The Mixer | Seattle

where creatives connect

The Mixer: June 2019 – Surviving and Thriving in the Creative Gig Economy


Join us at Clock-Out Lounge on 6/26 for our second in a series of community discussions to help shape the City’s vision for the future of our creative economy.

Seattle’s creative workers earned over $6 billion dollars in 2017, and creative jobs in Seattle are growing at a faster rate than in the rest of the country*. On a national level, the “gig economy” is on the rise—allowing flexibility and freedom for creative types, but with less of a safety net. At this month’s Mixer, Amy Lillard of Washington Filmworks will lead a discussion with panelists from different creative fields who will share their secrets of success about freelancing, entrepreneurship, and what it takes to make it professionally in Seattle’s growing creative economy.

Afterwards, attendees will break out into small groups for more networking and to give feedback about how the city can help creatives find the resources they need to not only survive, but thrive in our rapidly growing city.

Come join the conversation and get your voice heard! RSVP here, and share with your network through our Facebook event page.

  • Date: Wednesday, June 26
  • Time: 5pm-7pm
  • Location: Clock Out Lounge – 4864 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108

This event is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome. Refreshments will be provided, and alcohol is available for purchase for guests 21+.

For ADA accommodations or accessibility information, contact

All members of Seattle’s creative community are welcome at this conversation: visual artists, musicians, music and film industry professionals, teaching artists – whatever role you play in our local creative scene, we want to hear from you!

*This data and more is available in the 2019 Creative Economy Report. Of note, the report found that Seattle creative workers employed in tech (web developers, for example) are the highest paid in the nation, while creative workers employed in arts and entertainment occupations (such as photographers and musicians) are the lowest paid in the nation. The report also found that women and people of color are underrepresented in certain creative occupations, and that wage disparities exist along job title, race, and gender. We need to hear from you, Seattle’s creative workers, to help us better understand the full story behind these disparities and find ways to bridge the gap.


About the Speakers:

Naomi Ishisaka
Naomi Ishisaka is an independent journalist, photographer, graphic designer and communications specialist with a particular emphasis on racial equity and social justice. Through photography, writing and design, Ishisaka documents and amplifies social justice movements and events. She has served as the Communications Director for Social Justice Fund NW, for SEIU 775 Benefits Group, and for the immigrant rights organization OneAmerica (formerly Hate Free Zone). From 2000-2008, Ishisaka was Editor in Chief of the award-winning ColorsNW Magazine, a monthly magazine focusing on communities of color in the Northwest.

Her documentary photography of the Seattle Black Lives Matter movement is featured in a number of shows and galleries as well as in the documentary film “The 13th.” Her photography is part of the City of Seattle’s permanent collection and she was selected for the Office of Arts and Culture’s Ethnic Artist Roster. Currently, Naomi is a mentor for the ReFrame Mentorship program.


Michael Huang
Brand strategist, content creator, culture connector; Michael Huang took a front seat to the rise of social media and interactive marketing during his time as a brand manager with Red Bull, then as a social media & digital strategist at award winning agencies Razorfish and McGarryBowen. Having worked on global brands such as Microsoft, Nike, Holland America and more, Michael went on to lead social media strategy in the 2013 rebrand of United Airlines. In 2014, he founded Milli – a social media & content marketing agency rooted specialized in culture, lifestyle, and community. In his free time, Michael is heavily involved in the breakdancing, street dance and Hip Hop scenes organizing large scale competitions, youth mentorship and working with artists.



Lacey Leavitt
Lacey Leavitt is one of the most successful filmmakers from the Pacific NW, and the winner of the 2017 Seattle Mayor’s Award for Achievement in Film. She was a Sheila C. Johnson Sundance Creative Producing Lab fellow at the highly competitive and prestigious Sundance Institute. Her specialty is working with new and independent cinematic voices and her film and television producing credits include Lynn Shelton’s Outside In (Toronto Int’l Film Festival), Touchy Feely (Sundance), and Laggies (Sundance), Megan Griffiths’ Sadie (SXSW), The Off Hours (Sundance), Lucky Them (TIFF), Todd Rohal’s The Catechism Cataclysm (Sundance), The Hunky Boys Go Ding-Dong (adult swim), and M.O.P.Z. (adult swim), and Colin Trevorrow’s (director of Jurassic World) first feature Safety Not Guaranteed (Sundance). Lacey has been working in the cinematic XR space for the last two years, producing the VR films Arcadia Flats (dir. Joe Jacobs), Eagle Bone (dir. Tracy Rector, TIFF), and Potato Dreams (dir. Wes Hurley, AFI Fest). She was also a producer of the Potato Dreams’ “flat” companion Little Potato, which won the Best Short Documentary Award at SXSW ’17.



Amy Lillard (moderator)
Amy Lillard is the Executive Director of Washington Filmworks and has been with the program since it launched in 2007. Under her leadership, WF has helped over 90 film projects complete principal photography, which have brought an estimated 242 Million dollars to the statewide economy.

Amy Lillard started her career as an independent film publicist out of New York and Los Angeles designing the release campaigns for groundbreaking films such as “The Blair Witch Project,” “American Psycho” and “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.” Amy retired from publicity in 2000 and took a trip around the world. Two years and 42 countries later, she settled in Seattle where she has worked in various capacities including, director of publicity and promotion at SIFF, festival director of the Reel Cinerama Film Festival, and producer of the Fly Filmmaking Challenge.



P.S. Please mark your calendars for the two remaining Mixers in this creative economy series: July 31 and August 28.

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