The Atlantic has hired Candace Montgomery to help lead events as senior vice president and general manager of AtlanticLIVE. Montgomery joins The Atlantic from Essence, where she oversaw all events, including the strategic standup of the Essence Festival of Culture. The Atlantic is also releasing a first look at its early 2021 events lineup, including a new spring tentpole event focused on the pursuit of happiness with an eye to resiliency and recovery.
The Atlantic’s experiences this year will build on the enormous audience and engagement to virtual offerings in 2020, as record numbers of readers and subscribers––The Atlantic gained nearly 400,000 subscribers in 2020 alone––look to The Atlantic’s journalism to help navigate a changed world. Events in 2021 will continue to bring audiences exclusive insight from The Atlantic’s journalists to help make sense of the current moment, and to tell the stories of how central pillars of our society have been changed by pandemic or policy, including health equity; race and racism; education; our warming planet; and the new economy.
Yesterday, The Atlantic brought together its writers and editors to discuss the future of democracy after last week’s insurrection. Coming up later this month, The Atlantic will host conversations with filmmakers and creators as an official media partner of the Sundance Film Festival.
The new spring event will explore happiness and resilience, and what it means to cultivate happiness as individuals and communities. Conversations will look at topics like mental health, spirituality, love, wellness, and family dynamics, shaped by the global pandemic and year of social isolation and as we look to the future. The event will feature Arthur Brooks, whose weekly Atlantic column “How to Build a Life” sprang up at the start of the pandemic, along with Atlantic staff writers and other guests.
“I am honored to join The Atlantic during this exciting time as we shape the next chapter of our experiential business,” said Montgomery. “AtlanticLive has long been synonymous with best-in-class events and programming that amplifies its journalistic voice. I am excited to join the team as we expand our events to reach more audiences, leverage our storytelling, and ultimately grow our business.”
As SVP & GM, Montgomery will lead and manage the AtlanticLIVE team, collaborating with Atlantic editorial to drive the LIVE strategy and working hand in hand with the sales and marketing teams to grow the business. Montgomery was most recently a VP at Essence Communications, where she ran the day to day growth, revenue, and operations for experiential. She was instrumental in the growth of Essence's entire events portfolio, inclusive of the Essence Festival of Culture, as well as Essence’s transition to virtual events in 2020. Montgomery reports to Hayley Romer, publisher and CRO.
Live events have long been a central expression of The Atlantic’s journalism. After the pandemic forced all events to head to screens in March, The Atlantic drew 4.5 million views to its more than 40 virtual events––and had 50% more attendees to virtual events than for the whole of 2019. Without the limitations of geography and physical space, thousands of people were able to engage with The Atlantic’s events for the first time.