Leading global talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA) today (Dec. 17) officially announced the company’s Heartland Initiative, a dedicated practice to identify, develop, and showcase the voices of creators and storytellers from America’s Heartland.
The Heartland Initiative focuses on storytelling rooted in the shared values of community, faith and family. The group will work with emerging and established artists and entrepreneurs, and launches with a roster that includes filmmakers The Erwin Brothers, Rove Productions and Tacklebox Films, Kathie Lee Gifford, Duck Dynasty’s Willie, Korie and Sadie Robertson, podcaster and author Annie F. Downs, writer Holly Gleason, comedians John Crist and Kevonstage, kids media brand GoNoodle, pastor Chad Veach, singer-songwriter John Eddie, and music artists Danny Gokey, Ross Copperman, and Louis York.
The new initiative will be led by Nashville-based UTA agent Nick Barnes. Barnes previously worked with country music artists Eric Church and Brothers Osborne, and as a digital executive at Sony Music Nashville. He joined UTA in 2017, originally as a Digital Strategy agent in UTA IQ, the agency’s research and analytics division.
“We believe there’s an extensive range of stories to be told and audiences eager to hear them—particularly in today’s content-thirsty world,” says Barnes. “UTA’s Heartland Initiative will bring to bear all of our resources into building bigger platforms for this underserved market. Millions of Americans will see themselves reflected in the unique voices and creative visions of our Heartland artists and entrepreneurs.”
UTA’s Heartland Initiative will be based in Nashville, where the agency is preparing to relocate the Nashville headquarters to the historic, original site of the Carnegie Library near the Tennessee state capitol building in the heart of Music City.