Today AD is welcomed into the warm and colorful Los Angeles office of Hillman Grad Productions, the company founded by writer-producer-actor Lena Waithe and her production partner Rishi Rajani. Named for the fictitious historically Black college featured on “A Different World,” Waithe and Rajani have built a platform for BIPOC talents to take center stage in their own stories – and an office environment that reinforces their creative pursuits at every turn. The reception area is anchored by a massive vintage Steve Chase sofa that designer Amie Mays reupholstered in burgundy velvet, while graphic and prismatic wall coverings catch your eye wherever it lands. One wall in Waithe’s private office is covered in a salon-style hanging of images of trailblazers like Nina Simone, James Baldwin, Shirley Chisholm, Oprah Winfrey, and Prince. “Black artists have always addressed the realities of living in a house that is burning,” says Waithe on the topic of making protest art in the era of Black Lives Matter. “Our job is to remind people how the fire started, why it continues to burn, and how we might contain it. You see that mission written in the Black and brown faces that cover our walls.”
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Inside Lena Waithe & Rishi Rajani’s Stylish L.A. Production Office | Open Door