BlackStar Projects Annual Report - 2021

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Annual Report 2021


BlackStar celebrates and provides platforms for visionary Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists.


Letter from the Board Part of the human condition compels us to explore collective consciousness, as well as our own. In traditional cultures of the global majority—Black, Brown and Indigenous People of Color—the storyteller provides prophetic, historical, mystical, and present day context for the human experience. As the world continues to confront its colonial legacies and the promise of freedom, visual media enables us to find common story threads, weaving together our vision of a more just world, abundant with resources, connectivity, and pathways to liberation. BlackStar is an institution that harbors, incubates, critiques, and constructs those universal stories through an intersectional feminist lens. In its tenth year as a BIPOC, women-led organization, BlackStar fosters conversations in and among communities of color, defying traditional notions of visual culture and the nonprofit industrial complex. Its bi-annual journal, Seen; year-round mentorship program, the Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab; three-day William and Louise Greaves Seminar; Many Lumens podcast, the world-renowned BlackStar Film Festival; and numerous exhibitions and special programs signify the broadening and deepening impact of BlackStar’s mission. In addition to the talent that BlackStar organically attracts, the organization continues to build capacity, hiring a staff of artists and administrators who care for and are inspired by BlackStar’s vision, mission and constituents. BlackStar has grown like a metaphorical child over the last ten years. It found its footing, developed a sense of self-awareness, and built its own identity in the larger world as a leader in the visual arts industry. In the next ten years, the organization expects steady, healthy growth physically, expanding into larger and more varied spaces; socially, deepening connections with organizations, artists, institutions, and audience members; and strategically, more aptly positioning itself as a maker of new visual media markets and spaces. What is at the core is BlackStar’s commitment to seeding the ground for talented and imaginative Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists with love, joy, care, empathy, and rigor. As stakeholders and avid supporters of this work, we are honored to co-hold this vision of a collective consciousness edified by new, uncompromising standards of aesthetics, morality and ethics, reparative justice, and collective action. BlackStar is writing BIPOC liberation into the future, one story thread at a time. Sekou Campbell and Denise C. Beek Co-Chairs, Board of Directors


Letter from the CEO Dear Friends, In January 2020, BlackStar Projects was established as an eventual progression of the work started with the inaugural BlackStar Film Festival in 2012. Serving as an ‘umbrella’ organization for the festival and our other programs, BlackStar the organization has expanded in two short years, from a small but mighty team of five folks working 4/5 time to a dynamic full-time staff of nine and a new office with room for the whole team and public programming. With growth comes fresh considerations, thus our first ever annual report. BlackStar occupies a unique space within the Philadelphia, national, and global landscape, playing a key role in illuminating the film and media work of Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists from around the world. A few of the artistic and organizational highlights from this year include Revival!, our collaboration with artist Rashid Zakat; the appointment of long-time cultural worker Sara Zia Ebrahimi as Deputy Director; and the launch of the inaugural Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab, in partnership with Xfinity. As an organization, we continue to grow and adapt both in the work we present and our structure. To do this has taken a tremendous amount of confidence from our community and our donors who support us as we experiment with administrative praxis and explore the boundaries of contemporary cultural production. In 2021, we presented our 10th annual festival, held a year-round print sale, published issues 002 and 003 of Seen, and organized the first annual William and Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar. None of this would be possible without the dedication and vision of our remarkable team, all of whom I am incredibly lucky to call my colleagues. I cannot help but reflect upon how much we have progressed in these last two years, and it is only because of the brilliant minds and aptitude of our staff, board, consultants, fellows, interns, seasonal staff, and volunteers. Finally, a heartfelt thanks to the many amazing artists who have worked with us this year, and to the individuals, foundations, corporations, and fellow non-profits who have supported us financially and in-kind, without whom there would be no BlackStar. Many Lumens, Maori Karmael Holmes Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Artistic Director


BlackStar At-A-Glance Number of Artists Paid

Amount Paid to Artists and Cultural Workers

Social Media Followers

70+ Press Mentions In Outlets That Reach More Than 1 Billion Readers Worldwide.

@blackstarfest + @seen_journal + @manylumens

294 $500K Total Number of Individual Donors

634

0

First Time Donors

81%

In-Person Event Attendance

3,000+ Online Event Reach

Returning Donors

19%

40K

Including: Variety, Harper's Bazaar, Deadline, Philadelphia Inquirer, Vulture, WHYY/NPR, IndieWire, Monocle, MovieMaker, and Filmmaker Magazine.

