Behind the Scenes
Web find: Ajente.com
A weekly tour of the unexpected in the entertainment and arts scene.
The Web site: www.ajente.com
What it's about: Resources and listings for African-American entertainment and culture.
Who's behind it: Kelley L. Jones, a 33-year-old Seattle entrepreneur.
Why it matters: Previously called Northwest Black Entertainment, www.ajente.com features black authors, actors, musicians, other artists and entertainment events around the country. Its creator and sole operator, Jones says the site isn't exclusively about the black community, but it's the main draw. The Seattle resident also promotes athletes, cartoons, articles relating to the stock market, the weather, even VHS/DVD movie picks. She lists attorneys and hairstylists in the Seattle area who can serve in culture-specific ways. The page on barbers and beauty salons is one of the most popular.
"It brings people together," Jones said. "It provides a resource for the community to find out about urban events that are happening in the community without having to sift through other events they are not interested in."
La Fonda Williams, a performance consultant for Bank of America, logs onto Jones' site when she needs help deciding what to do on the weekends.
"She narrows it down to events for people of color," said Williams, who watched George Duke perform at Jazz Alley last year after learning of it on ajente
.com. "And that's usually the type of events that I like to go to. It gives me the option of the circles I like to be in."
Jones, a former hip-hop and R&B-music promoter, features little-known artists who "don't have the vehicles to promote themselves" as well as bigger names who need no help at all — Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey and Halle Berry, to name a few.
From her home office, which is decorated with black-and-white publicity shots of entertainers and a couple of Mickey Mouse pictures, Jones runs the Web site alone. The Franklin High School graduate manages 6,764 club members and updates her Web site regularly for the 43,000 hits she gets a week.
Today, ajente.com — Jones' creative twist on the Spanish word for agent, "agente" — is growing into a national Web site with subscribers around the country. It's only half of her Web-publishing company, TWJ Media. The other half is the recently launched www.startyourownbusiness.com.
Jones also holds seminars about business and speaks regularly at the Black Entrepreneur Networking Dinner.
Upcoming event: Entertainment 101 Seminar featuring musician George Duke and model/actor Taimak Guarriello talking about how they got started. March 17, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1113 Sixth Ave., Seattle, $79 or $99, student discount available, 206-748-1700.
Young Chang: 206-748-5815 or email@example.com