Looking for Partners (see below)
Suggested for Grades 6-12
Created by Dominic Moore-Dunson in collaboration with Kevin Parker, assisted by Bill Wade
Artie and the ‘Black Card’ is a live-action dance theatre cartoon about Artie Alvin Beatty III, a young homeschooled black boy with a highly overdeveloped inner-sphere. Artie’s mother, being concerned about his lack of awareness of his cultural identity, sends him to Booker T. Malcolm Luther Parks Academy of Absolute Blackness! In a single school day Artie must pass various classes such as, “How To Dance on Beat” and “Thuggin 101” in order to earn his “black card”.
This family-friendly show aims to impart hope, raise awareness, and open dialogue about the narrow definition of the black identity. While specific to the black cultural experience, the show holds universal themes of identity, belonging, and perseverance.
Race is still a difficult conversation point for so many Americans. In Artie and the ‘Black Card’, humor is strategically wielded to ease the perceived strain of leaning into this difficult and potentially emotionally charged conversation. By blending theatrical elements of a vaudeville show, 90’s black sitcoms, and old school Saturday morning cartoons, the characters are intentionally likeable and deserving of respect. Each scene is embedded with specific historic and current day references. A great deal of care went into this production so that anyone, regardless of racial or ethnic background, is able to relate to Artie’s journey.
“The Black Card” is an African-American metaphor of one’s black identity, authenticity, or belonging.