2 Million+

Number of Countries Represented

27

Featured filmmakers from Algeria, Bahamas, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Guadeloupe, Haiti, India, Lesotho, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palestine, Panama, Puerto Rico, Qatar, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tokelau, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela.


Many Lumens Many Lumens is BlackStar’s podcast carrying the animating focus of the BlackStar Film Festival outside of the festival setting. BlackStar founder Maori Karmael Holmes chats with the most groundbreaking artists, change makers, and cultural workers in the game — finding meaning in the intersections of art, social change, and popular culture. Season 1 was released in January 2021 and featured interviews with dream hampton, Janicza Bravo, Jason Reynolds, Arthur Jafa and Blitz Bazawule. In its first year the show was downloaded over 4,500 times and is now available on every major platform, including Apple, Google, Spotify, and Stitcher. We also signed on with Rowhouse Productions to begin the recording and production process for Season 2, to be released in Spring 2022.

Podcast

Listen Now

Season 1 Downloads 4,500+ Press Impressions 3 million+

Available on:


Seen Building on the success of the annual BlackStar Film Festival, we launched Seen— a bi-annual print and digital journal — to extend our critical discourse around film and visual culture to a wider audience of makers, academics, funders, critics, and film enthusiasts. Issue 002 was published in early summer of 2021 and issue 003 in fall/winter 2021. For each release we have held online conversations with featured artists and writers to further engage audiences with the content, including a conversation between Arthur Jafa and issue 003 guest editor Darol Olu Kae this December. In addition to our direct sales, the journal is currently being stocked by over fifteen vendors worldwide. In October 2021 we hired Dessane Lopez Cassell full-time as Seen’s new Editor-in-Chief and will work to continue to widen the reach of the journal in community, academic, and art circles.

Journal

“If you haven’t heard of it before, Seen is a must-read for anyone with a serious film interest.”

Harper's Bazaar


Seen

Journal

Editorial Staff

Stockists

Dessane Lopez Cassell Editor-In-Chief

Yasmine Espert Profiles & Reviews Editor

Caroline Washington Art Director

Shauna Swartz Copyeditor

Nehad Khader Managing Editor

Imran Siddiquee Communications Director

Leo Brooks Design Associate

Sydney Rodriguez Program Associate

Jasmine Weber Interviews Editor

Maori Karmael Holmes Founding Editor

Kavita Rajanna Essays Editor

“[Seen Seen] fulfills a key function at a time when spaces for thoughtful writing about cinema in general and these forms of cinema in particular are dwindling.” Jonathan Ali Issue 003 Contributor

Philadelphia Forin Cafe Harriett's Bookshop Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia Printworks The Sable Collective Thinker Makers Society Ulises Uncle Bobbie's New York Artbook @ MoMA PS1 Import News Miriam Gallery McNally Jackson The Studio Museum in Harlem

Los Angeles Reparations Club Skylight Books Tomorrow Today Baltimore Good Neighbor London magCulture New Orleans Pilot and Powell


William and Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar Based on the success of the day-long filmmakers’ symposium at the annual BlackStar Film Festival (that included 100 filmmakers of color annually), BlackStar created the William and Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar, a three-day gathering for Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists working in cinematic realms from March 19-21, 2021. Participants explored the technical and creative aspects of media-making, while having honest conversations about the successes and pitfalls of their work. There were also opportunities for filmmakers to share and receive feedback on works-in-progress, meet media funders and other gatekeepers, and explore new storytelling models emerging through the use of virtual reality, augmented reality, and transmedia projects. Our environment considered the intersection of cinema and visual arts, and was exclusively designed for people of color to focus and not manage the added burden of representation. We are currently planning for the second Seminar to take place in Baltimore in partnership with The Parkway Film Center and Maryland Institute College of Art in March 2022.

