Joél Mejia is a New York City based, Dominican-American producer and director. Born and raised in New York City to immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Mr. Mejia experienced the rough reality of urban life during the Reagan years. At a young age, art became an escape, one that he would rely on to get him throug… Read More
Joél Mejia is a New York City based, Dominican-American producer and director. Born and raised in New York City to immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Mr. Mejia experienced the rough reality of urban life during the Reagan years. At a young age, art became an escape, one that he would rely on to get him through those troubled days. Drawing inspiration from comic books, music and TV, he would spend hours drawing, writing and acting out monologues. Unable to clinch a seat at any of the prestigious art schools, he decided on attending Graphic Communication Arts. Here, he studied photography and visual arts, landing internships in small independent music and theater companies, learning the business of entertainment and preparing his business plan for a future company.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Lehman College in the Bronx and majored in economics. His passion for the arts, music and photography began to translate into a practical business model during this period. Contributing to his master plan of starting his own company was his exposure to mentors and hands on work experience. He studied all day and in the evening worked long hours at a music company. After a grueling school and work schedule that lasted 4 years, he finally graduated in 2002 and set his sights on breaking into the competitive world of entertainment. He continued splitting his time between honing his artistic skills and developing his business plan. He collaborated with several emerging musicians and released music, performing in countless numbers of shows in the New York underground music scene. Eventually realizing his true calling was to be a producer, he started imagining what it would be like to merge his passion for music and photography. Producing to him meant starting from an idea and growing that seed into a product that can be consumed. by the public. He realized he was a natural at putting pieces together and seeing the bigger picture. Years of following the progression of trends in media and the advances in technology, combined with a keen sense of business, eventually led to the creation of Things Are Changing Media, a media company focused on the production and licensing of music and video content. The name of the company was meant to be a reminder of the rapidly changing landscape of media and helps to maintain a mantra for the company to be forward thinking and ahead of the curve.
As an emerging producer and director, he has expanded his resume with various films and commercial projects that focus on social themes, both domestic and internationally. As a beneficiary of mentors and on the job training, he has created a youth media program dubbed the Dare to Dream Project, to teach youth from low-income neighborhoods media literacy and production. Since 2007, his program has helped young adults expose them to an industry they know little about but are influenced by daily. “Nothing is more rewarding that watching these young adults creatively express themselves. I continue to learn so much from them and it inspires me everyday to reach my highest potential.”
Mr. Mejia has received numerous awards and grants for his work and programs, including: NALAC Fund for the Arts (2007), Children for Children Teacher's Assistance Program Grant (2008), Brooklyn Arts Council Regrant Award (2008), and The Fund for the City of New York Incubator Grant (2009). Read Less