299 episodes

"Truth In This Art Podcast," hosted by Rob Lee, brings to light the stories of artists, innovators, and cultural leaders, showcasing the profound impact of creativity on society. It offers an in-depth look at how art shapes our world, providing listeners with actionable insights and inspiration. This podcast is a valuable resource for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the arts and their role in societal and personal growth, featuring discussions on the creative process, cultural innovation, and the power of artistic expression.

Truth In This Art Podcast - Your Source for Conversations with Artists, Innovators & Cultural Leaders Rob Lee

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 154 Ratings

"Truth In This Art Podcast," hosted by Rob Lee, brings to light the stories of artists, innovators, and cultural leaders, showcasing the profound impact of creativity on society. It offers an in-depth look at how art shapes our world, providing listeners with actionable insights and inspiration. This podcast is a valuable resource for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the arts and their role in societal and personal growth, featuring discussions on the creative process, cultural innovation, and the power of artistic expression.

    Anthony Gittens: Filmfest DC Founder on Fostering Diversity in Cinema

    Anthony Gittens: Filmfest DC Founder on Fostering Diversity in Cinema

    In this episode of The Truth in This Art podcast, host Rob Lee talks with Tony Gittens, the founder of Filmfest DC. Gittens recounts his upbringing in Brooklyn, his move to Washington, D.C., and his early involvement in the civil rights movement. He shares his journey from managing a bookstore to founding the Black Film Institute and eventually establishing an international film festival. Gittens discusses the selection process for the festival, emphasizing the importance of quality and diversity in film programming. He also touches on the hard work behind organizing the festival, the trend toward local filmmaking, and his love for smart thrillers. The episode concludes with an invitation to the upcoming Filmfest DC and a reminder of the rich art and culture available locally. 🎥🎬
    Episode Content:
    Tony Gittins' early life and move to DC (00:01:39) Tony's background as a Caribbean American from Brooklyn and his decision to move to and embrace DC. 🏙️Challenges and rewards of pursuing passion (00:11:42) Tony discusses the satisfaction and challenges of intersecting interests and making a meaningful impact. 💪Origins of Filmfest DC (00:19:22) Exploring the transition from managing a bookstore to creating the Black Film Institute and eventually founding an international film festival. 🌍Programming and film selection (00:24:27) Detailing the festival's commitment to quality, new voices, and solid infrastructure, as well as the process of selecting films for the festival. 🎞️Planning for the 39th Filmfest DC (00:33:36) Tony shares the timeline and process for planning the 39th version of the festival. 📅Fundraising and preparations (00:35:33) Discussion about the ongoing process of writing applications for funding and logistical preparations for the festival. 💼Impact of streaming services on film festivals (00:42:36) Discusses the theory that streaming services are wearing people out with low-quality content, leading to increased attendance at film festivals. 📺Key takeaways:
    1. The importance of diversity and quality in film programming can enhance cultural understanding and appreciation.2. Founding an event like an international film festival requires a deep passion for the art form and a commitment to showcasing a wide range of perspectives.3. Local filmmaking is a growing trend that supports community engagement and the development of regional art scenes.4. Involvement in social movements can influence one's career path and inspire the creation of platforms that celebrate underrepresented voices. ✊
    Social Media Links:
    LinkedIn: Tony Gittens
    If you enjoyed this insightful conversation with Tony Gittens on The Truth in This Art podcast, don't miss out on the opportunity to dive deeper into his world. Visit Filmfest DC's website to explore the incredible selection of international films and support the festival's mission to celebrate quality and diversity in cinema. Plus, follow Tony and the festival's journey on social media to stay updated on all the latest happenings and behind-the-scenes action.
    Your engagement means everything to us. Take a moment to rate and review this episode—it helps more listeners discover the rich conversations we're having here. And if you're feeling generous, consider supporting our Patreon. Your contribution keeps this podcast thriving and ensures we continue to bring you the voices that shape our art and culture. Every bit of support counts!
    Thank you for listening, and don't forget to support the arts in every way you can! 🎨👏

    This program is supported (in part) by a grant from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
    If you have a story about art, culture, or community, share it with us at rob@thetruthinthisart.com for a chance to be featured on 'The Truth In This Art' podcast.
    Follow The Truth In This Art on Twitter, Threads, IG, and Facebook @truthinthisart
    Original music by Daniel Alexis Music with additional music from Chipzard.
    Episode ill

    • 48 min
    Alex Farkas, Artist & Gallery Director: The Genesis & Journey of UGallery

