City Life Org – ALL ARTS presents four films by artists in residence Le’Andra LeSeur, DonChristian Jones, Jonathan McCrory and Matthew Whitaker on April 3 and 10

Matthew Whitaker. Photo credit: Jason Tanaka Blaney

Features a collaboration with The Shed’s Open Call commissioning program for New York-based emerging artists

ALL THE ARTSthe multimedia platform spanning visual arts, music, theatre, dance, film and literature, presents four film projects by Le’Andra LeSeur, DonChristian Jones, Jonathan McCrory and Matthew Whitaker commissioned as part of its program Artist in Residence 2022. The films are part of the new ALL THE ARTS Artist in residence series, premiering nationwide Sundays, April 3-10, 8-9 p.m. ET on the free ALL ARTS app and AllArts.org/artistinresidence, and in the New York metro area on the ALL ARTS TV channel (range of strings) .

The annual festival series begins Sunday, April 3 at 8 p.m. ET on ALL ARTS with Matthew Whitaker: About Tomorrowa film about the blind young American jazz piano prodigy, directed by Steven Tabakin, followed by Roll Call: The Roots of Strange Fruits, a three-part rhythm performance designed by Jonathan McCrory of the National Black Theatre. The series continues Sunday, April 10 at 8 p.m. ET on ALL ARTS with There is no movement without rhythma multimedia performance directed by Le’Andra LeSeur which precedes the artist’s first solo exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery in New York in May, and concludes with Volvo truck and the girls from up the hill, an immersive performance by multimedia artist DonChristian Jones. All movies will have audio description (AD) and closed captioning (CC) available.

ALL ARTS Artist in Residence Season 2022:

Matthew Whitaker: About Tomorrow
Premieres Sunday, April 3 at 8 p.m. ET on ALL ARTS
Access: AD, CC available.

Matthew Whitaker, a jazz artist blind from birth, explores what it means to gain independence as an artist and a young man in transition to adulthood. Directed by Steven Tabakin, the film takes a closer look at Whitaker’s interest in film music and the mentors who help him on his path to artistic discovery, including film composer John Califra, film music supervisor Susan Jacobs, Broadway musical director and arranger Zane Mark and voice actor and arranger Michael McElroy. Matthew Whitaker: About Tomorrow features original film music by Matthew Whitaker, the artist’s first foray into film composition. Renowned for happily blending old-school jazz with new-school sounds, Whitaker has toured the United States and abroad, performing on such prestigious stages as Lincoln Center, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater and the Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts.

Roll Call: The Roots of Strange Fruits
National premiere Sunday, April 3 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ALL ARTS
Access: AD, CC available.

Conceived and directed by Obie Award winner Jonathan McCrory, Executive Artistic Director of the National Black Theatre, this performance film draws on historical documents from 1619 to abolition to explore the black experience of slavery. Presented in three chapters, the visual and sonic opera features an immersive chorus of voices rhythmically reciting bidding blocks, fleeting advertisements and “Information Wanted” notices. By recounting the practices of slavery, the original work unearths the journey of black people in America and creates a space for recovery and healing. Roll Call: The Roots of Strange Fruits is anchored by a solo dance performance by LaWanda Hopkins, choreographed by Rickey Tripp (“Dreamgirls,” Dallas Theater Center Production, Irma P. Hall Black Theater Award for Best Choreography).

There is no movement without rhythm
Premieres Sunday, April 10 at 8 p.m. ET on ALL ARTS
Access: AD, CC available.

Le’Andra LeSeur is a multidisciplinary artist whose work encompasses a range of media including video, installation, photography, painting and performance. In this film, the artist develops a multi-channel video and performance piece of the same name premiering at The Shed in New York in 2021. With original choreography performed by India Hobbs with music by the Mama Foundation choir for the Arts and DJ MUSE(O)FEU, There is no movement without rhythm explores bodily and spiritual liberation in African diaspora music through a collage of performances, artist conversations and abstract visuals.

Volvo truck and the girls from up the hill
Premieres Sunday, April 10 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ALL ARTS
Access: AD, CC available.

