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Allyson was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, and currently works in North Carolina and Georgia in the film industry. She has worked on a variety of video shoots throughout the past 4 years, ranging from thriller feature films to reality television shows, and many more in between. Allyson has a deep appreciation for humankind and wants her work to reflect the idea that every human is valuable and important in the world. Her passion for storytelling through cameras drives her to continue pursuing her dream as a director of photography, has brought her to many new parts of the country, and taught her valuable life lessons along the way. Find more of Allyson's work here: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9945834/
We talk with Cheryl Toussaint, Jean Bell, and Erica Stanley-Dottin about their experience coaching girls and women for the Colgate Women's Game. The games have been happening for 47 years and was founded by Us Olympic Track Team coach Fred Thompson. These women discuss the Netflix film "Sisters on Track" which highlights 3 young girls who find purpose in track through their Coach Jean Bell and competing in the Colgate Womens Games. To keep up with the Colgate Games visit their website: https://www.colgatewomensgames.com/ and https://sistersontrack.com/ to find out more about the film.
Ignacio Marquez is an actor and director chatting with us about his film "Special". and the importance of creating space for creatives and artists with disabilities. Marquez believes that the film industry should take the limits off actors with Down-Syndrome. He has a beautiful love for Afro-Venezuelan music, food, and art and expresses these themes in his film. Watch "Special" on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p83llwgk-ts
We chat with the steadfast cinematographer and director Tyla Barnes who’s never stopped believing in the power of magic. During childhood, enticed by the ability to create things that were once impossible, she found film as a transformative portal to connect our past and present selves. She is a Black woman creative who shares with us the importance of collaborating in film and getting started!
We explore the origin story of actor and creative Byron Johnson as he takes us on the journey of acting becoming his passion. Byron explains how he stays disciplined in between landing roles and he shares a quick monologue with us! Get inspired! Listen in!  Visit our website: https://www.artofme.org/
Commercial, Editorial and Video Producer Kenley Duke invites us into the world of brand storytelling and marketing production. We explore the tenacity needed to function in large roles on set while also prioritizing our own self-care and business goals with other creatives. Kenley is a force here to share with us how taking risks and keeping the faith has helped her enter challenging but rewarding spaces. Tune into this episode!Kenley Duke's Social MediaInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/kenleyduke/Twitter: https://twitter.com/kenleydukeMieux Ensemble Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mieuxensemble.co/Mieux Ensemble Website: https://www.mieuxensemble.co/mobile Visit our website: https://www.artofme.org/Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This episode is about Josh Leong and Sofia's film "The Otherside". This film was shot in Ethiopia in 2020. It is about an orphan named, "Abel", who's about to age out of the foster system. This film is a call to shine a light on the abandoned children crisis in Ethiopia.
For this episode, we talk with cinematographer, Malcolm Lott, about visual storytelling through the eyes of the lens. We also look into Malcolm's life as a content creator and his perspective on being creative in the modern age. Malcolm Lott is a freelance filmmaker, Director of Photography, and content creator from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He found his passion for media and film when he was a junior in high school. Since then, he has worked with the industry's elite companies such as NBC, the Nate Parker Foundation, and Cross Colours. He is devoted to making content that leaves a long-lasting impact and creates what’s never been created before. 
Brianna Clay has a brave conversation with us about examining what it means to be a Black woman, honoring Black women through storytelling, and telling stories that have yet to be brought to life but can educate and ground us into the history of Black people. About Brianna Clay:Brianna Clay is a writer, filmmaker, and content curator from Chicago who aims to tell stories that inspire change, fosters healing, and empowers underrepresented communities. She believes art is activism and sees storytelling as a vehicle for social change. In 2018 she co-directed the film Black Bones while attending the Nate Parker Film Institute which was screened at the 27th Annual Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. In 2020 she curated and produced a short video entitled Breathe as a response to the unjust killing of George Floyd and the protests that took place shortly after.  Brianna continues to write, direct, and produce stories that positively impact society by using visual storytelling as a platform to raise awareness and cultivate empathy. She continues to work on personal projects focusing on stories that are often left untold.