    Alex Farkas, Artist & Gallery Director: The Genesis & Journey of UGallery

    🎙️ In this episode of "The Truth in This Art," host Rob Lee interviews Alex Farkas, co-founder and gallery director of UGallery. They discuss Alex's upbringing in an artistic community, his education, and the inception of UGallery. Alex reflects on UGallery's evolution, from supporting student artists to curating established and emerging talents. He emphasizes the importance of storytelling, human connection, and adapting to online trends in the art market. Alex also offers advice to artists on perseverance and finding the right gallery fit. The conversation touches on personal growth, the significance of showing up, and the value of understanding one's audience, whether in art or business.
    Episode Content:
    Introduction and Background (00:00:00) 🌟 Alex Farkas introduces himself and shares his upbringing in an artist community, his education, and the inception of UGallery.Influences of Upbringing on UGallery (00:04:34) 👩‍🎨 Alex discusses how his mother's work ethic and self-funding influenced his approach to UGallery's growth and sustainability.Human Connection and Art (00:14:54) 💬 The importance of personal connection in the digital art marketplace and the role of storytelling in connecting people with art.Discovering New Artists and Ensuring Success (00:19:25) 🖼️ The process of discovering new artists, including early challenges and the shift to recruiting artists online, and the importance of quality photography for success in the digital art market.Finding New Artists and Referrals (00:21:02) 🔍 Alex discusses the process of finding new artists, including online searches, artist referrals, and a call for art.Marketing Efforts and Gallery Redesign (00:24:49) 📢 Alex discusses the shift towards marketing efforts, the gallery redesign, and the focus on creating and sharing content.Understanding the Customer and Measurable Marketing (00:31:25) 📊 The importance of understanding the customer, marketing efforts, and the shift towards measurable marketing strategies are discussed.Transformations in the Online Art World (00:37:45) 🌐 Alex reflects on the impact of online businesses like Amazon, changes in art buyer expectations, and the need for continuous improvement in the online art market.Advice for artists in finding success (00:45:03) 💡 Suggestions and advice for artists to improve their art-making process and find the right platform for their work.Key Takeaways:
    1. Embrace the power of storytelling and human connection to succeed in the art market.2. Adaptability to online trends is crucial for the evolution and growth of art platforms.3. For artists, perseverance and finding a gallery that aligns with your work are key to success.4. Understanding your audience is essential in both art and business for personal growth and engagement.
    Website and Social Media Links:Website: www.ugallery.comX: @FarkasForNowLinkedIn: Alex Farkas
    If you enjoyed this insightful conversation with Alex Farkas and want to learn more about his work and UGallery, please take a moment to visit their website and follow them on social media. Your support makes a huge difference in promoting the arts and the artists featured on UGallery.
    🌟Don't forget to rate and review this episode of "The Truth in This Art." Your feedback helps us grow and improve, and it's always great to hear what you think.🌟
    Lastly, if you love what we're doing and want to help us keep the lights on, consider supporting our Patreon. Every contribution goes a long way in helping us continue to bring you engaging conversations with the movers and shakers in the art world. Thank you for listening, and thank you for your support! 🙏

    This program is supported (in part) by a grant from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
    If you have a story about art, culture, or community, share it with us at rob@thetruthinthisart.com for a chance to be featured on 'The Truth In This Art' podcast.
    Follow The Truth In This Art on T

    • 53 min
    James Watkins: Artist & Advocate on Empowering Youth Through Music & Storytelling

    James Watkins: Artist & Advocate on Empowering Youth Through Music & Storytelling

