Senior Corporate Counsel, Essence Communications
Mechelle Evans, Esq. has been providing legal counsel to Essence Communications, Inc. since 2007, and currently serves as its Senior Corporate Counsel. Essence Communications is the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women and inspires a global audience of more than 20.2 million through diverse storytelling and immersive original content. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online, ESSENCE encompasses its signature magazine; digital, video, and social platforms; as well as live events, including Black Women in Hollywood and the ESSENCE Festival. Essence Communications is owned by Essence Ventures, an independent Black-owned consumer technology company focused on merging content, community, and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color.
Mechelle is a member of Essence’s Leadership Team which, along with Essence’s owner and parent company, establishes the company’s vision and mandate, manages the execution of business initiatives, and ensures protocols and policies are adhered to reduce legal and financial risk. Mechelle’s daily responsibilities include providing strategic legal advice to the company, managing the company’s intellectual property portfolio, and negotiating transactions involving content acquisition, licensing, sponsorship, and advertising sales. Prior to arriving at Essence, Mechelle served as Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs at Madison Square Garden, L.P. for ten years. She is admitted to practice law in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and is a member of a variety trade and professional organizations.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Mechelle obtained a B.A. from Duke University where she was selected Commencement Speaker for her graduating class, and obtained a J.D. from New York University School of Law where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Law and Politics. A public servant at heart, Mechelle has complemented her professional career with numerous philanthropic activities including serving as a member of the Corporate Leadership Council for the Morristown Cornerstone Family Services, President of the Morris County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, and a volunteer at the Interfaith Food Pantry.
CLE: Pivoting from Live to Virtual: Navigating the Legal Challenges
10/16/20, 2:00 PM
The COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate and devastating impact on the live entertainment sector. After SXSW was canceled in early March, other festivals quickly followed suit, first postponing and then canceling their 2020 live events. Many festival presenters are pivoting to a virtual model, which presents its own set of legal issues for festival organizers, including, but not limited to, the licenses required for performing music virtually, navigating restrictions imposed by platforms such as Facebook and Instagram Live and challenges to monetization posed by music label blocking rights. This panel will discuss evolving strategies for addressing these issues.