Panel at 2021 Greaves Filmmaker Seminar

“It was the most welcoming, nurturing, and liberatory seminar/ workshop I have ever participated in, throughout my journey as a filmmaker.” 2021 Participant


Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab The Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab is a year-long fellowship that supports and uplifts Black, Brown and Indigenous emerging and mid-career artists and filmmakers in the Greater Philadelphia area by providing access to equipment, funding, and mentorship, over the course of a year. BlackStar will act as an executive producer on the short films created during the Lab, providing feedback on works in progress and advice for working with crew, while Xfinity provided a major portion of the funding for production. The films will premiere at the next BlackStar Film Festival in August 2022 and will be featured on the Black Experience on Xfinity channel. Additionally, shortlisted candidates who did not receive a fellowship this cycle will receive one-on-one consultation from industry representatives courtesy of Kickstarter. The 2021 Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab fellows are Bettina Escauriza, Jasmine Lynea, Julian Turner, and Xenia Matthews. Each filmmaker has additionally been paired with a mentor who will help produce their film, and this list includes Iyabo Kwayana, Nuotama Bodomo, Marshall Tyler, and Naima Ramos Chapman.

(L-R): Jasmine Lynea, Bettina Escauriza, Xenia Matthew, Julian Turner

Bettina Escauriza’s project, Tonight, We Eat Flowers, will center on a person who sells hold music to companies, employing magical realism and the absurd to disrupt expectations. Jasmine Lynea’s hybrid film, The Love Machine, will be set in 2036 North Philadelphia in a dominantly Black neighborhood, and will focus on cultivating a new perspective on love. Julian Turner’s short The Big Three, will engage a conversation surrounding Black representation and artistic ownership through a musical setting. Xenia Matthew’s film Ourika! will utilize surrealism, animation and multimedia elements to further the ongoing conversation on the colonization of Black women’s bodies in art and material culture.


BlackStar Film Festival The 10th annual BlackStar Film Festival took place August 4-8, 2021. The Festival included both virtual screenings and panels as well as in-person outdoor screenings, an outdoor filmmaker brunch, and outdoor opening and closing night parties. This year’s Festival featured 80 films, representing 27 countries, including 18 world, two North American, and seven US premieres. In addition to the film screening Q+As, there were also 12 panels and spotlight conversations and a daily morning show during the Festival which featured interviews with filmmakers. We also held our 3rd annual Pitch of short form documentaries, awarding an artist grant from WarnerMedia. In 2021 BlackStar also became an Oscar-qualifying festival for short documenty and narrative films.

Outdoor screenings and events included 4 nights of free movies at Eakins Oval, across from Philadelphia Museum of Art.


BlackStar Film Festival “BlackStar gave me the confidence to submit to other festivals and screen my films at [other] various art institutions.” 2021 Participating Filmmaker

Award Winners — Juried Best Feature Documentary Writing With Fire Dir: Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh Best Feature Narrative Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) Dir: Arie & Chuko Esiri

5 live episodes of our morning show The Daily Jawn were streamed by over 100,000 viewers online.

Best Experimental Letter From Your Far-Off Country Dir: Suneil Sanzgiri

Best Short Documentary Dear Philadelphia Dir: Renee Maria Osubu Elena Dir: Michèle Stephenson Best Short Narrative Lizard Dir: Akinola Davies Jr.

Award Winners — Audience Best Feature Documentary Writing With Fire Dir: Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh Best Feature Narrative Beans Dir: Tracey Deer

18 world premieres, including Sophia Nahli Allison's feature documentary Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground, followed by a Q+A with filmmakers.

1 million+ reached on Facebook through 12 panels and conversations, including an "Agents and Managers Roundtable."

Best Experimental Process Dir: Christian Padron

Best Short Documentary BABYBANGZ Dir: Juliana Kasumu Best Short Narrative Abundance Dir: Kym Allen Shine Award Winner Testimony: 52nd St. and the Invisible Violence of UPenn Dir: Amelia Carter


Exhibitions Revival! Revival! is an audio-visual meditation on Black spiritual and ecstatic experience, led by artist Rashid Zakat, that was featured in the storefront of the Fabric Workshop and Museum. PHL Airport Exhibit A ten year retrospective of memorabilia from BlackStar’s film festivals opened in Terminal A of the Philadelphia Airport in summer of 2021 and will be on view through July 2022. Swarm: Terence Nance BlackStar founder and CEO Maori Karmael Holmes is curating a solo exhibition Swarm: Terence Nance at the Institute of Contemporary Art and Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. The exhibition will take place from March 10-July 9, 2023.