Multimedia artist DonChristian Jones uses his 2021 “Volvo Truck” presentation at the Shed in New York as a starting point. The original performance installation was an abstract, multi-sensory experience inspired by the artist’s youth in Philadelphia in the 2000s and his reverence for his mother and four sisters. In Volvo truck and the girls from up the hill, Jones reimagines his impressionistic performance specifically for ALL THE ARTS using newly shot footage and stock photos not seen in the original performance. The resulting film is a kaleidoscope of sound and image, and a unique examination of the artist’s ancestry.

“We are thrilled to feature these four talented black artists as part of our annual Artist-in-Residence program,” said James King, artistic director of TOUS LES ARTS. “By commissioning emerging and established artists across all disciplines, we hope to introduce audiences to a wide range of artists and mediums.”

ALL ARTS artist in residence The program kicked off in 2021 with Taylor Mac, MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist, as the first artist-in-residence. Mac Whitman in the woods. (2021), a drag performance film exploring the poetry of Walt Whitman, is streaming now on the free ALL ARTS app and AllArts.org. Last year, ALL ARTS expanded its Artist-in-Residence program through a partnership with The Shed’s Open Call, a large-scale commissioning program for New York-based early-career artists.

“We are thrilled to partner with ALL ARTS to further amplify and support artists DonChristian Jones and Le’Andra LeSeur of The Shed’s Open Call,” said Tamara McCaw, Civic Program Director of The Shed. “As our communities, our city and our cultural sector continue to rebuild, the ALL ARTS and The Shed partnership allows us to leverage our individual strengths for collective impact, providing meaningful resources, funding and visibility to local artists.”

The ALL ARTS 2023 Artist-in-Residence Program will be announced at a later date.

Created by The WNET Group, ALL ARTS was launched in 2019 to provide access to all forms of creative expression from New York and around the world. As a free cross-platform streaming service, ALL ARTS reduces barriers to experiencing the arts and creates new audiences for cultural organizations.

Matthew Whitaker: About Tomorrow is directed and produced by Steven Tabakin and is a production of Triple Birch Media. Matthew Whitaker is a producer. Michelle Taylor is executive producer. Jason Tanaka Blaney is director of photography. Jon Fine is editor-in-chief. Mixed by Scott M. Riesett. Original music by Matthew Whitaker.

Roll Call: The Roots of Strange Fruits is designed and directed by Jonathan McCrory. National Black Theater and Creative Doula LLC are executive producers. Chaitanya Sangco and Joy Abalon Tamayo of Brick Shop Audio are composers. Thomas Wirthensohn is director of photography and editor.

There is no movement without rhythm is directed by Le’Andra LeSeur. April Maxey is director of photography.

Volvo truck and the girls from up the hill is written and directed by DonChristian Jones with an original score by the artist. It was adapted for the screen by DonChristian Jones and Jake Robbins. Robbins served as an editor and VFX artist.

For ALL THE ARTS: Jake King is the producer. Kristy Geslain and Joe Harrell are executive producers. James King is artistic director. Diane Masciale and Neal Shapiro are the responsible executives.

Leadership support for ALL THE ARTS is generously provided by Jody and John Arnhold and The Arnhold Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim, III, The Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, The Jerome L. Greene Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Anderson Family Fund, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Estate of Roland Karlen. Support for Matthew Whitaker’s residency through the Kate W. Cassidy Artist in Residence program is made possible in part by the Barbara and Gary Brandt Foundation.

About ALL ARTS
ALL ARTS innovates as the premier destination for inspiration, creativity and art in all its forms. This Emmy-winning New York arts and culture hub is created by WNET Group, the community-supported home of New York’s PBS stations. In an effort to be accessible to viewers around the world, ALL ARTS’ Webby-nominated programming – from digital shorts to feature films – is available online nationwide through AllArts.org, the free ALL ARTS app on all major streaming platforms and @AllArtsTV on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Viewers in the New York area can also watch the broadcast channel 24/7. For all the ways to watch, visit AllArts.org/Everywhere.

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