    In this podcast episode of "The Truth in This Art," host Rob Lee interviews James Watkins, an advocate for social change and youth empowerment. Watkins shares his journey from Southeast DC to empowering youth through the Queen Bees music program. He discusses the transformative power of storytelling and music, highlighting the creation of "Lifeguard," a song about suicide prevention. Watkins reflects on his screenwriting pursuits, emphasizing character-driven stories and the importance of relatable or unique narratives. The episode delves into the significance of diverse inspirations and maintaining a playful approach to creativity, with James advocating for openness in the creative process. 🎙️🎶📝
    Episode Content:
    James Watkins' Background (00:02:01) James Watkins introduces himself, discussing his upbringing in Southeast DC and his passion for music and storytelling.Youth Empowerment Work (00:11:33) James shares his experience working with youth and how he got started in youth empowerment programs, specifically discussing the Queen Bees music program.Creating Lifeguard (00:15:31) The process and impact of creating a song about suicide prevention with teenage girls.Empowering Through Music (00:17:36) The power of music in empowering teenagers and the impact of a song on mental health.Listening to Different Music (00:30:47) James and Rob discuss the importance of listening to a variety of music genres for creative inspiration.Respecting Artists and Their Work (00:32:09) James expresses admiration for artists like Beyoncé and reflects on their impact on his perspective.Creativity in Studio Collaboration (00:36:28) James and Rob discuss the collaborative and spontaneous nature of creativity in the studio.Diverse Inspiration for Creativity (00:42:11) James emphasizes the value of seeking inspiration from diverse sources, such as different TV shows and genres, to fuel creativity.The elements of a good story (00:48:57) James shares his perspective on what makes a good story, emphasizing character-driven narratives and universal topics.Key Takeaways:
    1. Music and storytelling can be powerful tools for social change and youth empowerment.2. Creative works like "Lifeguard" can raise awareness and provide support for critical issues such as suicide prevention.3. In screenwriting and other creative endeavors, character-driven stories with relatable or unique narratives resonate deeply with audiences.4. Embracing diverse inspirations and maintaining a playful, open attitude is essential for a fruitful creative process.
    Social Media Links:James (Jimmy) Watkins
    If you were inspired by James Watkins' incredible journey and his dedication to social change and youth empowerment, don't miss out on the opportunity to connect with him further. Head over to his website to learn more about the Queen Bees music program and discover how you can support his mission. Follow him on social media to stay updated on his latest projects and initiatives.
    And if you found value in today's episode of "Truth in This Art," please take a moment to rate and review the podcast. Your feedback is not only appreciated but also helps others find our content. Lastly, consider supporting our work through Patreon. Your contribution enables us to continue bringing you conversations that matter. Thank you for listening, and let's keep the art of truth alive! 🌟🎧👏

    This program is supported (in part) by a grant from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
    If you have a story about art, culture, or community, share it with us at rob@thetruthinthisart.com for a chance to be featured on 'The Truth In This Art' podcast.
    Follow The Truth In This Art on Twitter, Threads, IG, and Facebook @truthinthisart
    Original music by Daniel Alexis Music with additional music from Chipzard.
    Episode illustration by Alley Kid Art.
    About "The Truth In This Art"
    "The Truth In This Art," hosted by Rob Lee, is a podcast that explores the essence of creativity and its co

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Tommy Mitchell: Artist's Journey from Sports to Canvas & Creative Evolution

    Tommy Mitchell: Artist's Journey from Sports to Canvas & Creative Evolution

    In this episode of "Truth in This Art," host Rob Lee engages with Baltimore-based artist Tommy Mitchell in a rich discussion about the intricacies of being a self-taught artist. Mitchell shares his journey from admiration to participation in the art world, emphasizing the importance of evolution and ambition. He reflects on early influences, such as his father's encouragement, and the impact of his athletic background on his artistic discipline and work ethic. The conversation explores themes in Mitchell's art, his creative process, and the balance between artistic expression and business efficiency. He discusses the inspiration he draws from sports legends and the competitive drive to excel and innovate in his field. Mitchell also touches on the challenges of time management and the labor-intensive nature of his work, revealing his dedication to his craft and his desire to share his vision and ideas with the world. 🎨🏆
    Episode Content:
    Tommy's self-description (00:01:45) Tommy describes himself as an athlete, artist, creative visionary, and vessel, emphasizing constant evolution. 🔄Early influences on Tommy's art (00:06:25) Tommy recalls his father encouraging him to draw what he sees, shaping his attention to detail and commitment to executing his work to the highest level. 👨‍👦‍🎨Overcoming challenges and growth (00:10:26) Tommy reflects on his artistic evolution, including his initial reluctance towards painting and his shift in mindset from viewing tasks as "hard" to seeking knowledge and progress. 🌱💪Themes in Artwork (00:18:42) Exploration of themes, storytelling in artwork, and seeking different experiences for each show. 📚🎭Work Process and Time (00:24:03) Discussion of the concept of time, the volume of work, and the labor-intensive nature of the work. ⏰💼Balancing Passion and Job (00:26:08) Balancing passion, job, and the transition to full-time art during COVID. 🎨🦠Challenges in the Process (00:31:26) The challenging part of the creative process, the importance of delegation, and time management in the production of the podcast. 🤔💼Titles and pricing (00:35:07) The consideration of titles and pricing in the art business. 💰🖼️Communication and structure (00:37:38) The importance of communication and structure in professional interactions. 🗣️🏗️Understanding reference points (00:48:50) The artist's realization of differing reference points in art and the impact on perception. 🧠🖼️Key Takeaways:
    1. Self-taught artists can succeed through evolution and ambition, as demonstrated by Tommy Mitchell's journey from admiration to active participation in the art world. 🌟2. Early influences and diverse backgrounds, like athletics, can significantly shape an artist's discipline and work ethic. 🏋️‍♂️🖌️3. Balancing artistic expression with business efficiency is crucial for artists who wish to excel and innovate while managing the labor-intensive aspects of their work. 🎨💼4. Drawing inspiration from personal interests, such as sports legends, can fuel an artist's competitive drive and contribute to a unique creative process. 🏆🎨
    Website and Social Media Links:website: www.tommymitche11.comInstagram: tommymitche11X: @TommyMitche11
    If you enjoyed this deep dive into the creative spirit with Tommy Mitchell, don't miss your chance to explore more of his incredible work! Head over to his website and follow him on social media to stay updated on his latest projects and artistic journey. Your support means the world to artists like Tommy, and it's just a click away. ❤️🖼️
    🎙️🌟 But don't stop there! Show some love for "Truth in This Art" by rating and reviewing this episode. Your feedback not only helps us grow but also highlights the voices of talented individuals who are shaping the art world. 🌟🎙️
    And if you're feeling generous, consider supporting our

