Show cover of Greyt Big Talk

Greyt Big Talk

Greyt Big Talk is an arts & entrepreneurship lecture series featuring personal stories and lessons from creative people. Talks are often recorded before live audiences. Stories focus on the forces at play in the creative process as it arises in people who identify as artists, entrepreneurs, and many other fields. These testimonies and lessons dispel the notion that creativity is a capacity limited to a select few people, but rather a process that anyone can learn to help accomplish important things.  The program is hosted by multi-disciplinary creative producer, Thomas Fox.


Karen Small
Karen Small | Promise The World Around You The idea of serving food in restaurants from farm to table is a normalized and common practice, but it wasn't always this way. Karen Small discusses her story, the people, places, and choices in the radical movement of localizing our food sources closer to home. Karen Small is a chef and serial entrepreneur with 30+ years in Cleveland culinary scene. This interview was filmed during the pandemic shutdown before the closing of her decades-long run of the Flying Fig. Today she operates a Juneberry Table. Original Talk Date: 3/8/21
21:13 8/19/22
Bob Ruggeri
Bob Ruggeri gives a first-hand account of his journey to become a film producer. He talks about finding your passion or in his words, your “Soulgasm” and pursuing that without any excuse. Bob Ruggeri is the founder of Omega Point Films, a television and film production company based in his hometown of Cleveland. He launched in January of 2014 to produce the movie Lost In Austin, starring Linda Cardellini, Craig Robinson & Kristin Schall. Bob has over 15 years of television and film experience as a writer, producer, and director. He began his career as a screenwriter and had his first screenplay, Pure Shooter, optioned by several major studios. After watching this project and his follow-up script, Dead Dresses, both die slow deaths in development hell, he shifted his focus to producing to gain more control over his fate. His first effort was co-producing Jeff Nichol’s Take Shelter, starring Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews. The film was purchased sight-unseen by Sony Pictures Classics the day before its Sundance Premier and released theatrically. Take Shelter also screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival Critic’s Week competition and won the Grand Prize for Best Picture and Screenplay. His follow-up film, The Kings of Summer, premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and was released theatrically by CBS Films. In television, Robert co-wrote, produced, and directed the television pilot, Scottish Reign, for James Gandolfini’s Attaboy Films. He has also written, produced, and directed hundreds of national commercials and videos for clients ranging from GE Lighting, Purell, Cub Cadet, and PlayLogic. He has racked up numerous writing awards for his screenplays and recently won a National Gold Addy Award for producing Bellefaire’s “Take a Closer Look at Youth Homelessness” campaign with Doner Advertising. The Huffington Post picked up the videos immediately and played them on several national news outlets. Orginal Talk Date: 8/21/15
19:14 7/29/22
Howard Washington
Howard Washington speaks on "the duality of me" the juxtaposing sides of a creative entrepreneur and the internal battling forces that define who we are. Howard Washington founded the ELEVĀTED Dance Company, for dancers who wanted to pursue hip hop as a career in Cleveland, Ohio. Since he formed the company in 2017, ELEVĀTED has performed at Playhouse Square, Akron Peacemakers, Best of the Best Fashion Show, House of Blues, Collaborated with Alex Angelo at The Grog Shop, and many more official and unofficial dance showcases arose the region. Under his leadership, ELEVĀTED placed 2nd at the World of Dance Competition (2017). That enormous accolade earned ELEVATED automatic entry into the World of Dance Championship, which took take place in Pasadena, California (2018) where they were crowned USA Team Champions. In May 2018, ELEVĀTED opened its dance headquarters on Brecksville Road in Independence. This facility not only serves as the home of ELEVĀTED, but it also has become a full-fledged dance studio offering a variety of classes including hip hop, jazz, tap, contemporary, technique, choreographer’s muse, and adult hip hop cardio classes. Howard believes that hip-hop dance should serve as a creative and expressive platform that unites all people that shares their love and passion for it. For more information on ELEVĀTED and the studio, Howard is a graduate from Lake Erie College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree specializing in choreography and minoring in Entrepreneurial Studies. He has been a special guest teacher/choreographer at Cleveland State University, Hathaway Brown, Padua High School, Brush High School, and Lake Erie College, and the Willoughby Fine Arts Association.  Original Recording Date: August 20th, 2021 Recording Location: Cleveland Public Square - Cleveland, OH
21:08 7/15/22
Siaara Freeman
