OUR MISSION is to cultivate, support, and protect artistic integrity. To create art that makes a difference, that inspires us to leave our comfort zone. We strive to be constantly challenging our perspectives and to never become stagnant. Under our various production companies, we consult and produce projects to expand art’s role in our society with the goal of being helpful to humanity. With passionate commitment to our clients and each other, we encourage collaboration, compassion, and love for the process.
“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.” – Maya Angelou
LEAH SILBERMAN - COORDINATOR
Leah is a singer/songwriter and performing artist under the moniker Leah Capelle. She was raised on the north side of Chicago, attended Berklee College of Music, and is now about to graduate from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music with a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry. Leah is the general manager for The Loft program, manages clients for the studio, and handles all billing and receiving. She also helps run an independent record label based out of Chicago called Little Cabin Entertainment where she does A&R. She loves cappuccinos, game nights, and playing with her two cats Harper and Marty.
MICHAL ZIELINSKI - MEDIA COORDINATOR
Mike has a creative sensibility that touches videography, photography, vfx, editing, fashion, and even blacksmithing - LA has turned out to be a great place for this Polish-born Denver-raised artist. In his five years in the city of angels, Michal has shot and edited for daytime Emmy award winning projects and has taken art direction from clients like Tom Ford, Kanye West and Zayne Malik. You will often catch him wearing sunglasses because he rides his bike to work.
EMILY SHEARMAN - ASSISTANT
Emily is a singer-songwriter from small-town New Jersey. She held several performance residencies in Florence, Italy, and now focuses on her writing. She works closely with several artists including Max Embers and Cypress, both of whom are set to release their collaborations with her in the near future. She attended Berklee College of Music for a few years. She is responsible for scheduling, manages guests in and out of the Nook, and handles day to day functionality of the office. When she is not writing or working, she spends her time cultivating relationships with those around her.
ASHLEY YOUNG - DEVELOPMENT INTERN
Ashley is in charge of reading and tracking projects. If you send us a script, she’s the one that’s going to read it. She graduated with a degree in Film and Media Production from Taylor University. During her time there, she directed and produced two short documentaries When The Game Changes and We Are Rwandans. Both have won many awards including a regional Emmy from the Lower Great Lakes chapter. Ashley has a passion for telling stories that empower people and believes film has the unique ability to reach wide audiences on a deep level. When she’s not working you can find her hiking, drinking coffee, or watching ‘The West Wing’.
Jonathan Baker - founder
Jonathan AKA JB is currently producing under iAm21 Entertainment stage productions of the upcoming national tour of the musical Spamalot and its first revival on Broadway, the adaptation of the movies August Rush and The Harder They Come, and the play American Son starring Kerry Washington which hits Broadway in the fall of 2018.
In film, Jonathan is producing the “Untitled Banker Project,” starring Anthony Mackie and directed by George Nolfi, which starts shooting the fall of 2018. He is in post-production on the feature Manifest Destiny Down: SPACETIME which he wears many hats. He is producing a documentary feature about the Chicago based theater company Steppenwolf.
Jonathan Executive Produced the film Crown Heights (dir. Matt Ruskin) with iAm21, which tells the true story of Colin Warner and stars Keith Stanfield (Short Term 12, Atlanta). Warner was wrongfully incarcerated for 21 years before his best friend Carl King, played by Nnamdi Asomugha, fought the legal system to get him exonerated. Crown Heights won the Audience Choice Award at Sundance in 2017, and was bought by Amazon and released in theaters in 2017. He Co-Produced the feature musical film Basmati Blues, starring Donald Sutherland, Tyne Daly, Brie Larson and Scott Bakula, released in theaters in February of 2018. The film’s original musical score – supervised by Bonnie Greenberg, composed by multi-Grammy winning songwriters and choreographed by Grammy winner Noemie LaFrance – promotes a powerful anti-GMO message. He also Executive Produced Halfway, starring Quinton Aaron (The Blindside), a film about recidivism available on streaming platforms.
While at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Jonathan first worked in television research, then at Screen Gems and TriStar Pictures. He marketed fifty major theatrical releases, of which ten films achieved #1 at the box-office status. He is credited as Co-Producer of the documentaries Fang vs. Fiction (airing on AMC), The Real Exorcist (A & E), and Real Premonitions (A & E) while also having developed the feature Silent Hill. Films of note include Closer (dir. Mike Nichols), Adaptation (dir. Spike Jonze), Big Fish (dir. Tim Burton), Boogeyman (#1 at the box office), Underworld(#1 at the box office), In The Cut (dir. Jane Campion), You Got Served (#1 at the box office), the Resident Evil franchise, and Exorcism of Emily Rose. While at TriStar, Lords of Dogtown (dir. Catherine Hardwicke), Oliver Twist (dir. Roman Polanski), Running with Scissors (dir. Ryan Murphy) and Silent Hill.
Prior, Jonathan worked on Wall Street at Salomon Brothers Asset Management in Institutional Sales, and on Broadway at The Nederlander Producing Company of America where he handled development and line producing for CEO Jimmy Nederlander, Jr. He worked with acts like Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Dionne Warwick, Neil Young, Paul Simon, and many others. He worked on nine Broadway shows at a time. He independently produced documentaries on Broadway stars Lea DeLaria, Geoffrey Holder, Liliane Montevecchi, and Julie Wilson that went through the film festival circuit. He landed a Jazz television show on BET staring Savion Glover and consulted at the Tribeca Film Studio for the first hi-definition video library and production company in conjunction with talent like Celine Dion.
In 2007, Jonathan left Sony Pictures Entertainment and founded JB Studio to educate and develop over 160 talented artists that range from film, television, Broadway, sports stars, to young up and coming singers. In 2015, he founded New Renaissance Entertainment to produce student’s projects. He produces under the banner I Am 21 with his partner Nnamdi Asomugha.
Jonathan has been an Adjunct Professor of feature film and entertainment economics at Carnegie Mellon’s Masters of Entertainment Industry Management program in the Heinz School of Public Policy since its inception eleven years ago. He also teaches at GIOCA, a graduate program at the University of Bologna, Italy. He has been a guest speaker at UCLA Producing Program and the University of Texas.
Jonathan received Best Actor for his role in Thank You for Not Smoking, an official entry in the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. He composed and directed the musical short film, Naked: A Guy’s Musical, distributed by Shorts International. He produced and directed the short film Harper Finch. He is in development on his original feature animated musical Private Sky.
Before Jonathan started producing in New York he studied Musical Theater at The Boston Conservatory of Music and The University of Michigan school of music. He graduated from Michigan with focuses, however, in philosophy and religious studies. While at Michigan he directed and performed in many shows, one of which, Company, stared Tony Award Winning Gavin Creel, whom he also grew up with in Findlay, Ohio. He is classically trained in trombone and voice, studied piano, drums and plays guitar. He studied ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance, and alexander technique. He studied directing and acting at the University of California, Los Angeles Extension Program from Don Richardson.