Nate Parker discusses his latest film “American Skin”, why now is the time to put Black stories on screen, and how storytelling is the legacy we leave behind for those who come after us. About Nate Parker:Nate Parker is an award-winning actor, writer, director and producer, who has played lead characters and held starring roles in at least 19 films, including American Skin, Beyond The Lights, Red Tails, The Secret Life of Bees, Arbitrage, and Pride. Most recently, Parker wrote, directed, and starred in the  film, The Birth of a Nation, which tells the story of Nat Turner (played by Parker) who famously led the 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia. In his vision for the film, Parker expresses his deep desire to challenge the country to “heal from racial trauma through an honest confrontation with our past.” The Birth of a Nation won both of Sundance’s most sought-after honors: the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize. In addition to being a prolific artist, he is also a devoted activist. Parker says “If I am to be remembered by anyone, I would hope, those people speak my name as an individual who possessed a riotous disposition toward injustice, offering life and career as one of service to the marginalized, subjugated and oppressed peoples of the world.” Parker recently launched the Nate Parker Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to confront systemic crises and disparities within the African and African American communities in the areas of education, cultural enrichment, and social and economic justice. He is an outspoken advocate for racial equality, dedicating much of his time to closing the opportunity gap for boys and young men of color. Parker holds a degree in Computer Programming from the University of Oklahoma and an honorary Doctorate from Wiley College.
Chanda talks to EYEJ students Carrington Hughes, Arunima Gupta , and Richa Kuklani about the digital divide, lack of Black representation in film and media, and what the future may hold for student-oriented learning and less teacher-focused classrooms. EYEJ (Empowering Youth Exploring Justice) is a nonprofit organization that drives social justice reform by empowering young people to advocate for change.Carrington Hughes is a 16-year-old sophomore at Shaker Heights school. Her journey with EYEJ began with the YODJ program. She is now a member of the EYEJ youth council as a recruiter and speaker. She is also the creator and owner of the blog @trulymetanoia on Instagram.Arunima Gupta is a senior at the Academy for Math, Science, and Engineering in Rockaway, NJ. She is extremely passionate about education, cognitive science, and mental health. Outside of school, Arunima enjoys singing, dancing, playing tennis, volunteering, and talking to friends.Richa Kuklani is a senior in Pennsylvania. She is involved in many activities relating to science, education, and social justice. She joined EYEJ because of how the organization gave youth the opportunity to try to solve injustices and challenges facing various communities. 
Actor/Director Jimmie Woody talks to Chanda about the Woody Restoration Art Incubator in Inner City Cleveland, his unconventional, fulfilling career path, and surrounding yourself with people who help you grow.About Jimmie Woody:Jimmie Woody most recently played Preston Walker in Nicole Salter’s Breakout Session/Frogorse’at Cleveland Public Theatre, Brucie in Lynn Nottage’s ‘Sweat’ at Cleveland Playhouse and he performed a workshop production of his one-man show Tale of a Gemini rising at Cleveland Public Theatre. Some of his most recent directorial credits include:, ‘Brownsville Song/BSide for Tray’ (Dobama Theatre), ‘Art of Longing’ by Lisa Langford (Cleveland Public Theatre), ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, ‘Clybourne Park’ by Bruce Norris and ‘Raisin in the Sun’ by Lorrainne Hansberry (Weathervane Playhouse), ‘Lower Depths’ by Maxim Gorky, ‘The America Play’ by Suzan-Lori Parks (University of Akron), ‘Underground Griots’ by Natalie Parker & Keith Josef Adkins (Cleveland Public Theatre, The National Black Theater Festival and Here Café NYC), ’Wilberforce’ & ’Hollis Mugley’s Only Wish’ by Keith Josef Adkins and (Cleveland Public Theatre, The National Black Theater Festival & New York Hip Hop Festival), ‘The Baachae’ written by Wole Soyinka (Cleveland Public Theatre and Columbia University), ‘Song’ by Daniel Gray Kontar and ’InCogNegro’ by Lisa Langford (Cleveland Public Theatre). Jimmie received his M.F.A. in acting from Columbia University. He is a 2019-2020 Cleveland Public Theatre ‘Premiere Fellow’ and a 2012 Creative Workforce Fellow in theater. The GoFundMe for the Woody Restoration Art Incubator Project: https://www.gofundme.com/f/woody-restoration-art-incubator-project-phase-1
Set Hernandez Rongkilyo talks to Art of Me hosts Chanda Bynum and Rose Gramajo about their upbringing and what fuels them to continue working on films that tell the stories of undocumented immigrants.About Set: Set Hernandez Rongkilyo is an undocumented immigrant filmmaker and community organizer, whose roots come from Bicol, Philippines. As part of the Disruptors Fellowship, Set is developing a TV pilot about the undocumented experience. They have directed/produced many short documentaries, including the award-winning “COVER/AGE” (2019) about healthcare expansion for undocumented immigrants. They served as Impact Producer for "In Plain Sight" (2020) by renowned artists Cassils and rafa esparza, and for PJ Raval’s "Call Her Ganda" (Tribeca, 2018). They are the co-founder of the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective which advances equity for undocumented immigrants in the media industry.