Opening of the PHL exhibit, July 29, 2021


Year-Round Programs BlackStar Live! Following up on the success of our live morning show during the 2020 festival, in February 2021 BlackStar produced a live variety show on four Friday nights. Co-hosted by BlackStar’s founder Maori Karmael Holmes and artist Rashid Zakat — plus special segments with scholar Dr. Yaba Blay and musician Luke Carlos O’Reilly on the keys — each episode featured interviews with filmmakers, visual artists, authors, and musicians, not to mention sketch comedy, irreverent social critique, musical performances, and much much more. The series had over 15,000 views. Community Screenings In 2021 we held a few outdoor in-person screenings outside of the Festival in partnership with the Barnes Foundation and with the Greenwood Collective. We also collaborated with Argo to curate an online playlist of short films from the 2020 Festival.

"Yaba Learns — Cooking Jollof Rice" | BlackStar Live!

Interview with Questlove | BlackStar Live!


10th Anniversary Print Sale The BlackStar 10th Anniversary Print Sale was an online fundraiser that raised funds for our organization through the sale of limited edition prints from BlackStar alums. We launched on January 15, 2021 and released prints monthly in recognition of the 10th year of the BlackStar Film Festival. Participating artists included: Andrea Pippins, Arthur Jafa, Cauleen Smith, Garrett Bradley, Damon Davis, Fahamu Pecou, Kahlil Joseph, Kevin Jerome Everson, Louis Massiah, Michelle Angela Ortiz, and Terence Nance.


Sponsored Projects BlackStar provided comprehensive and one-time grant sponsorship for the following artist-led projects in 2021. Comprehensive

Grant Specific

Hold It Down Hold It Down is a music history documentary focusing on the DIY, site-specific characteristics of the West Philadelphia House Music scene from 1998 to 2006. The project briefly traces the cultural origins of this movement and the wider influence it has left on a global genre.

Greenwood Collective Greenwood’s vision is to recreate the affluent and independent community of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street. In homage to the Williams’ Dreamland Theater, they created drive-in theaters to showcase the perspectives of Black, Brown and Indigenous filmmakers.

Spirits Up! Spirits Up! is a platform that prioritizes the empowerment of Black lives and communities through physical and digital safe spaces that foster engagement through mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and art.

OUT / SIDE OF TIME Jenn Nkiru's short art film, OUT / SIDE OF TIME, is being created as part of Hannah Beachler’s installation "Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room" installation at the MET, opening in November 2021.


Supporters Foundation Supporters

Non-Profit Supporters

Corporate Supporters

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

American Documentary/POV

Creative Artists Agency

Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Annenberg School for Communication

Eventive

Ford Foundation/JustFilms

Catapult Fund

Facebook

Independence Public Media Foundation

Cinereach

Kickstarter

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Color of Change

Lionsgate/STARZ

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Firelight Media

Netflix

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation

Impact Partners

PECO

Mighty Arrow Family Foundation

ITVS

REI Coop Studios

Nathan Cummings Foundation

Leeway Foundation

The Study Hotel

Perspective Fund

MediaJustice

Vimeo

Pew Center for Arts and Heritage

Open Society Foundations

WarnerMedia

Philadelphia Foundation/Forman Arts Initiative

PBS

Xfinity

Philadelphia Foundation/Black Community Leaders Fund

Scattergood Foundation

PopCulture Collaborative

Temple University Department of Theater, Film and Media Arts

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Gotham Film & Media Institute

Samuel S. Fels Fund

Urban Affairs Coalition/Ending Racism Partnership

Surdna Foundation

WORLD Channel

William Penn Foundation Wyncote Foundation


Supporters Individual Supporters A'Brianna Morgan Aarati Kasturirangan Aashim Bhatia Abby Shuman AC Douglas Adam Neuhaus Adeyemi Michael Adjoa Mante Adrian Adrien Gystere Peskine Adrienne Chew Aida Gashu Aija Suuta Aisha Evelyna Akeesha Washington Akiima Price Akinola Davies Jr. Alain Dennis Joinville Alana Anthony Aleni Pappas Alex Klein Alexander Alberro Alexandra Volin Avelin Alexandra E. Leigh Alexia Chororos Alfi Nurdin Alice Conconi Alicia Alisha Miranda Allison Erdneka Budschalow Alyssa Sepinwall

