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Friday Forum

Andy Grayson and Charles Hodges side by side and smiling
Friday, Jan. 26
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

VCU Commons Theater

907 Floyd Avenue

Charles Hodges (CW, 2009)

Founder & ECD, Arts & Letters Creative Co.

Andy Grayson (ST, 2003)

Director of Strategy, Arts & Letters Creative Co.

Topic: We promise not to talk about the future of advertising

A few helpful thoughts for learning and living in the business of ideas


Charles Hodges owes a lot to the VCU Brandcenter, a random place he found online during his senior year of college when he didn't know what he was going to do with his life. He feels incredibly lucky because that no-so-random place gave him a transformational foundation for understanding the power of ideas that has helped him create and lead work for brands like Apple, Google, Nike and ESPN at places like Wieden+Kennedy, Google Creative Lab and TBWA\Media Arts Lab. He is obsessed with the power of ideas and the magic that happens when great folks work together to bring one to life (and the massive impact they can have). He loves it so much that he founded Arts & Letters Creative Co. to be a home where talented people could partner with the world’s biggest dreamers to create ideas that do just that. And, yes, most of the people at the company went to that random place that he found online so many years ago. If he had to describe himself in a single word it would be grateful.

According to the logbooks, Andy Grayson graduated from the Brandcenter 15 years ago. But he is disputing these records because if he has been in the business that long, he should probably know more stuff, he says. What he does know is that the path to the best creative work starts with a provocative truth. As the voice of strategy for Arts & Letters Creative Co., it’s a belief that serves him well, as it has throughout his career, where he was most recently in San Francisco consulting for startups after serving as Goodby Silverstein’s Director of Strategy for 3 years. Prior to that, Andy directed strategy across all of Nike for Wieden+Kennedy Portland, on global projects for Nike+, Nike Basketball, Nike Running, Nike Football, Nike Golf, and the Women’s World Cup.