Global Mixx Film Forum Co-Chair & Keynote Speaker: Tarek 'Terk' Stevens
August 8, 2017
Passion, Success, Reckless Innovation… The ability to touch greatness.
We're proud to announce long-time industry veteran as this year's Global Mixx Film Forum Honorary Co-Chair and Keynote Speaker, Tarek "Terk" Stevens.
Saturday, August 19
Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago
350 N. Orleans Ste.136-L
For over twenty years Tarek (Terk) Stevens has been a committed entertainment industry professional and driving force within the business on a multi-dichotic level. From humble beginnings Terk began his career in entertainment while attending Bowie State University, where he befriended several likeminded individuals that had similar aspirations. This inner circle included Grammy award winner Toni Braxton.
That was not the first time Terk had surrounded himself with some of the biggest, raw talent in the business. While attending one of the only high school’s in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area that had an in house TV production studio, he befriended a young man his freshman year and as fate would have it, Terk’s friend Martin Lawrence would soon become a Hollywood star.
As a freshman at Bowie State University he was very politically and socially active but financial obligations forced Terk into taking a work study position in photography and film development. His project included several still photos of the astronaut Christa McAuliffe, a recent graduate of Bowie State University. While developing the photos in the dark room, Terk received the breaking news that the spacecraft she was aboard tragically exploded in flight. Terk found himself developing many of the still photos used of Ms. McAuliffe that were utilized worldwide in magazines, newspapers, and numerous print publications.
During his collegiate years, Terk landed a center stage performance in the University’s talent showcase and that experience forever changed his life. Terk decided to shift gears and moved his musical aspirations from behind the scenes, to the forefront to harness his music and vocal talents with his friend and gospel choir partner Toni Braxton. He put his higher education and political endeavors on hold to pursue his singing career, thinking that becoming a star would assist in gaining votes for future political aspirations. Terk’s musical endeavors peaked during 1987-1994 as a member of the Hip-Hop/R&B group “Whistle.” As quoted by national radio icon Casey Kasem of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” “Whistle made history becoming the first group ever to successfully transition from rappers to R&B singers.” The experience provided Terk the opportunity to gain an understanding of the music industry from both the artist and business perspectives.
In between recording Whistle’s albums, Terk’s returned to school at Howard University’s Small Business Development Center, Terk re-connected with his high school friend Martin Lawrence and invited him to attend a talent show so Martin could plug his upcoming film “Do The Right Thing” directed by Spike Lee. An unintentional meeting backstage with Terk’s record label mates “Kid n Play” and manager Herbie Luv Bug, led to Martin being offered a part in the rappers ground breaking film “House Party 1 and 2.”
Reflecting back to his high school experiences in TV Production Terk was then bit by the film bug after meeting with Spike Lee and his business partner Monty Ross. Ross became a confidant and mentor to Terk and encouraged him to complete his studies in Filmmaking/TV Programming at New York University. Terk continued to develop his skills by submitting scripts for his friends Kid n Play’s Saturday morning television cartoon series on NBC. Terk partnered with his close friend Ron Montgomery of Tricky Bizness Entertainment which began working with various artist such as Mariah Carey, Keisha Cole, Beyonce and Jamie Foxx to name a few. The company scored seven #1 records and the Grammy for Rihanna's"Only Girl in The World".
Terk remains committed to political and social issues as they relate to multiculturalism and diversity. When introduced to an alumnus of Bowie State (Kevin Jefferson), running for State Delegate, Terk grasped the concept of grass roots lobbying and organizing. Recognized for his social skills, the young leader was invited to participate and speak on Ted Koppel’s Nightline News two hour live special of Washington DC’s town hall meeting, a global broadcast on ABC which yielded Terk accolades and acknowledgements from around the world. In 2006, he lead a delegation of civic and entertainment leaders to the Middle-East that participated in the World Economic Summit hosted by the government of Oman.
Terk participated in and supported the historical elections of the first elect black U.S. Governor L Douglas Wilder of Virginia, Sharon Pratt Dixon, the nation’s first black female Mayor of a major metropolitan city. He worked alongside former Secretary of Commerce and then Democratic National Committee Chairman Ron Brown during the 1992 Democratic Convention and Presidential Campaign, to register young voters for Presidential nominee Bill Clinton. Terk was instrumental working with 2000 Presidential nominee Al Gore’s mid-Michigan campaign.
During his work at Michigan State, Terk’s reputation for producing exceptional multicultural programming preceded him. He became the Director of the Coalition for Multicultural Education. In the position, Terk used entertainment vehicles and artist to promote diversity and multiculturalism through outstanding and ground breaking programming. This led to the founding of Andiyah Foundation, a non-profit organization that lends economic support for non-paid internship opportunities. Terk partnered the Andiyah Foundation with Good Ground Good Life, a Washington DC based non-profit that focuses on Mentoring, Work Readiness and Youth Violence Prevention.
Terk’s social activist endeavors, as well as his continued entertainment pursuits only furthered his commitment to become both an artist and social innovator. His most memorable lifetime achievement would be his campaign run for Congress in 2010 as a Democrat for Washington DC’s Shadow representative seat. He’s been a Panelist/Moderator and Award Recipient for such organizations as Rainbow/Push, Congressional Black Caucus, Bain & Company, Harvard Business School’s AASU Conference, IMPACT Conference and National Urban Coalition.
Terk’s most recent endeavors have included partnerships with BET Africa Network, Speak Easy Speakers (speaker's bureau) and the adoption and partnership with Richard Wright Charter School for Journalism and Media. He continues to expand his outreach as a producer and developer of various projects that include many of Hollywood's talent such as Morris Chestnut, Taraji P Henson and Anthony Anderson.
He is the Principal of Terk Enteratainment Group and Co-founder of Tricky& Terk Visions, LLC headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.