomplished the mission.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Ayars Agency (@theayarsagency)