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  • Writer's pictureGena Heelz

ELISE NEAL Announced As ArtUp Executive Fellow,To Launch Master Classes & Serve As Mentor And Coach

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

MEMPHIS, Tenn., On Sept. 20, 2019 – Actress and native Memphian Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow, Rosewood, Logan, The Hughleys) announced her partnership with ArtUp. Neal will serve as an ArtUp Executive Fellow and will launch a Master Class series where she and other entertainment industry experts will teach registered participants skills that are necessary to be successful in the industry. 

As an Executive Fellow, her Master Class venture will be incubated at ArtUp while she serves as a mentor and coach to emerging entrepreneurs in the 2019-2020 Creative Idea Incubator.

“With great productions either coming to the city or already being shot here such as Christmas at Graceland and Bluff City Law, the talent and supporting ecosystem must be developed and prepared for the demand,” said Neal, the triple threat actress.

Over the past five years, the entertainment sector employment has grown 5.5% across the board in Tennessee, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. 


Elise Neal takes a photo outside of Orange Mound Gallery which is a neighborhood revitalization project that was completed by ArtUp. A former liquor store in the Lamar-Airways Shopping Center was renovated to a creative space for the community: Orange Mound Gallery (OMG).

“I come back and forth to the city a lot through my volunteer work. I enjoy that work. However, I am also happy to be giving back in a way that is in line with my entertainment background. I have been blessed to be active in this industry for more than 25 years and I want to share valuable information that can help others be successful as I have been. There aren’t any other organizations that I would rather be working with. ArtUp was founded right here in my hometown…but reaches across the world,” said Neal.



Photos courtesy of ArtUp Public Page (FB)

ArtUp has a trailblazing record in creative entrepreneurship and creative placemaking, and is gearing up for another cohort of their award-winning Creative Idea Incubator. The Incubator prepares individuals of all artistic backgrounds with the tools to develop their creative idea into a viable business for investors. Each participant, called a Fellow, receives modest startup cash, expert instruction, and completes curated site visits to help them create a comprehensive pitch deck for their creative enterprise. 

“When deciding who we would select as our first Executive Fellow, Elise Neal was an obvious choice. With a solid career and passion for her work and the desire to give back in her hometown, we felt she would be a perfect match for our Incubator,” said Linda Steele, founder and CEO of ArtUp. 


Neal will launch her creative venture from the ArtUp base in the South Main Artspace Lofts, located in the South Main Arts District in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.

ArtUp received a grant in early 2019 from the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC) to recruit residents of North Memphis to participate. The first information session for the ArtUp Creative Idea Incubator will be held at Lifeline to Success in Frayser on Monday, Sept. 30, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 1647 Dellwood Avenue. 



ArtUp breaks down barriers in the creative economy with programs designed to eliminate citywide inequity and lack of inclusion practices. We nurture ideas that drive social change by teaching artists and creative citizens to channel their talents and skills into the creation of sustainable, arts- and culture-based businesses that uplift and empower whole neighborhoods. We launch artists into creative entrepreneurship and support them every step of the way. ArtUp guides and supports our current cohorts and alumni network as they navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Building sustainable creative businesses and cultivating successful creative entrepreneurs is what we do at ArtUp. Or, as we like to say, that's how #weartup.

ArtUp is the only commercial tenant in the South Main Artspace Lofts in Memphis, Tennessee, and a community partner with Artspace Projects, Inc., the leading non-profit developer of live/work artist housing, artist studios, arts centers and arts-friendly businesses in the United States.


For more Information about Elise Neal and ArtUp click on the links below  courtesy of Memphis TN Local News Channel. 

Media Contact: The Neely Agency, LLC 

Sheri D. Neely (714) 365-6441


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