New Teen-Produced Documentary

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UPDATE: The next community screening for “Rhythm and Race: A History of African American Music in Grand Rapids” will take place Thursday, May 11 at 7 p.m. at The Wealthy Theatre. Please join us for this free event.

On February 28, WMCAT’s Advanced Video Production Studio hosted the first screening of their new documentary “Rhythm and Race: A History of African American Music in Grand Rapids.” The screening included a panel discussion and feedback session with our teen filmmakers, WMCAT Teaching Artist and Film Director Mike Saunders, and Founder of the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives George Bayard.

Our studio is back to the editing suite as they continue to work toward a final film. Future screenings are planned — be sure to keep up with our social media channels and this page for screening dates and locations. If you’re interested in hosting a screening or connecting with our video studio, please contact Trudy Ngo-Brown, WMCAT Teen Program Director.

This film project¬†explores how music genres influenced social justice, advanced equity for African Americans, and served as platform for shining a light on injustice and racism from post World War II through the early 1970s in Grand Rapids. “Rhythm and Race” includes rare photos and recordings, as well as interviews with musicians and historians. All interviews conducted for the project will be part of the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives permanent archive collection.

Coverage of premiere on GRNow

This project made possible with support from

MI humanities council logo