16 Jun, 2010 Jessica Ward CULTURE
Deisha Oliver does everything. A biochemistry major turned actor turned arts and music promoter and marketing consultant, former restaurant manager, active mom and soon to be bride and new account executive at AM 1690, Oliver is truly a Jack (or maybe Jill) of all trades. And maybe she’s a little bit manic. Coming in at just over five feet tall, Deisha’s pint sized frame exudes all the energy, personality and determination of an entire basketball team.
Deisha is the founder, owner, and operator of Bang! Arts Management and Promotions. She began the business back in February of 2008 as an extension of the music promotion gig she was working at Twain’s Billiards and Tap in Decatur. I asked Deisha if she ran into difficulties trying to start a promotions company in the midst of the great recession. “Oh yes,” she grinned. After lofty dreams of juggling dozens of talented clients and single-handedly uniting Atlanta’s arts communities gave way to a hand full of talented but confused local artists, actors, and musicians. Working only with clients who she is fully invested in and many of whom are friends or acquaintances, Ms. Oliver stressed the importance of loving what you do because, as she explained, it’s the only way to get through the tough times. Deisha considers her role at Bang! that of a teacher; rather than taking compete control of the artist’s name, Deisha encourages clients to be involved in the business side of promotion in a hands-on way. Using Ms. Oliver’s creative energies and community focused approach, Bang! Management and Promotions has become a unique and dynamic force.
And despite Deisha’s multiple full-time jobs, her most important role has always been that of a mother. Her young daughter, Lily Grace, exudes the same energetic self-confidence and sharp intelligence that distinguish Deisha’s personality. Parental pride beams in Deisha’s voice when she talks about Lily’s blossoming creativity; she helps me to continue to see the world as a dynamic and exciting place, Ms. Oliver said.
And even with all of the above on her plate, Deisha Oliver refuses stop. When I met her for coffee on Tuesday afternoon, she was already hard at work helping local musician Blair Crimmins make and distribute flyers for his band’s upcoming show. As Deisha talked about Bang! and I scribbled notes, trying to keep up with the geyser of information, dates, names and future events, she passed out business cards, disassembled a napkin holder to remove an out-of-date events schedule, and waved at familiar passers-by. That’s the exactly the kind of ever-ready energy it takes to motivate a group of (notoriously lazy) creative types, and the type of person that can always exude inexhaustible positive vibes is a rare find, indeed.
Watch out for Deisha and Bang! Promotions. She is currently working on publicizing “The Future of Tomorrow” show by Blast Off Burlesque and the Gather Atlanta event sponsored by Trees Atlanta.
Photo Credit: Jason Travis