UBR Morning Post: Orchestra Founder Jeri Lynn Johnson

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Contributor Angelique Westerfield speaks with arts entrepreneur Maestro Jeri Lynn Johnson, founder and conductor of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia’s first and only multiethnic professional orchestra. One of the nation’s leading female conductors, Johnson was the first African American woman to win an international conducting prize and was also awarded the Leeway Foundation Transformation Award for her ability to create social change through artistic and cultural work.

Johnson joins Westerfield to explain how she combined her gift of music with her business savvy to create a cultural treasure that is both artistically viable and financially solvent in Philadelphia. Founded in 2008, the orchestra’s mission is to take the audience beyond spectatorship to participation in the artistic experience.  The BPCO is the first world-class professional orchestra to reflect the cultural diversity of the Delaware Valley region. Through creative use of technology, educational programs and collaborative partnerships with education and cultural institutions in Philadelphia, the BPCO is attracting newcomers and enchanting classical music aficionados alike.

Also on this week’s edition of The Urban Business Roundtable, our Executive Producer TaQuoya Kennedy speaks with Dr. Claude Anderson, the president of PowerNomics Corporation of America and author of Powernomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America. Anderson has been studying and working toward black economic empowerment for decades. He speaks with Kennedy about what African Americans must do to become more competitive in business.

In addition, every week on UBR, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today Business Correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR Economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.

And finally, I’ll share some of the basics of establishing something every entrepreneur and small business owner needs: a social media strategy. For more information, check out the feature “What’s Your Social Media Strategy?” in the November 2010 and December 2010 issues of Black Enterprise. You can also find more articles on how to use social media to boost your business at BlackEnterprise.com.

If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, send me an e-mail at edmonda@blackenterprise.com or to me at Twitter or Facebook.

Alfred Edmond Jr.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is the editor-in-chief of BlackEnterprise.com and the host of the Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each Wednesday for The UBR Morning Post, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.