I am a NY based artist, living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder, and PTSD. I've gathered a group of amazing Black artists from the Broadway and theatre community to launch an awareness campaign about mental health in the Black community. The project is called Darkness Rising: A Mental Heath Awareness Project.
- Improve the health and wellness of the Black community
- Raise awareness about mental health in our community
- Empower and engage our community via resources, events, and services
- Erase the negative stigma of mental health issues
SO, WHAT'S THE PLAN?
- Cover and record tracks of a variety of musical theatre, R&B, and pop songs that are inspirational and helpful for people who live with Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, PPD and other mental illnesses.
- Film choreographed concept videos for each of these tracks.
- Songs will be on a Spotify playlist specifically aimed at people living with mental health issues.
- Videos of each song will be on Youtube in this format: music video featuring our singers in the recording studio, combined with the dance choreography, thus creating a concept video.
- Each video ends with 1-2 artists giving a snippet of their mental health story with the hope of inspiring others.
- Videos will be released once a month.
- Links and resources for people of color who live with mental illnesses will be provided in each video.
- Produce a Darkness Rising Benefit Concert benefitting the organizations listed below.
- Our Message: You are not alone, it's okay to seek help, erase the stigma, let's talk about it, don't suffer in silence, spread the word, especially in the Black community.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
Carlita Victoria (Creator/Organizer)
I'd be nothing without this crew of some of the most amazing artists I know:
Ashley Ware Jenkins (THE LION KING BROADWAY)
Tamala Baldwin (MBA, SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE)
Cedrina Shari (BONEY M, SHE)
Anita Welch (AVENUE Q NATIONAL TOUR, FOR THE LAST TIME)
Jo'Nathan Michael (BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE)
Juson Williams (THE WIZ/BROADWAY REVIVAL, GRAMMYS 2018 W/SAM SMITH)
Nattalyee Randall (THE GOREE ALL GIRL STRING BAND, DREAMGIRLS)
Stephen Scott Wormley
(HAIRSPRAY W/JOHN WATERS, DISNEY ON CLASSIC/TOKYO PHILHARMONIC)
Collin L. Howard (MISS SAIGON, DREAMGIRLS)
@The Culture Enthusiast
Terance Reddick (LES MISERABLE/ BROADWAY )
Skylar Gamble (HAIRSPRAY)
Valton Jackson (HAIR)
Sheniqua Denise Trotman
(SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, AIDA)
Vlad Dorson (CHOIR BOY)
Wesley J. Barnes (SCOTTSBORO BOYS, NEWSIES)
(PHOENIX RISING: GIRLS & THE SECRETS WE KEEP)
James Roberts IV
(HAIR NAT'L TOUR, THE PRODUCERS NAT'L TOUR)
(JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, MEMPHIS)
Kris Roberts (BEAUTIFUL THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL)
David Rowen - Musical Director, Piano
(THE COLOR PURPLE, DREAMGIRLS, ROCKY HORROR SHOW)
@davidjohnrowen / @davidrowencreative
Ian Jesse - Bass
Mark "Lace" Gibbs - Guitar (PLATINUM SOUND STUDIOS)
Khalil Bell - Drums
Neville Braithwaite /NB Studios
HOW CAN I HELP?
- Give! Anything helps. Literally, ANYTHING.
- Signal boost this campaign by posting the link on Facebook and Twitter, and 'liking' it and/or commenting every time you see it posted.
- Use the hashtags: #DarknessRISING #IAmDarknessRISING, #erasethestigma and/or #pocmentalhealth
- Volunteer your time via company management, project organization and/or grant writing.
WHY THE BLACK COMMUNITY?
-Adult Black/African Americans are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness than are adult whites.
-Adult Black/African Americans are 20 percent more likely to report serious psychological distress than adult whites.
-Historical adversity, which includes slavery, sharecropping and race-based exclusion from health, educational, social and economic resources, translates into socioeconomic disparities experienced by African Americans today. Socioeconomic status, in turn, is linked to mental health: People who are impoverished, homeless, incarcerated or have substance abuse problems are at higher risk for poor mental health.
*Source: US HHS Office of Minority Health
WHO DOES THIS BENEFIT?
No physical albums will be sold. Digital downloads will be available on Spotify, and after the cost of the project is covered, all funding will go to this organization:
WHAT IS THE BUDGET?
Musical Director + Musicians (Rehearsals + Recording): $2950
Vocal Rehearsal Studio Rental: $38/hr x 11 = $418
Dance Studio Rental $40/hr X 32 hours = $1280
Recording Studio Rental: $125/hr x 12 = $1500
Song Licensing: $53.18-$59.48 x 8 songs = $418.54
(200 Digital Downloads, 500 Digital Streams, 10K YouTube Views)
Purchased Sheet Music: $4.50/song x 8 = $36
Sheet Music Copies for Singers & Musicians = $12 x 8 songs = $96
Mastering Songs: $125/song x 8 songs = $1000
Videographers: $965 (4 Recording Studio videos + editing
$1600 (8 Choreography videos + editing)
Artist Travel: $80
Logo Design $200
$60/session x 8 dance filming sessions = $480
That's a lot of money! I know. It scares me too. Trying to fund a project this big is a huge undertaking. I can't do it without your help. And if it saves even one life, it's worth it.
Thank you for taking the time to read about this campaign. You can read more about my struggle with mental illness here. I don't want anyone else to believe that they have to suffer in silence. Together, we can help #erasethestigma. Talking about mental illness is incredibly important, and it reminds us that we are not alone.
You are too.