“We all have talents that are unique to us, but confidence is not one of them” Siaara Freeman is a writer and performer of slam poetry. She believes confidence is a mindset interwoven with insecurity and describes her process to determine what she’ll bring to stage each time she performs. Siaara Freeman was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio where she is the current lake Erie siren. She’s very proud of this even when others assume she’d feel otherwise. She began writing at 7 years old and actively slamming at 15 for the National Brave New Voices Competition until she was 19. She then entered the adult scene slamming and coaching for both Columbus and Cleveland Ohio as well as Detroit Michigan. Siaara’s poems offer an actual face to the urban experience instead of a caricature. Siaara insists that you see the people she sees, the stories she knows, whether you find them respectable or not. She has traveled the country and she does not make fans she makes friends. A two-time nominee for the pushcart prize, a finalist for the 2017 button poetry chapbook competition, a 2017 bettering American poet and Best Of The Net Poet, a 2018 winter tangerine chapbook fellow and a 2018 Poetry Foundation incubator fellow. Siaara is a four year PinkDoor Fellow & 2018 Pinkdoor Faculty member. She is a teaching artist for the Center For Arts Inspired Learning. She is the co-founder of Outsiders Queer Midwest Writers Retreat. She is the founder and curator of WUSGOOD.BLACK and the Black Hogwarts Poetry Workshop. She is currently working on three manuscripts at the same time, which is also how she reads books, three at once, she is the third child of a third child of a third child after all. In her spare time, Siaara is attempting to defeat lupus and grow her afro so tall God mistakes it for a microphone and speaks into her. She’s thinking about Toni Morrison right now. Original Recording Date: June 19th, 2020 Recording Location: Coventry Peace Park - Cleveland, OH
16:42 5/20/22
Rick Simmons
Individuals and organizations alike are compelled to discover our why, with the hope of establishing a strong foundation for all we are and all we do, one that will eventually lead to incredible success. In this talk, Rick Simmons asks what if the answer to our why actually lies in our when? What if when we exist on the continuum of our journey holds the key to harnessing our greatest opportunities for change, growth, and development? What if we discovered that there are inflection points along our paths as individuals, teams, entire organizations, and even societies, that can pave the way for transformative course corrections, thereby accelerating us in the direction of our best selves? We call these periods liminal space.  Rick is a coaching and consulting professional assisting leaders at the highest levels of organizations to optimize their businesses and their lives. Currently, he serves as chief executive officer of the telos institute, a leading global organizational consulting firm he co-founded in 2006. telos offers specialized expertise to leaders and leadership teams around the world in the areas of business strategy, leadership development, and change management. In his role, Rick is responsible for shaping the vision and guiding the strategic direction of the firm, while inspiring a growing cohort of world-class practitioners to deliver insight, growth, and transformational experiences for telos clients Original Recording Date: November 19th, 2021 Recording Location: Breakforth Studio - Cleveland, OH
18:03 5/20/22
Baiju Shah
Baiju R. Shah is the President & CEO of Greater Cleveland Partnership, the region’s leading economic development organization. With nearly 12,000 members, GCP is the largest metro chamber of commerce in the nation. Guided by a board of corporate and entrepreneurial CEOs, the organization focuses on accelerating growth and inclusive prosperity through strategic initiatives, business services, real estate, and advocacy. Prior to GCP, Shah served as the Senior Fellow for Innovation at The Cleveland Foundation—the world’s first community foundation with assets of $2.8 billion—CEO of BioMotiv and co-leader of The Harrington Project, and CEO of BioEnterprise. Shah serves as a Senior Advisor to FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, a Trustee of Destination Cleveland, Global Cleveland, and Ohio Excels, and a Director of Athersys.
17:41 5/20/22
Candy Mashmoor
Candy Mashmoor is a Mother, Jewish, Brazilian by birth, Israeli citizen by choice, and a proud American. She loves to cook and share her cooking with family and friends. She has made a multi-million dollar enterprise where she had the privilege to work with six of the top 10 retailers in the world, but after losing her daughter she decided it was time to be a part of something greater. Her daughter’s untimely passing made her realize that life is short and can be taken away in a blink of an eye, so now she has decided to give back and create a better world for our children. With YAYA&CO she has created a brand based on truly organic, natural, and sustainable textiles. She travels the world working alongside artisans reviving centuries-old art forms in a sustainable way. For every sale made a new tree is planted in the Brazilian Amazon with hopes that her daughter’s soul will live on in the forest.  Original Recording Date: July 16th, 2021 Recording Location: Church & State Lantern Room
27:05 5/18/22