Amanda Branson Gill Amanda Chan Amanda Chin Amanda J. Hay Amanda Sroka Amani Morris Amber M. Clifford Amira Smith Amrou Ibrahim Amulya Makkapati Amy Sadao Ananya Malagi André Robert Lee Andrea Ogundele Gosfield Andrea Herrera Andrea Williams Andrew Hairston Anéya Sousa Angela Reginato Angelic Marie Eneh-Ortiz Angelique Scott Anna Margarita Anna Meira Neggaz Annabelle Jellinek Annalise Busekrus Anne Esacove Anne Ishii Annmarie Naples Anonymous Anthony Tidd Anthony Harper

Arie Esiri Ariell Johnson Aronte Bennett Asad Muhammad Ash Ashara S. Ekundayo Ashley Ijoema Omoma Ashley Nguyen Ashley Wabara Atiya Slaughter Autumn Meade Ava Schwemler Avery Ouellette Aymar Jean B.A. Bigham Barbara Attie Barbara Marshall Beatrice Zovich Bedatri D. Choudhury Bernadette Ziemba Bernadine Hawes Beth Jellinek Bethany Stewart Bjorn Henriques Bonnee Breese Bentum Brad Saunders Braden Lepisto Bre'ann White Bree Gant Brenda Coughlin Brenda Hernandez

Brian Maus Brian Newman Brittany Clemmons Cait Green Caleb Azumah Nelson Camden Copeland Cameron Dichter Cameron Riffle Candace Broach Candy M. Slaughter Cara Raboteau Caren Hosansky Carlo Campbell Caroline Ezzo Carter Butler Cassidy Carroll Cathie Berrey Cathryn Peirce Cauleen Smith Cecilia Fries Chantel Renee Lucas Chantelle Bateman Charisse R. Lillie Charles Carter Charles H.F. Davis, III Charles Charles Williams Charles and Annette Worthy Charlyn Griffith Chau Klink Chelsey Clark

Cheyenne Batista Chon Cousins Christine Broome Christopher Thomas Conway Chrystin Bunion Cindie Hurley Cindy Burstein Clare Kobasa Claudia Wilson Colin Hines Connie Rose Corinne Warnshuis Cornelius Moore Courtney Dailey Courtney Wilburn Craig Terry Cristina Sandolo Cristine Paull Cybee Bloss Cybele Moon Cymone Lydekk D. Isaiah Austin D'Lo Da Saint Dagmawi Woubshet Dallas Penn Damani Baker Damion Ward Dan Stoeckel Dana Brandes-Simon Dana Chee

Dani Fitzgerald Dani Roomes Daniel O. Tucker Danielle Cano Garraway Danielle Cassis Danny Orendorff Daria Benson Darian Patrick Dartricia Rollins Dawn Elissa Fischer Dean Fryn Deandra Witt Debora Kodish Deborah Thomas Denise M. Brown Denise McDaniel Henderson Devren Washington Diane Murray Dianna Cohen Dorian & Simone Missick Doris Berger Dwayne Grannum Dwight Dunston Eb Featherstone Echo Reid Edward Crawford Efe Osaren Elizabeth Neuhaus-Booth Elizabeth M. Webb Elle R. Ellen Jacob


Supporters Ellen McGirt Elliott Feldman Elliot Luscombe Emily Cavanagh Emily Letourneau Emily Marquez Emma Dill Emma Eisenberg Emma Fox Emmanuelle Delpech Eric Bai Erica Jacobs Erin Trent Johnson Eskender Woldeab Esperanza Spalding Eugene Lew Eunice Levis Eva Boodman Ezra Nepon Fadeke Castor Faith Carter Feather O. Houstoun Felicia Pride Fern Ramoutar Gabrielle Badawy Garland McLaurin Garry Dorsainvil Geneva White George McNeely George Lawrence Geraldine Wang Gerardine Aldamar Germaine Ingram

Gerrick Kennedy Gianni Anfuso Gigi Ady Gloria Mayorga-Garcia Gloria Rohlfs Grason Caldwell Gwendolyn Simmons Hallee Adelman Hana Elkhazeen Heather Gibson Moqtaderi Heather Thoma Herman Beavers Hibbard Hilary Beard Ieshea Dandridge Ina Cariño Ines Vogelfang Irma J. Mason Isaac Silber Jacob Hammes Jacob Mazer Jacquelynn Y. Orr Jahmil Eady Jakeya Caruthers James Johnson-Piett James Kilgore Janelle Edwards Janelle Scales Jannie McInnes JaSaun Buckner Jasmin Carroll Jasmine Syedullah Jason Fitzroy Jeffers

