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Meet Andrea Walker-Williamson of Create Noise in South Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Walker-Williamson.

Andrea, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Writing is my freedom. I have been driven to write all my life. Being a storyteller and a writer has allowed me to encourage and empower others. The oldest of three children, I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I was always passionate about the arts but I was discouraged to share anything that I created because I was extremely shy and my Mother wasn’t familiar with any employers that would secure writing positions so I was encouraged to attend school and apply for local positions. I worked social service jobs that I felt were meaningful and more than eight years later, I found myself writing in competitions and producing short films. My defining moment was when my husband asked me a question that forced me to focus on my truth. “How could you be a writer if you’re not constantly writing?” He was asking me this question to encourage me to write on a more consistent basis.

However, I was working in a very secure position as a case manager on Skid Row with an overwhelming caseload of clients that I had grown to love and I was at a crossroads with the two passions that helped me to grow. Together we launched Create Noise, an arts and entertainment company that provides edutainment and services the community. I published my first book as an independent writer under the imprint of Create Noise publishing. It was during that week of the books release that my husband tragically died in an automobile accident. Three more deaths of close relatives preceded his and our four children as well as immediate relatives were torn. It was during this time that my children and I pursued grief camps, support groups and mentoring camps. The experience of working closely with so many people and organizations allowed me to learn how to incorporate self-care practices into my organization and my routine.

Those relationships allowed me to connect the community with resources as well as partner with some amazing individuals and be creative in the most amazing way. My journey has been rough. However, the grief and the darkness has helped me to become more fearless knowing that I have angels watching over me. Through the years, I have been able to incorporate my life’s experiences into my work and build with other artists, students and agencies. We have been able to do this while hosting workshops, festivals, partnering with like-minded organizations and servicing the community. I have learned that there are absolutely no limits to the things we can do and that storytelling is my superpower.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The same month that my company started to gain momentum. My husband died. I was scheduled to unveil my book and my husband died fives days before the launch date. I had canceled the event but one night I was restless and a voice in my spirit continued to tell me that I had to attend the book launch. The next morning I started making arrangements to move forward with the event. When I arrived, I was overwhelmed by the number of people who had come out to show love and support. To date, that is my most successful event. Anytime I experience a challenge in my business, I think back to how hard that day was for me and I realize that I can make it through anything if I’m doing it with love. The road has not been smooth. However, it has been so rewarding.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Create Noise – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Create Noise is an arts and entertainment company that focuses on empowering people and bridging the gap between family and community. My company is family-owned. My children also provide services and work to share what we do with others. We are known for being transparent and nontraditional. We provide resource festivals, publishing workshops, triumph to tragedy workshops, book launch workshops and events as well as forming partnerships with like-minded organizations that also build community. We are also known for the books that we have published, “Mama, who is Jesus” and “Moments in Time: Poetry of Grief and healing” which shares a more vulnerable perspective of grief and healing that led me to where I am today. The grief speaking events and workshops have been a unique breakthrough experience for many members of the community who have participated.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are currently working on several films that have social justice themes as well as a Create Noise clothing line that we are launching at the end of the year. Create Noise is preparing to launch workshops in other markets in Detroit, Michigan as well as Atlanta, Georgia. We have made great partnerships with some amazing agencies and we are working to inspire and educate while building the community. I am proud to be the founder of a growing organization that has such a variety of resources that are educational and fun. My personal experiences and challenges have led me to become a catalyst for the evolution of create Noise. However, I am able to create and be inspired daily due to the gifts that Create Noise provides for me and the community.

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