2023 Women of Live: Shahida Mausi
President & CEO | The Right Productions, Inc.
The Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre is a gem in Detroit, Michigan, servicing the community with private and public events that have featured music legends such as Mary J. Blige and Stevie Wonder. The 6,000-seat venue also happens to be the only one of its size in the country to be managed by an African American company and a Black woman, Shahida Mausi.
While it is an achievement she is proud of, Mausi laments the fact that she is known as the only woman to operate such a venue.
“The state of women in the live business is better but has a long way to go,” Mausi, president and CEO of The Right Productions, tells Pollstar. “After 20 years in the business, I should not still be the only woman that is in charge of a 6,000-seat venue.”
She and her team at The Right Productions are doing what they can to inspire the local youth as they venture off to college and into the workforce by planning Young, Gifted and College Bound, an annual event that began in 2021 with the help of Detroit leaders and aims to “inform and charge graduating seniors with a commitment to excellence, service and legacy as they go forward to college.” Mausi and her company were also involved in the Real Talk Drives Real Change, a four-city tour that featured panel discussions addressing issues impacting people of color.
Through these events, Mausi hopes that students and young people breaking into the industry take away the same lessons she learned from her mentors: her mother Joyce Garrett, famous radio broadcaster Martha Jean “The Queen” Steinberg and longtime friend and businessman Charles Allen.
“From the three collectively, I learned that dreams are attainable, that I could strive and thrive in the rough and tumble world of entertainment with dignity, and that there are resources in this business, people will help you, reach and follow up,” says Mausi, who is also CSO and SVP of the Black Promoters Collective. “The advice that I give to younger team members is that the only thing that will stop you is fear and lack of faith. Faith allows you to go forward.”