Jason Gray Jason F. Griesser Jason Patience Jason Reynolds Jazmine Harris-Branch Jeannine A. Cook Jeffery Haskins Jeffrey C. Kann Jendayi Harmon Jenna Spitz Jennifer Jordan Jennifer Slattery Jennifer Wilson Jeremiah Harper Jeri Jesse Cumming Jessica Lingel Jessica Murray Jessica Sexton Jesús Lasanta Jill Saull Jim Dempsey Jo Uhrich Joel Farran John Corbett John Morrison Johnica Rivers Joi Orr Jon Stout Jonathan Krigger Joseph L. Lewis, III Joseph Taylor Josh Begley

Josh Kelley Joshua Jourdain Searles JP Kalmeijer Juan Colomina Judilee Reed Judith Peters Judy Wicks Jules Lucas Juliana Rowen Barton Juliana Reyes Julie Rainbow Jumoke Dada Juna Keehn June Diaz Justin Williams Kalyn Jacobs Kameel Hall Karen Redrobe Karen Hamilton Karen Melton Karen Orrick Karin Sorkin Karla Roberts Katherine Hovde Kathleen Ogilvie Greene Kathryn Graham Howell Katie Adams Kaylend G. Manley Kenturah Davis Kerri Park Kevaughn Harvey Kevin Rafferty

Keyonna Butler Khari McClelland Kim Allison Fleisher Kimberly Brundidge Kimberly Clarke Kimberly Richardson Kinjal Dave Kinte Correll Kirby Griffin Kirwyn F. Sutherland, Jr. Kojo Opare Kolmel Love Krissy Mahan KT Pe Benito Kyra Pearson LaDania McCaskill LaKeisha Henderson Lakshmi Padmanabhan Lamar Brennan Lamonia Brown Lareina Phelan Larisha J. Stone Laura Goldstein Lashanda Hill LaToya Laura Heyman Laure Bender Laurel Brown Lauren Domino Lauren Holland Lauren Hunter Lauren Wright Leah Downs

Leandra Santos Lee Anne Schmitt Lee Yahya Leila Abdelrazaq Leila Buck Lela Aisha Jones Leo Brooks Leola Calzolai-Stewart Lillian Ransijn Lily Garcia Lily Medosch Lindsay Bedford Lindsey Phillips Lisa Dougan Liuba Williams Liz Jacobs Lodi Matsetela Louis Manon Louis Ortiz Louis Saddler Luis Cocka Lynette Vargas Mable Bakali Mackenzie Foy Maddy Kane Makeba Rainey Malachi Lily Maori Holmes Mara Abera Marcia Smith Margaret Harris Maria Santos Marian Masone


Supporters Marion Cunningham Marisa Musing Mark Richards Marnee Simon Mary Bailey Mary Jepson Mary Rathman Maryam April Pugh Maryum Styles Maximino Rodriguez Maya Thomas Mckayla Warwick Meg Onli Megan Gangitano-Gurvis Melissa Bisagni Melissa Simpson Mercedes Martinez Michael Burns Michael Butler Michael Dennis Michael Fichman Michael Flöer Michael Garden Michael Gillespie Michael Hunt Michael Long Michael Sponseller Michael Wellenreiter Michaela Purdue Lovegood Michelle Greenberg Michelle Sonsino Michelle Taylor Mieke Duffly

Mike Maiorini Mikhaile Solomon Miki Poy Millynn W. Mishell Kneeland Monica Campbell Monica Ferreira Monica Waits Monique Perry Mordecai Cargill Mylon Medley Mytili Jagannathan Nabil Vinas Nadhege Ptah Nadine Patterson Naima Nakita Joseph Naomi Skoglund Nataleah Hunter-Young Nawshaba Siddiquee Nicole N. Keys Nicole Pollard Nicole Wilson Nikki Osborne Nora M. Alter Nour Qutyan Nzadi Keita Oceana Sawyer Oliver Hardt Olivia Lapeyrolerie Olivia Nelson Omonivie Hope Agboghidi Onye Anyanwu

