The HBO Max initiative Scene in Black is looking to bolster the voices of Black creatives this summer — in New Orleans! Scene In Black has set a celebration of storytelling, music and culture with events at The Chicory and the Ace Hotel in New Orleans from July 1-3.

Aligning with Essence Fest (which takes place June 30-July 3), the three-day event consists of custom experiences and content that feature HBO Max talent. The activation will also include conversations amongst thought leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and tastemakers.

“We are thrilled to have Scene in Black on the ground in New Orleans during the 4th of July weekend,” said Jackie Gagne, Senior Vice President, Multicultural Marketing, HBO Max and HBO. “Being here gives us the opportunity to engage directly with our community. Our activations will consist of previews to upcoming programming and conversations with talent and creatives that we hope will build connections and inspire current and future creatives.”

Scene In Black recognizes and celebrates Black creators and audiences alike, providing a haven to spotlight representation, elevate experiences and cultivate community while strengthening brand connection with Black audiences.

Scene in Black is a part of a larger portfolio of HBO Max’s initiatives including HBO Max Human By Orientation, and HBO Max Pa’lante!. These audience-first initiatives engage multicultural viewers through relatable storytelling and cultural programming at key moments and notable industry events throughout the year. Each initiative is centered in diversity and rich in collaboration, celebration and the elevation of ideas.

Check out the lineup of Scene in Black NOLA events below!


Welcome Mixer
As our kick-off event for the weekend, and to celebrate the upcoming HBO documentary, Katrina Babies, HBO Max will curate a mixer to celebrate and uplift the creative community of New Orleans. Working alongside Edwards Buckles Jr. (Director, Katrina Babies), this event will bring together creatives to network, celebrate one another and highlight the impact of the NoLa community.

Attending Talent: Edwards Buckles Jr. (Director, Katrina Babies)


HBO Max POV Brunch & Panel Conversation
HBO Max POV will host a conversation over brunch highlighting behind the scenes talent, their personal stories and experiences, career trajectory and their respective roles on relevant HBO Max programming.

HBO Max POV (Power of Visibility) is an initiative that provides a platform for multicultural and behind-the-scenes talent within HBO and HBO Max programming.

Attending Talent: Syreeta Singleton (Showrunner and Executive Producer, HBO Max Rap Sh!t), Rikki Hughes (Showrunner and Executive Producer, HBO Max The Hype), Edward Buckles Jr. (Director, HBO Documentary Katrina Babies), and Joe Guidry (Director, HBO Max Sweet Life)

Curls + Convo ft: Felicia Leatherwood (Celebrity Hair Stylist and Hair Department Head, HBO Max Rap Sh!t) & Hannah Diop (Co-Founder, Sienna Naturals)

Felicia Leatherwood, Celebrity Hair Stylist and Head of the Hair Department of HBO Max’s Rap Sh!t and Hannah Diop, Founder and Creator of Sienna Naturals will conduct a live hair demo and discussion that celebrates black women, diverse hair textures, and hairstyles. The event will also feature giveaways from Sienna Naturals and Brush with the Best.

Attending Talent: Felicia Leatherwood (Celebrity Hair Stylist and Hair Department Head, HBO Max Rap Sh!t), Hannah Diop (Co-Founder, Sienna Naturals)

Rap Sh!t Screening and Panel Conversation

We’ll bring Issa Rae’s new comedy series, Rap Sh!t to New Orleans with an exclusive screening and conversation featuring the creators and stars of the series.

Attending Talent: ​​Issa Rae (Creator/Executive Producer), Syreeta Singleton (Showrunner/Executive Producer), Sadé Clacken Joseph (Director), Aida Osman (Shawna), and KaMillion (Mia)

Rap Sh!t at The Ace Hotel 

To close out the night, Scene in Black will bring the vibes of HBO Max’s Rap Sh!t to life with a takeover at the Ace Hotel, featuring a DJ set and surprise musical guest.

Attending Talent: ​​Issa Rae (Creator/Executive Producer), Syreeta Singleton (Showrunner/Executive Producer), Aida Osman (Shawna), and KaMillion (Mia)


Scene in Black x RNBHouseParty: Creator’s Brunch
Scene in Black, in partnership with RNBHouseParty, will host a creator’s brunch, bringing together influencers and tastemakers for a weekend close out celebration.

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