We had the good fortune of connecting with Kara Mack and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kara, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
Understanding that all of the tools that I sought after in others, I already had within myself. Instead of being stressed thinking that I am not enough, I already know I am enough; when I seek the help, I know it’s only to add to what’s already there.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am many things…this is why I call myself a Renaissance Woman. I am a singer, dancer, choreographer, Creative Dir., Producer, Teacher, counselor, theologian…I could go on. But what I’m most proud of is being the Founder of my trademarked brand Africa in America. Fifteen years ago, I made a strategic and radical decision to focus on music and dance styles from the African Diaspora after years of classical training in both respective fields. As I began to practice these different art forms I recognized that in society these styles are seen as electives and hobbies artistically that in turn force them to fall short of being respected as technical styles. I wanted to change this reality and decided to create the trademarked brand, Africa in America in 2014; a brand that serves as a primary resource for both professionals and participants of African Diasporic music, dance, arts and culture in America. Since African-based arts have held a huge part in social justice we produce content celebrating the rich history of Africa including, but not limited to online magazines, an annual original works showcase, hosting master music and dance classes and keeping our audience aware of community and organization building, grant and work opportunities, and many other ways that may inspire art, locally and nationally. Studies have shown that to be born Black is subconsciously deemed as a curse, not just in America, but all over the world. As a person born of African descent no matter if you speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, or any African dialect there is an underlying insecurity directly related to the feeling of invisibility that has now consumed the Black community in America. Through my work, I am determined to change the direction and rewrite the narrative. Music and dance has been a catalyst in changing such perceptions, but it has only been through Black people adapting to styles that have been cultivated or created by Europeans. I utilize a language, vocabulary, and rhetoric that is relatable in order to bring back a sense of visibility that will cultivate well-rounded artists capable of succeeding through any artistic expression they choose. The road to get to where I am ha not been easy but the best lesson that I have learned in the process is if it was easy, it wouldn’t be fun.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love West LA, so anywhere I go, it would have to be a city on the Westside. I love going to Santa Monica where the pier and the promenade are. I also love going to Marina Del Rey and Mid City where The Grove is.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out my mom. She will always get my shout out simply because she allowed me to be me, but didn’t allow me to confuse being a flawed person that will make mistakes to mean that I can be a hot mess. She raised me to not just know right from wrong, but to have empathy for those who are walking in different shoes and to hold respect for my elders who have lived and experience life longer than me. She knew since I was young that I was different artistically and though she got ridiculed a lot for allowing me to express myself freely, she never stifled my growth. And this is why I love her so much.

Website: www.kara-mack.com
Instagram: @mackkara @africainamerica
Twitter: @aiamagazine
Facebook: Kara Mack
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPuwa-DNsPHoW3IXKC73uZQ

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.