The ‘Black Card’ Project
“The ‘Black Card’ Project” 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 “The ‘Black Card’ Project”, 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.
Created by Dominic Moore-Dunson in collaboration with Kevin Parker, assisted by Bill Wade
Best for Grades 6-12
90 Minutes – No Intermission
Photo credit: Emily Stonecipher (dark background) and Shane Wynn (light background)
“Some topics shared were more difficult than others…but all were beautifully and skillfully depicted. Well done!”
-Audience Member, Kellyann, from Sept 2018
“What an entertaining yet thought-provoking show! I feel honored to have been able to attend the world premiere.”
-Audience Member, Aimee, from Sept 2018
“Even as an African American woman, I could follow your story. To present this in a theatrical setting that captivated and involved the audience, provided an inner thought process, delicately broached generational and systematic issues; all of which presented through the art of dance, was absolutely superb.
I absolutely love to see African American men showcasing their talents; especially, those that explore and highlight depth, diversity, barriers out shadowed by success, stifle stereotypes, and more importantly a cultural group of men who are keenly aware of their contribution, impact, and purpose to themselves and others. You dear, have solidified your niche to explore and visualize a [Black Card] journey that many fail to realize or appropriately navigate. “
-Audience member, Rei Tori, from Sept 2018
-Kelly Berick, Director of Dance at Firestone Community Learning Center (Akron, OH)
“ArtsNow works to leverage arts and culture in Summit County to support and strengthen the region’s economic and social vibrancy. We believe that a healthy cultural sector is a leading indicator of economic prosperity and a thriving community where people want to live, work, and play. “The ‘Black Card’ Project,” an authentic effort around a community-driven dance theater piece, came on my radar in late 2017. A graduate of Akron Public Schools, Dominic Moore-Dunson worked with high school students, local businesses, and leadership organizations to create work that was both for and with the community. It was and is a timely and compelling approach to using art to educate, engage, and open dialogues that otherwise would remain stagnant.
Research has shown that exposure to stories of other cultural experiences, such as through work like “The ‘Black Card’ Project,” significantly increases empathy and the ability to see another person’s point of view. “The ‘Black Card’ Project” speaks to identity and place in a way that engages and resources communities toward discussion. ArtsNow is a proud partner of Inlet Dance Theatre, Dominic, and look forward to supporting this effort as it continues to put northeast Ohio and Akron on the map as a place where excellence in the arts can be found.”
-Nicole Mullet, Executive Director of ArtsNow