By Heather Pollak, Development Manager, The Ellington Fund
You’re invited to a special preview film screening of Emmy Award-winning director Mustapha Khan’s documentary Song For Our People on Friday, February 8, at Duke Ellington School of the Arts theater. The free event encompasses the film screening at 7 pm and a community conversation at 8 pm with Khan and musicians from the film moderated by Derek McGinty. Please reserve tickets here.
Those who purchase a reception ticket for $75 are also entitled to take a brief building tour beginning at 6 pm. The tour focuses on some of the art in the building paired with performances inspired by the artworks by the school’s show choir, Voices in Motion. Attendees are encouraged to donate during the entire event. Your contribution will help to support talented high school students who might not otherwise have an opportunity to develop their artistic skills.
As the project website notes, “The film tells the story of an intriguing group of musicians and artists who come together one day in a Brooklyn recording studio to create a powerful new anthem to honor the perseverance of their African American ancestors. Featuring a who’s who of New York studio musicians, the film is both a rare glimpse into the collaborative creative process of professional artists, and a compelling examination of what it means to be part of the on-going historical struggle for full freedom for Black and Brown people in America.”
Also on the website is this endorsement by Tia Powell Harris, CEO of Duke Ellington School of the Arts: “Song For Our People is an anthem that has taken its rightful place alongside Lift Every Voice and Sing and To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. The song's central message 'what have you done with your freedom?', demands a level of personal introspection that will no doubt challenge, re-activate and spiritually fortify each of us to recommit ourselves to the continuous struggle for equity and social justice...if not for ourselves, then most assuredly for our children.”