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Michelle Faulkner-Forson, Brian James O'Connell & Barry Wright III on the Art of Improv

    Michelle Faulkner-Forson, Brian James O'Connell & Barry Wright III on the Art of Improv

    In this episode of "The Truth in This Art," host Rob Lee is joined by Michelle Faulkner-Forson, Barry Wright III, and Brian James O'Connell to discuss the world of improv. They explore the misconceptions that improv is only for the funny or certain types of people, emphasizing its accessibility and importance in everyday life. The conversation highlights improv's applications in communication, teamwork, and even medical training. They reflect on the challenges of fostering a creative community in a capitalist society and share their joy in teaching and community building. They also discuss the need to innovate and adapt in the improv scene, especially in light of the pandemic's impact and the influence of cancel culture on comedy. The episode delves into the dedication required and the importance of pushing boundaries to remain relevant and engaging.
    Episode Content:
    Common misconceptions about improv (00:10:29) The guests discuss common misconceptions about improv, including the belief that it's only for certain people and the limitations of the "Harold" form in improv.The misconception of improv (00:15:06) Discusses the misconception of improv as solely comedy and highlights its broader applications in everyday life.The accessibility of improv (00:16:30) Emphasizes the accessibility of improv as an art form and its relevance to everyday human interactions.Improv's impact on life skills (00:17:47) Explores the use of improv in medical training and its potential to enhance communication skills in various professions.The joy and challenges of teaching improv (00:19:24) Highlights the joy of teaching improv to beginners and the challenges of fostering a collaborative community within a capitalistic society.The role of improv in problem-solving (00:21:06) Discusses the application of improv in problem-solving and the intersection of creativity and business.The impact of improv on audience perception (00:23:17) Explores the role of improv in challenging societal norms and influencing audience perceptions through performance.Conceptualizing a themed event (00:29:04) Shares a creative idea for a Halloween party and the excitement of seeing creative concepts come to life.Beautiful Women and Hotlanta (00:30:06) Discussing Atlanta and the music scene, including the concept of hitchhiking and the influence of beautiful women.Evolution of Improv (00:34:40) Discussing the evolution of improv, the impact of the pandemic, and the need for new forms and presentation aspects in improv.Pushing Boundaries in Improv (00:41:49) Exploring the concept of pushing boundaries in improv, including the limitations and purity in the art form, and the need for creativity and innovation.Key Takeaways:
    Improv is a skill that benefits everyone, not just comedians, enhancing communication and teamwork in various aspects of life.Creative communities can thrive even within a capitalist framework with dedication and a focus on teaching and inclusivity.The improv and comedy scenes must continuously evolve to stay fresh and address current challenges like the pandemic and cancel culture.Success in podcasting, like improv, requires pushing boundaries and a commitment to ongoing innovation and engagement.Website and Social Media Links:Baltimore Improv GroupWebsite: www.bigimprov.orgX: @bigimprovFacebook: Baltimore Improv GroupInstagram: bigimprov
    Highwire Improv
    Website: www.highwireimprov.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/highwireimprov
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/highwireimprov
    Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@highwireimprov
    Brian's Youtube: 
    If you enjoyed diving into the world of improv with our incredible guests on "Truth in This Art," don't miss out on the chance to connect with them further! Head over to their websites and follow their social media profiles to keep up with their latest endeavors and show your support. Your engagement means the world to them and to us.
    And while you're at it, why not take a moment to rate and review this episo

