LOS ANGELES AUGUST 18-20, 2011
Weekend-long program will feature top industry talent and executives including Suzanne de Passe, Kirk Franklin, CeCe Winans, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Wendy Raquel Robinson, DeVon Franklin, Harry Lennix,
Other Key Announcements are Expected in the Coming Weeks
(Los Angeles, CA — June 24, 2010) — RelevÃ© Entertainment today announced plans for the third annual MERGE SUMMIT. This year’s Summit includes an all-star line-up of some of the top names in the entertainment industry. THE MERGE SUMMMIT 2011 will be held August 18-20, 2011 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. The event, presented in association with partners EMI Music Publishing and UPSCALE magazine, integrates faith and entertainment, and provides a platform for men and women of faith to interface, learn from and partner with leading executives and talent in the entertainment industry, from New York to Hollywood.
“We are excited to announce the return of THE MERGE SUMMIT for our third year and to share the initial speaker line up for this year’s event”, said Holly Carter, President and CEO of RelevÃ© Entertainment and President and CEO and the founder and Chair of THE MERGE SUMMIT. “The SUMMIT is a way in which we pay it forward by giving opportunities to those who are aspiring in the areas of arts and entertainment; the success of the event and the support it receives continues to exceed our expectations.”
The multifaceted program, one of the largest entertainment industry events for people of faith, is a complete weekend of inspiration, education and entertainment. Over 60 of the industry’s top entertainers and executives will lead more than 20 interactive panel discussions, workshops and Master Class sessions, covering the spectrum of music, television, film, radio, creative development, branding, management, and new media. Throughout the event, actors, directors, producers, writers, and executives will network with attendees, share their insights and give feedback, as well as provide inspiration for their individual journey.
“It’s hard to believe we are at year three with what, just a short while ago, was a mere vision,” adds Robi Reed, Vice President, Casting and Talent of BET Networks and Co-Chair of THE MERGE SUMMIT. “I am humbled to be part of something that has touched so many. God willing, THE MERGE SUMMIT will continue to offer a multitude of information and opportunities.”
Confirmed presenters include Suzanne de Passe, Kirk Franklin, CeCe Winans, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Wendy Raquel Robinson, DeVon Franklin, and Harry Lennix. Also presenting are entertainment veterans Debra Langford, Rob Light (Managing Partner and Head of Music, Creative Artists Agency), Traci Lynn Blackwell (Vice President, Current Programs, The CW Network), film producer Ralph Winter (“X-Men,” “Fantastic Four), Zola Mashariki (Senior Vice President, Production, Fox Searchlight Pictures), as well as a host of executives from the industry’s top companies, including EMI Publishing, Creative Artists Agency, NBC Universal, The CW Network, BET, FOX, Warner Brothers, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, and more. Others key announcements will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.
As a part of “THE MERGE Master Class” series, Columbia Picture’s DeVon Franklin will present the opening Master Class, “Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success without Losing Your True Self,” based on his highly successful book of the same title. Rob Light, Managing Partner and Head of Music at Creative Artists Agency, will present, “Building a Legendary Career,” where he will share the strategies that propelled him to the top of one of the world’s most successful talent agencies. Entertainment veteran Debra Langford will present, “Take Charge,” where she will empower attendees to take control of their careers. Following this Master Class session, she will host “Executive Speed Bootcamp: Insights from the Inside,” which will give participants five minutes with four different executives to help develop their best elevator pitch, refine their resumes, develop the right look and style for the job they want, and gain feedback on overall brand presentation.
CeCe Winans will present a Master Class in Artistry and Inspiration-a look at the balance between personal and professional, faith and fame and having the heart to do it all. The Summit will also feature its third annual “Merge Leadership Forum,” to be held Saturday, August 18, bringing together leaders from the entertainment industry, corporate America and the church for an important and in-depth dialogue on engagement and partnerships.
To rejuvenate the heart, relax the body and uplift the soul, attendees can participate in the “The Worship Experience” each morning, while in the afternoon they can retreat to “The Wellness Experience,” a special lounge with treatments including acupuncture, reflexology, massage therapy, and antioxidant screening.
The event will kick-off on Thursday, August 18 at 7:00 p.m. with OPENING NIGHT AT THE MERGE, a VIP reception hosted byWendy Raquel Robinson (“The Game”). On Friday, Bishop Hezekiah Walker returns to host THE MERGE Music Matters emerging talent showcase, presented this year in association with the BET Music Matters initiative. THE MERGE SUMMIT will culminate on Saturday evening with FREEDOM, THE MERGE Concert Experience, hosted by multiple GRAMMY ® award winner Kirk Franklin, and headlined by newcomer Mali Music, who will debut all new music from his forthcoming album.
In addition to EMI Music Publishing and UPSCALE magazine, THE MERGE SUMMIT is presented with the support of BET Music Matters, Yamaha Commercial Audio, Bronner Brothers, and Precious Times magazine.