Veteran New York City broadcaster and journalism educator Ernabel Demillo talks to Chanda Bynum about her beginnings in television journalism, lesser-known truths about Asian diversity, the difference between being an aspiring TV journalist now and in the past, and interesting stories that aren't being shared—but that really need to be!About Ernabel Demillo:Ernabel is a veteran New York City broadcaster and journalism educator.  For 10 years, she worked as a reporter and anchor on the Emmy-award winning FOX morning news show, “Good Day New York.”  Before coming to New York, she was a reporter for the Orange County Newschannel and the CBS-affiliate in Sacramento.   She currently hosts and reports for CUNY-TV’s 7-time Emmy-nominated program “Asian American Life”, a magazine show focusing on the Asian American community.  She is also a tenured Journalism professor at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J.  and currently serves as faculty chair of the Department of Communication and Media Culture. 
Chanda Bynum talks to Aseelah Shareef of Cleveland's Karamu House about Step Afrika!, her experiences traveling internationally as a professional dancer, the powerful healing effects of dance, and much more!About Aseelah Shareef:Aseelah Shareef offers a unique combination and understanding of inspirational leadership, operations and logistics, organizational programming, and artistry, developed through intense non-profit environments demanding excellence, flexibility and the capacity to master multiple roles. Just a few of those roles include performing in Step Afrika!, the world’s only professional dance company dedicated to the art of stepping (body percussion), which toured nationally and internationally, and teaching and co-creating new curriculum for Dance at Cuyahoga Community College. Aseelah was the former executive director of Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre, Events Manager for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Director of Dance for Cleveland School of the Arts. Her most recent role is Director of Operations and Community Engagement at Karamu House, where she implements operational efficiencies across product lines, has developed new arts residency programs, as well as curates socially and culturally responsive community arts experiences including after-school and weekend arts education models for life-long learners. She is also currently serving as the Interim Executive Director of the Cleveland Arts Prize, the nation’s oldest municipal arts award.  She was a member of the inaugural 2019 Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Fellowship cohort sponsored by Americans for the Arts, The Joyce Foundation and American Express.  Her community involvement includes membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Cleveland Arts Prize (Board Trustee), Ohio Citizens for the Arts (Board Member), the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Foundation (Board Member), Future Heights Grantmaking Committee (member) and College Now Greater Cleveland (mentor).  Aseelah holds an MA in Arts Administration and BS in Exercise Science from The Florida State University.  
