You are never too famous to escape racism and racial profiling. Awadagin Pratt is a renowned concert pianist, conductor, and violinist. In 1992, Mr. Pratt won the prestigious Naumburg International Piano Competition. Pratt is acclaimed for his musical prowess, skilled recitals, and performances with symphony orchestras. He has graced the stage at numerous prestigious venues, including the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. His performance portfolio includes performances for two United States presidents, President Clinton and President Obama.
On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd. His arrest and murder were recorded on camera by a witness and documents Mr. Floyd begging for his life and unconscious under the knee of three police officers. George Floyd’s televised murder triggers a response in Awadagin Pratt, and Pratt begins to relive countless police stops, racial profiling, and harassment. The film Awadagin Pratt: Black in America reveals his climb to fame and is a candid conversation about what it is like to be a person of color in the United States. Awadagin Pratt: Black in America confronts issues of privilege and racism in America and tells a personal account of an all-too-common experience for many people of color in America and worldwide.
AWADAGIN PRATT: BLACK IN AMERICA
Documentary films revealing the tour de force of life.
For a writer, it’s a word. For a composer or a musician, it’s a note.
For an editor or a filmmaker, it’s a frame.
- Quentin Tarantino
Storytelling provides valuable contributions to the discourse on political and social issues of our day and transforms the way people confront those issues. Utilizing the medium of film and installation, I address personal memories, loss, racism, and the construction of romantic and social mythologies about women, aging, and even everyday heroism. I seek to relate the complexity of human emotions and responses in my work. Often using personal narratives and gathered experiences, my work discusses the manifestation of violence, social constraints, personal loss, and individual triumphs. Combining techniques of montage and collage, I combine original footage with found footage and dialog. Metaphors and implied meanings are the basis for my image selection and fuel the content of my work. My film and artwork ask the viewer to critically examine humanity and the tour de force of life.
Among his generation of concert artists, pianist
Awadagin Pratt is acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involving performances in recitals and with
Michelle Bauer Carpenter is a Filmmaker and Professor in the College of Arts & Media at the University of Colorado Denver. Carpenter has produced, directed, and edited award-winning documentary pieces. Her video pieces have been screened in numerous international and national film festivals, art galleries, and on broadcast television. Carpenter’s film, "Enough White Teacups," continues to screen nationally and internationally and has won numerous awards, including the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Heartland Chapter Award for Graphic Design and Best Foreign Film Award, among others.
Michelle Bauer Carpenter
Joshua Blair- Associate Producer, Creative Director and Motion Artist
Joshua Blair is a designer, and visual artist focused on branding, marketing, narrative, and experience.
Leslie Gaston- Associate Producer, Bird CAS, AMPS, MPSE- Audio Engineer and Re-recording Mixer
Leslie Gaston-Bird (CAS, AMPS, MPSE) is the author of the book "Women in Audio," part of the AES Presents series published by Focal Press (Routledge). She is an Avid Certified Dolby Atmos Professional, and Dante Level-3 Certified audio engineer.
Mark Rabideau- Associate Producer and Music Consultant
Mark Rabideau is an author, speaker, educator, administrator, artist-entrepreneur, and an international leader in reimagining how artists and institutions can thrive within the contemporary marketplace and respond to the challenges and opportunities we face in the 21st century.
Travis Vermilye- Associate Producer and 3D Animator
Travis Vermilye is a digital and mixed-media artist who creates imagery inspired by the natural world. His abstract digital imagery and animated short films invite you to gaze into a dream-like microscopic realm and find a sense of joyous calm within the organic forms on display.
Trevr Merchant- Director of Photography and Colorist
Trevr Merchant is the co-founder and Director of Photography at Torch Media. https://www.torch.media/
Brandon Tabaha- Production and Research Assistant
For more information about the team, visit the Expertise Page.
Awadagin Pratt: Black in America to screen at FILMTEETH Film Festival in the Washington, DC suburbs of Bethesda, MD, and Vienna, VA between June 18-19, 2023
Check your local PBS stations for upcoming dates!