Gina Charbonnet
Owner and President

Known for her visionary spirit and sophisticated eye, Gina Charbonnet, principal of GeChar is an industry veteran and nationally recognized leader in the area of development, production, executive management, and arts administration. Ms. Charbonnet is inspired by culture, music, and art. With a keen eye to detail, and innovation as her guiding principal, Gina founded GeChar in 1999 and has led multi-faceted teams in the area of festival management, film production, special event creation, arts management and sponsorship procurement.

As a producer for the 3-day multi-platform Essence Music Festival, Gina oversees Susan L. Taylor’s critically acclaimed Empowerment Seminar Series, which features such wide-ranging speakers as Common, Michael Eric Dyson to Angela Davis. Concurrently, she produces the Essence Music Festival’s Youth Outreach Program where she brings the Essence brand alive with national musical acts and inspirational speakers. Her success with the Essence Music Festival, led to securing the producing role for Essence Magazines 3rd annual “Women Who Are Shaping the World Leadership Summit.”

Consulting clients have included David E. Talbert, the MasterMind Group and Converse, The Healthy Start Program, The Faubourg Tremé Documentary, Vanjo Productions and the musical “If This Hat Could Talk: The Untold Stories of Dr. Dorothy Height,” among others. Gina also served as Coordinating Producer of several entertainment events for such political powerhouses as the NAACP and the National Democratic Committee.

Her educational background includes a M.A. in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans, BA in Journalism from Southern University and a Minor in Communications and Film Studies from the University of New Orleans. Gina is a certified grants writer, completed New York University’s Producers’ Intensive Course and
the Sponsorship certification program at Temple University. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the New Orleans Film and Video Film Festival and co-founded the Beautiful Foundation, a not-for profit organization for teenage girls of color. As a successful Arts Administrator, Gina developed the Community Arts Management Program at Xavier University and created and implemented the universities’ first Arts/Business Minor.

Claudia Hayden

Claudia Hayden is an altogether prolific artist whose work transcends visual, electronic, musical and performance venues.  A born Techie, this Louisiana native thrives on deciphering the ins and outs of anything “State of the Art.”

Claudia’s logged about a million miles and 15 years of experience in broadcast television production.  She’s an accomplished Director/Producer, Composer, Web designer, Pro-tools engineer, Graphic design artist, Videographer, Photographer and Editor.  Diverse doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Currently, Claudia is developing on a number of projects involving Digital Video, Non-Linear Editing, DVD Authoring, Multi-Media Encoding and Voiceovers, etc…

Mia Kristin Smith

Noted as a profound writer, Mia Kristin Smith is both a graduate of Theater and Performing Arts from New Orleans, La. and a recent top graduate of The New School University Media Studies/Screenwriting program in New York City. Her previous works include writing, directing, and producing various community acclaimed staged plays, and now currently she is completing a screenplay set to go in to production in the near future.