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KEEPING THE FAITH WITH DR. HOLLY CARTER : Wiles Magazine

KEEPING THE FAITH WITH DR. HOLLY CARTER

By Teryl Warren

Content that inspires. Content that uplifts. Content that gives us goosebumps. That’s Dr. Holly Carter’s specialty. From her groundbreaking reality series franchise “The Preachers of LA” to her soul-stirring film The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel, producer Dr. Holly Carter has made a career of bringing riveting stories of faith, triumph and perseverance that move audiences from every walk of life.

Her latest offering “Our OWN Easter” – a one-hour all-star gospel music special celebrating the glory of the Resurrection – promises to be just as uplifting and entertaining.  And it’s coming to audiences at a time when the world needs it most.

Manager, Producer Dr. Holly Davis Carter

In partnership with All3Media, the special will feature powerful, iconic performances by such artists as Fantasia, CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin, Anthony Hamilton and The Hamiltones, Ledisi, Travis Greene, Osby Berry, Jonathan McReynolds and others.  Viewers will also experience inspiring spoken word from prominent faith leaders Bishop J. Drew Sheard, Pastor William Murphy and Priscilla Shirer.

And while many content creators look to the Christmas holiday season for inspiration, Dr. Holly explained why the Easter season presents a unique opportunity for celebrating in both song and on screen.

“Easter is such a special time for believers and people, in general. It’s a time of hope and redemption.  It gives us the opportunity to start afresh. Being able to bring this collection of artists together to celebrate in song and spoken word has been a lot of fun and I hope that people will watch on March 30th and be inspired.”

It is precisely this sort of forward-thinking, thought leadership that keeps Dr. Holly Carter at the forefront of the growing faith-based content movement. Her company – Relevé Entertainment – is a multi-faceted entertainment company specializing in talent partnerships, brand development and television/film production. Across various platforms, the company consistently delivers on its mission to produce high-quality, breakthrough family and faith-inspired programming.

But please don’t confuse consistency with stagnancy.

The year 2020 taught us all the importance of being able to adapt, pivot and evolve. That ability enables Dr. Holly and her team to create timeless, relevant content in our ever-changing world.  And, as Dr. Holly told us, that same ability will keep faith-based content relevant and necessary for generations to come.

“There’s a story in the Bible about the Sons of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12:32),” she shared. “They were a group of boys who knew how to discern the signs of the times and adapt. Just like them, we [faith leaders] have to discern the times and shift. Church will never be the way we knew it years ago, but we still have to reach those hearts that are hurting.  As long as we’re telling stores that are relatable, that are interchangeable and that uplift, faith-based content will connect with audiences and generations.  I’m gonna see to it!”

Redemptive. Provocative. Music-driven, inspiring and not one bit preachy. Through projects like Lifetime’s biopic about The Clark Sisters – the most successful cable movie of 2020 – Dr. Holly Carter has provided a blueprint for how to entertain and move audiences regardless of their race, gender or theology.  And with a bar that has already been set extremely high, her forthcoming film about gospel music trailblazer Mahalia Jackson is set to soar even higher.

Born in New Orleans, LA in 1911, Mahalia Jackson is widely considered the greatest gospel artist of all time. That’s what we already know. But, as Dr. Holly confided, her upcoming film about the icon will show that Mahalia was much more than that.

“Mahalia Jackson was one of the most influential Black women of her time from a political standpoint.  She was involved in everybody’s campaign – including the Kennedys. When anyone needed the Black community to be mobilized, they called on Mahalia Jackson. When Martin Luther King, Jr. was tired and losing hope and faith and his speech was failing, she told him ‘Tell them about the dream, Martin!’ She inspired the people around her. And she was wealthy. She was a rich Black woman who sang for Jesus, but who also punctuated Black voices in the world and in politics.”

While another Mahalia Jackson project starring Danielle Brooks is set to premiere on Liftetime in April, Mahalia!  – produced by Dr. Holly Carter, Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere – will star award-winning singer/actress Jill Scott as the Queen of Gospel. In addition to landing leading lady Jill Scott, the powerhouse producing team behind Mahalia! has secured the rights to Jackson’s entire musical catalog of hits including “How I Got Over,” “His Eyes Are on the Sparrow,” “Move on Up a Little Higher,” “Amazing Grace” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain.”

As the world looks to the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, a spirit of optimism, hope and, yes, faith, has started to peek out from behind the COVID-19 cloud. Most of us are looking forward to a return to normalcy…whatever that means. For Dr. Holly Carter, “normalcy” means keeping the craft, keeping the faith, and continuing lo learn and grow.

“I love change. I love impact. I love overcoming. Life is not easy.  You live, you learn, and you grow in grace. I’ve learned to extend the same amount of grace that I’ve needed as I walk this journey.”

To keep up with Dr. Holly Carter and Relevé Entertainment, please follow her on Instagram @drhollycarter.

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