Meet Dija Renuka Henry, Our Creative Fellow

When Dija Renuka Henry walks into a room, you can feel it.

Not only is she filled with love and compassion for everyone she meets, Dija also has hundreds of ideas about how to tell stories that will matter to all of us. That energy, packed into one midwestern actress and filmmaker, creates a unique presence—even before she starts using a soft voice to tell you her big ideas. 

She’s exactly the kind of creator we’re interested in here at Sparkland. Dija and her social impact entertainment company, Blue House Entertainment, are purpose-driven and spirit-led. Dedicated to telling diverse stories with mental health themes, Blue House exists to facilitate heart-changing conversation and elevate culture to a more equitable, inclusive, and empathetic society.  

We’re proud to say we’ve been working with Dija for a few years. But every time we complete a project with her, we walk away knowing there’s more we can do together. With that in mind, we’re formally bringing Dija into the Sparkland family as our inaugural fellow of the Sparkland Creative Fellowship. 

Our fellowship is a customizable program, aimed at kicking the creative process into high gear. Beginning this month we’ll focus on building new pathways to scale and grow Blue House Entertainment, which Dija founded in 2017.

As our first fellow, Dija will have access to business coaching, entertainment-industry experts, and marketing and communications training. She’ll come away from her fellowship with a new business plan for Blue House Entertainment and a polished presentation to help her attract new partners and investors. (Don’t think we’re all work and no play, though. There’ll be a retreat in a beautiful setting and walks in the woods, too!)

“Artists often need peer mentorship and collaboration in order to bring their best work to life,” said Lauren Sparkman, our founder and head of ventures. “At Sparkland, we’re geared toward supporting heartfelt creators and Dija certainly is that. The Sparkland Creative Fellowship is our container of support for artists, like Dija, as they develop their creative enterprises.”

Maybe you’ve already heard of Dija or her award-winning recent project, Rasheeda’s Freedom Day, which completed a successful festival run last year. The true story is about a young woman who finds the courage to take herself and her family out of an abusive situation. Written by Ruthie Buescher, produced by Moriah Miller Taft of Indianapolis’ Harrison Center, and co-produced by Lauren, the short film was an official selection of Heartland Film Festival’s prestigious Indy Shorts International Film Festival and four other festivals across North America. 

We think the success of Rasheeda’s Freedom Day will become a catalyst for new work from Blue House Entertainment.

“One of our main goals is to elevate culture to a more empathetic and inclusive society by sharing diverse and inspirational stories that spark game-changing conversation,” said Dija. “Making our business stronger through the Sparkland fellowship will help us become even more impactful and expand our reach to new audiences.”

We agree. Giving Blue House Entertainment added momentum means helping Dija make the world a better place, one story at a time, and we’re here for it. 

As we continue to work with Dija, we’re also thinking about others who may want to participate in our fellowship cohort. We don’t know, just yet, when we’ll be ready for our next fellow. But if you’re interested, stay tuned for more information.