In this episode, host Chanda Bynum talks to Filipino American filmmaker PJ Raval about his creative process, and the intersection between film making and activism.About PJ Raval:PJ Raval is a queer, first generation Filipino American filmmaker whose work explores the overlooked subcultures and identities within the already marginalized LGBTQ+ community.  Named one of Out Magazine’s “Out 100”, PJ’s feature credits include TRINIDAD (Showtime), BEFORE YOU KNOW IT (PBS), and CALL HER GANDA (GLAAD Media Award nominee) which recently broadcast on POV to millions of PBS viewers. Also an accomplished cinematographer, PJ shot the Academy Award‐nominated Best Documentary TROUBLE THE WATER and is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, 2016 Firelight Media Fellow, 2017 Robert Giard Fellow, and a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
In this episode, host Chanda Bynum talks to creative powerhouse Mike Berry about how to stay creative and motivated during these trying times. About Mike Berry:Mike Berry began his career in entertainment in 1998 with his first rap album, "Weight of the World," which made it into Billboard Charts top R&B/Hip Hop albums. His sophomore album, "8mm Film" spawned the hit single, "Me without a Rhyme," which also charted in Billboard Magazine's Top 100. His first feature film, "The Skip Thomas Project" screened in 2012. In 2014, Mike helped adapt the screenplay, "If You Knew Better, You'd Do Better," written by Cleveland Native and award-winning playwright Philly Weeden, and later went on to be the movie's Director and Co-Producer. Mike has also directed with the likes of Omar Gooding, Clifton Powell, and Joe Estevez in the hit film "Banger", which premiered on DirectTv in 2018. He also directed and co-produced "Hey Mr. Postman," a comedy featuring Paula Jai Parker, A.J. Johnson, and Rodney Perry. In 2018, Mike directed "Ray Jr's Rent Due", which showcased social media heavyweights Ha-Ha Davis, B-Simone, Landon Romano, and Rap icon Machine Gun Kelly, and was picked up by Starz/Hulu.When not filming, Mike heads "Releasing The Pressure," a non-profit which serves as a resource for those who deal with (or suspect they are dealing with) depression. His latest film "A State of Mind" also tackles depression.Mike is a firm believer in the idea, "Work with what you have right now, RIGHT NOW!"
How do we define community, and how do communities define us? Aviva Pusey talks to Chanda Bynum about the importance of community and what it means to her. About Chanda:Chanda Bynum is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and has been writing short stories since the age of ten. Introduced to spoken word and playwriting in high school, she has always felt compelled to tell her personal story and the stories of other people around her. Chanda desires to not only direct movies but also to write and produce a television series on a popular television network. Currently, she is interested in servicing others by telling their personal stories through unique perspectives and visuals to inspire diverse readership and viewership and bring people from all different backgrounds together. 
How is COVID-19 changing education? In this two-part episode, Stephanie and Cecilia talk with Cleveland-based Principal Quenton Davis about the short-term and long-term effects of COVID-19 on the public school system from his perspective as an educator.About Quenton Davis:Quenton Davis is currently a proud Principal who aides his teachers with cultivating and molding his scholars into productive high school students that will embark upon college, career endeavors, or military options.  As a native of Atlanta, Georgia, he is a proud graduate of The Unsinkable Albany State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Middle Grades Education. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree, he began to teach for his alma mater school district outside of Atlanta, Clayton County Public Schools. After 2 years in Clayton, he began educating the youth of Spalding County School System. Spalding County schools gave Mr. Davis the opportunity to engage the district’s teachers with professional development sessions, create model English lesson plans for district English teachers that covered common core, and become a member of the administrative team that gave vision and leadership to turn around the worst-performing school in the district to the number two school in the district. During his teaching years, he received a Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Central Michigan University and a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Columbus State University. Mr. Davis brings a diverse background in teaching strategies, effective discipline strategies, assessment practices, and student engagement. He has a strong passion for ensuring that every student and teacher realizes their potential and creating positive opportunities for them to maximize their potential. 
How is COVID-19 changing education? In this two-part episode, Stephanie and Cecilia talk with Cleveland-based Principal Quenton Davis about the short-term and long-term effects of COVID-19 on the public school system from his perspective as an educator.About Quenton Davis:Quenton Davis is currently a proud Principal who aides his teachers with cultivating and molding his scholars into productive high school students that will embark upon college, career endeavors, or military options.  As a native of Atlanta, Georgia, he is a proud graduate of The Unsinkable Albany State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Middle Grades Education. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree, he began to teach for his alma mater school district outside of Atlanta, Clayton County Public Schools. After 2 years in Clayton, he began educating the youth of Spalding County School System. Spalding County schools gave Mr. Davis the opportunity to engage the district’s teachers with professional development sessions, create model English lesson plans for district English teachers that covered common core, and become a member of the administrative team that gave vision and leadership to turn around the worst-performing school in the district to the number two school in the district. During his teaching years, he received a Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Central Michigan University and a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Columbus State University. Mr. Davis brings a diverse background in teaching strategies, effective discipline strategies, assessment practices, and student engagement. He has a strong passion for ensuring that every student and teacher realizes their potential and creating positive opportunities for them to maximize their potential. 
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