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Meet Marketta P. Wilder

Today we’d like to introduce to you Marketta P. Wilder.

Marketta, before we jump into specific questions about the organization, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am an actress, singer, writer & philanthropist. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a love for the fine arts and the entertainment industry. I am originally from Chicago, IL (south side). March 3rd, 2020 will mark my 5th year living here in Los Angeles. It’s crazy how time flies. It feels like yesterday when I packed my car and drove almost 72 hours to LA. I’ve been an actress and singer pretty much all of my life. I graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in theatre and television broadcasting. After graduating, I moved back to Chicago where I had much success in regional theatre. I also worked in casting, which gave me an opportunity to learn (first hand) the wrong and right ways to go about auditioning. Shortly after booking a lead role at the Goodman Theatre, I was offered an opportunity to work for the city of Chicago, teaching drama and creative arts to youth in underserved areas. At first, I saw it as an opportunity to make great money. Still, after witnessing the disadvantages and lack of resources the kids experienced, I began to become more passionate and intentional with my curriculum. I created a curriculum that used creative arts and drama to build communication skills in youth while charging them to think creatively and outside of the box. Just when I felt like I was making a great impact, the program lost funding. I was absolutely heartbroken seeing how disappointed the kids were.

I eventually relocated to New York and then worked overseas for a bit, but I still had this burning desire to use my platform and resources to help youth tap into their creative potential somehow. It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles five years ago that I decided to start my organization Wilder Artists Inc. Once I arrived, I knew that this phase of my life had to involve pursuing my dreams (acting, singing, writing) while finding a way to give back. I had to tap into my “WHY?” I couldn’t be another artist out here in Los Angeles, hustling, grinding, and obtaining blessings without helping the communities around me. I began volunteering at after school programs and schools in the Los Angeles area, teaching the same curriculum I taught students in Chicago. After a few months of volunteering, hosting workshops, and speaking to students, a close friend suggested that I incorporate the organization so that I could qualify for grants. I did, and the rest is history! While working as an actress, singer and writer in Los Angeles I have managed to make a space that not only allows me a sense of purpose, but allows me to be a blessing to youth who lack guidance, resources, and confidence needed to achieve greatness!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to happiness, fulfillment and purpose is never easy! It has been difficult building/managing myself as an artist while growing and managing an organization. Like most entrepreneurs, I have days when things are going absolutely amazing! And then there are days when I want to go to abandon all responsibilities, turn my phone off, and pretend I don’t see all of emails/texts piling up. On the amazing days, life feels balanced. My career as an artist is thriving, and the mission of using my platform to give youth opportunities is working in conjunction to that beautifully. On the not so good days, I’m typically stressed about funding and how we’re going to maintain programs.

The struggles are typically associated with fundraising, time management, obtaining support, remaining encouraged, and having most, if not all of the responsibilities fall back on you. However, I feel most triumphant after a successful event or when we receive positive feedback from kid and parents. Overall, I can honestly say that the juice is worth the squeeze. To whom much is give, much is required! I’ve learned to remain present, work with loyal people who believe in your mission, delegate tasks and not be afraid to ask for help. Humility & Gratitude makes the most trying days easier.

We’d love to hear more about the organization.
Wilder Artists Inc. is an organization created by artists committed to using their talents and resources to help students from underserved communities. We use various forms of creative art to motivate, educate and build confidence in children & young adults. Furthermore, we give students the tools needed to develop healthy outlets for expression. Through music, drama, dance and other creative art forms, students are challenged to develop “out of the box” thinking. We aspire to give students the confidence & resources needed to be future leaders of the world. We also strive to expose them to invaluable social, educational and entertaining experiences outside of the classroom. In addition to a curriculum that merges arts & education with life skills, we provide students with meals and snacks, promoting 360 degrees of nourishment. We believe that it takes a village to ensure a child’s success. Therefore, we take pride in collaborating with schools, programs & educational sites to cater to their individual needs.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment was when I booked a guest star role on the TV show “Black Jesus.” While filming, I spoke with the producers of the show about Wilder Artists. They were so excited about the work that I was doing that they allowed me to bring a few kids that I worked with to set. Two of the kids ended up being hired for a scene! This moment reminded me of why I started Wilder Artists. It also affirmed that It is very possible to be a working actress in Hollywood while making space and opportunities for others. I’ve never felt more aligned in purpose!

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