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Britt Olsen-Ecker & Melissa Wimbish of Outcalls on 'Blast!' and Genre-Bending Music

    Britt Olsen-Ecker & Melissa Wimbish of Outcalls on 'Blast!' and Genre-Bending Music

    In this episode of "The Truth in This Art," host Rob Lee interviews Britt Olsen-Ecker and Melissa Wimbish of the band Outcalls. They explore the band's genre-fusing music, their collaborative songwriting process, and the challenges of defining their eclectic sound. The duo reflects on their first creative endeavors and the role of their artistic backgrounds in shaping their current work. The conversation also delves into the excitement surrounding their upcoming single "Blast," live performances, and their participation in Remington Fest. The episode is filled with humor, personal anecdotes, and insights into Outcalls' creative journey and future projects. 🎤🎶
    Episode Content:
    Introductions (00:00:10) Britt and Melissa introduce themselves and talk about their roles in the band Outcalls.The fusion of genres (00:04:40) The discussion about the fusion of genres in Outcalls' music, the challenges and opportunities it presents.First creative experiences (00:08:50) Britt and Melissa share their first creative experiences and how it influenced their music.Themes in their music (00:13:19) The common themes in Outcalls' music, including relationships, sexism, and venting through their music.Baltimore Connection (00:17:06) Discussion about the impact of the local scene on their growth as artists and the supportive community in Baltimore.Dynamic Performances (00:20:22) The experience of performing on a moving train and the ideation behind creating dynamic and theatrical performances.New Single "Blast!" (00:25:04) The background and inspiration behind the new single "Blast" and the excitement for its release.Upcoming Projects (00:30:19) Upcoming recital/concert, recording new music, and plans for releasing new music in the future.Cheetos and Snacks (00:34:59) Discussion about favorite snacks and keeping partners happy with snacks.Unexpected Inspiration (00:36:18) Exploring unexpected sources of inspiration in music, including the role of friendship.Wrap-up and Future Plans (00:38:06) Promotion of upcoming events, social media, and website details for the band Outcalls. 🚀🎸Key Takeaways:
    1. Collaborative songwriting can lead to a unique fusion of genres and sounds.2. An artist's background and early creative experiences can significantly influence their current work.3. Defining an eclectic sound can be challenging but is essential for a band's identity.4. Participation in local festivals and events can be an exciting opportunity for live performances and exposure. 🌟🎵
    Website and Social Media Links:
    Websites: www.brittolsenecker.com , www.melissawimbish.comInstagram: melissawimbish, brittolseneckerX: @brittolseneckerLinkedIn: Britt Olsen-Ecker
    If you love diving into the genre-defying world ofc Outcalls with Britt Olsen-Ecker and Melissa Wimbish, don't stop here! Show your support by visiting their website and following their journey on social media. Every click, like, and follow means the world to artists like them.
    🌟And while you're at it, take a moment to rate and review this episode of "The Truth in This Art." Your feedback not only helps us grow but also supports the incredible talents we feature. Plus, if you're feeling generous and want to get even more involved, consider supporting our Patreon. Your contribution keeps the conversation going and the art flowing. Don't wait – join our community of supporters today and be a part of the art that moves us all! 🌟👍🎨
    Link to previous Outcall episode:https://www.thetruthinthisart.com/episodes/revelations-of-the-electronic-opera-queens-an-engaging-conversation-with-outcalls-on-music-creativity-and-feminist-perspectives.

    This program is supported (in part) by a grant from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
    If you have a story about art, culture, or community, share it with us at rob@thetruthinthisart.com for a chance to be featured on 'The Truth In This Art' podcast.
    Follow The Truth In This Art on Twitter, Threads, IG, and Facebook @truth

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
154 Ratings

154 Ratings

Kashayna J. ,

Thanks for having me! 🤗 🎭

I had a dope time hanging and chatting it up with Rob! Thanks for creating such an open, chill atmosphere; I felt like I came by and kicked it with a good friend. This podcast is a great platform to hear stories from all types of artists at all different points of the journey. So inspiring, and I’m so grateful to have been welcomed into the space! ✨

Milgo Vonne Fraun ,

Thanks for visiting Austin.

Rob: Briefly tell us..
Harrison: 10 hour monologue about museums.
I loved every minute.

anujink ,

Wonderful Interview and Podcast

I had a great time speaking with Rob about art, life, influences and how environments affect the creation of work. Though I don’t often do recorded interviews Rob’s calm yet engaged demeanor and thoughtful questions made for an edifying experience. I highly recommend this podcast.

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