Pamela Smith Patrice Worthy Patricia Collins Patrick De Castro Patrick Ganley Patrick & Deloris Hogan Paul M. Farber Paula Marincola Pheralyn Dove Ping Ping Feng Quaintella Asberry Queen Sheree R. Peggy Smith Ra'anan Alexandrowicz Rachel Bers Rachel Spruill Rachelle Rae Shaw Rahdi Taylor Rahwa Asmerom Rajendra Roy Rakia Reynolds Rama Assaf-Smith Ramona Patillo Rea Tajiri Rebecca Smyrl Reese Cogswell Richard Ray Perez Rick Krajewski Risë Wilson Robert Grand Robert Rochelle Nichols-Solomon

Rochelle T. Rodd Houston Roman Krivitsky Rose L. Johnson Rose Franzen Roshmond Patten Roya Rastegar Rupa Pillai Sabrina Stewart Sahar Sadeghi Sam Katz Samina Sattar Sara Khayat Sarah Lewis Sarah Olson Sarah F. Peoples Sean Flynn Sekou & Jasmine Campbell Selina Morales Shadia Fayne Wood Shalonda Cornitcher Shanel James Shannon Healey Shant Sharif Lacey Sharon G. Hardnett Sharon Mullally Shawn Holmes Shawn Koyano Shelly Siara Slydell Simi Esan Simon Benjamin

Smart Corp Sonny Kalsi Sonya R. Kearney Sophie Traub Sreedevi Sripathy Stacey Uy Steffanie Blackmon Stephanie Ayanian Stephanie Baptist Stephanie Owens Stephen Drain Steve Vassor Sue Scheibler Suruchi Keenheel Susan Pulongbarit Susan Rutberg Susan Shulman Susan Wiencke Suzi Analogue Tabitha Jackson Tahir Hemphill Tajah Ebram Takaaki Okada Taneisheo Ferguson Tania Hewes Tanisha Cummings Tanya Fonville Tara Frye Tarana J Burke Tatiana Suuta Tayyib Smith Tempest Carter Terence Oliver

Theresa Angela Theresa Manley Thomas Callahan Thomasena Farrar Tillie Eze Tim McFarlane Timothy Day Titiana Fonville Tom Gangitano Tom White Tony Heriza Tonya Pinkins Tracy Landauer Trina Middleton Ursula Kay Gilmore Valerie Nehez Veialu Aila-Unsworth Vernice Miller Travis Veronica Stickelman Whitney Muse William M. Cobb William D. Tucker Xenobia Bailey Yali P. Yance Ford Yolanda R. Beckers Yolonda Brinkley Yusuf Ahmed Siddiquee Yves Miguel Laroque Yvette Vega Zachary I. Jeremiah


Staff & Consultants BlackStar Projects Staff

Business Team

Akili Davis Administrative Coordinator

Lendl Tellington Technical Director

Accountant Joyce E. Miller / J. Miller & Associates

Cienna Benn Program Fellow (2021-2022)

Leo Brooks Communications and Design Associate

Accounting Services Firm Sutro Li

David Adams Music in Cinema Fellow (2021-2022)

Lorina Morton Marketing Associate

Bookkeeping and Financial Consultant Melissa MacNair

Dessane Lopez Cassell Editor-in-Chief, Seen

Maori Karmael Holmes Artistic Director & CEO

Development Consultant Jess Garz

Farrah Rahaman Research & Curatorial Fellow

Nehad Khader Festival Director & Managing Editor, Seen

Legal Counsel Anjali Kumar

Hope Steinman-Iacullo Executive Coordinator

Patrice Worthy Director of Programs

Media Relations Cultural Counsel

Imran Siddiquee Communications Director

Sara Zia Ebrahimi Deputy Director

James Doolittle Lab Supervising Producer

Sydney Alicia Rodriguez Program Associate

Kira Rodriguez Administrative Coordinator

Tshay Williams Lab Producer

Lauren Hunter Operations Director


Board of Directors Denise C. Beek Chief Communications Officer, ‘me too.’ International Co-Chair Sekou Campbell Partner, Culhane Meadows PLLC Co-Chair Amanda Branson Gill Co-Founder, Kilo Films Treasurer Tayyib Smith Principal, Little Giant, Smith & Roller, Pipeline Philly Secretary Maori Karmael Holmes Artistic Director & CEO, BlackStar Michael Garden Principal, Michael Garden Group Sunanda Ghosh Nonprofit Strategy Consultant Taj Reid Global Chief Experience Officer, Edelman Ted Passon President, All Ages Productions


BlackStar staff and board gather in Cape May, NJ. October 2021.