"To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves."
For the entirety of our 2023 Season (The Season of Umoja), BAM Talent has been creating opportunities and building platforms for artists to grow but we're in a time where theatrical artists stand at a crossroads. It’s no secret Theatre has been suffering the slings & arrows of time lately. We're finding more organizations shuttering their doors, reducing their ranks & catering to smaller numbers. It's apparent that unless you have a vast following or carry a large subscriber base, true traditional Theatre may not survive.
So, What do we do?
We feel the real question is: What DON’T we do?
This is when art becomes objectively more important as we document the world we currently face but subjectively more important as we individually deal with and, hopefully, survive it.
BAM Talent's Mission Statement is "To Enrich, Inspire & Enable Black & Underrepresented Voices through Professional-Level Theatrical Training & Production Works." In building this organization, we recognize as time changes, we need to adapt & treat this organization as a living and breathing organism... that will grow & change as it develops. That change begins now.
The formation of this season has taken all of these things into account. Even in that, we know nothing good comes easy. BAM Talent has been a labor of love rooted in West Michigan’s growth, change & improvement since its inception. We are now looking to reach within & beyond our borders in order to create more artistic opportunities & make them more readily accessible. With that, BAM Talent's 2024 Season is fast approaching and we're raising money that will allow us to cement our operations, both locally & nationally, while also proving that we can stand on our own laurels & survive. The plans we're going to lay out here will open doors for a huge feat of artistic ingenuity for our community & and your donation will help make an enormous impact for BIPOC, Queer and Underrepresented Artists.
That said: We present you BAM TALENT's 2024 Season of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
Our first production is, funny enough, our first production. This concert was the first piece created under our New Works Workshop partnership with Community Circle Theatre. We knew it was time to give it a home of its own! So, are you ready?? If not, you’d better GET READY!
Coming next Spring BAM Talent will kick off its 2024 with our Original Concert Event: GET READY: THE MUSIC OF MOTOWN! “From the 1960s to today, Motown has shaped musicians and communities for generations. Songs from Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and more will have you “Dancing in the Streets” and discovering the sound that changed America.”
Our next production is not only the second production we’ve ever created, but it was our first produced solely under the BAM Talent name: a spin on the classic Breakfast with the Easter Bunny... Only our rabbit's got swag!
“Miss Elliott & the Kids are celebrating Easter again! But, a whole new bunny’s hoppin' into the scene... and he ain’t Peter Rabbit! With New Original Music, "Brekky With D. Bunny" is an immersive hip-hop experience for all ages promoting self-pride, self-advocacy & the idea that embracing something different can be amazing. Create a NEW tradition! Bring the kids to "Brekky With D. Bunny!"”
Our Summer concert production was also created under our New Works Workshop partnership with Community Circle Theatre and it only made sense as a bookend to this Michigan-Bred Musical Season full of BAM Originals! From the ultimate fan to the casual listener, every true music aficionado has one favorite song by Michigan’s own Master Blaster; The Signed, Sealed & Delivered genius with magic Fingertips: the incomparable Stevland Hardaway Morris, known the world over as Stevie Wonder.
Join us for our Original Concert Event: Songs in the Key of Stevie. Come ride the Ribbon in the Sky through the catalog & life of one of the greatest musicians of all time. You’re guaranteed to leave Overjoyed.
Lastly: BAM Talent is taking a new approach to how we continue to “Enrich, Inspire & Enable”. We have opted to re-energize our virtual platform and have found amazing ways to do so. Check out BAM TALENT'S New Additions to our line up!
The first of our new Addition: THE "OK... Social Experiment." PROJECT
WHAT IS The OKSE Project?
"OK... Social Experiment" is an ongoing TikTok segment hosted by our Producing Artistic Director, Darius Colquitt. OKSE seeks to bridge the gaps of misunderstanding, confront biases, and shed light on the complexities of race and race relations in our society. This powerful social experiment consists of simple, direct questions posed to various racial groups about their perspectives on vital issues. It's a genuine, raw, and unfiltered exploration of the thoughts and feelings that shape our world. By fostering open conversations around race, we aim to challenge stereotypes, dismantle prejudice, and pave the way for a more harmonious future. The vision of this project goes beyond West Michigan. We cannot find the answers to some of these questions from comfortable corners. We must go into the field, have hard discussions with our followers and explore what it means to be a human in this society. We are on a mission to bring this eye-opening social experiment to life in a powerful documentary set for release in the summer of 2025. This documentary will showcase our findings, the candid responses, the emotional moments, and the transformations that occur when we truly listen and understand one another.
Next in our lineup of New Additions: THE BAM TALENT BLOG!
Your go-to source for insightful and progressive articles on Black and underrepresented art forms, The BAM Talent Blog is your gateway to a world of artistic expression, exploration, and empowerment. At BAM Talent, our mission is simple yet powerful: to celebrate, promote, and advocate for Black and underrepresented artists and their work. We believe that art is a reflection of society, and by amplifying the issues, voices and talents of those who have been historically marginalized, we can contribute to a more inclusive and equitable world. With the BAM Talent Blog, we aim to shine a spotlight on the vibrant world of Black artistry that often remains hidden in the shadows as well as bring you all of the up-to-date news surrounding BAM company operations.
Our Next New Additions: BAMTUBE!
Ready to embark on a visual adventure that celebrates art, innovation, and inclusivity? We're excited to introduce you to BAMTube, your YouTube portal to the most dynamic and inspiring content in the world of Black art, Black culture, and Black creativity. BAMTube will combine the power of visual storytelling with the beauty of diverse and underrepresented artistry.
Tune in to BAMTUBE and let's explore the limitless world of creativity together! Stay Inspired. Stay Creative. Stay Connected.
BAMTube will be working closely/in tandem with our Next New Addition... Which is actually an old favorite: Announcing The Long Awaited Return of the BLKArtMatters Podcast!
BAMCast: The #BlkARTMatters Podcast was originally created by BAM Board Members, Darius Colquitt & Robert Lee Williams III, in an effort to highlight the greatness of Black Arts & Culture in a direct & openly Black forum. Their mission of "to shine a necessary light" on the individuals whose lives are shaping what it means to be a Black Artist in America, was a noble one... not without its flaws. While it did further the conversation on some of the injustice we see and it did shift the narrative to what we justly achieve as a people... It DIDN'T engage the audience in the ways we ALL knew we could. So, we're opening up the format a bit to include WAY more Fun and interactive ways for YOU to Stay Inspired, Stay Creative & Stay Connected to BAM Talent, Black art & our legion of artists! We're excited & can't wait to get YOU involved!
Now... we can't do this all by ourselves. We need EVERYONE to get involved. Especially with the aspirations BAM Talent has offered as a fundamental/foundational principle of existence. At BAM Talent, our mission is simple yet powerful: "To Enrich, Inspire and Enable Black and Underrepresented Voice through Professional-Level Theatrical Training and Production Works." This means it is our obligatory duty as an organization to celebrate, promote, and advocate for Black and underrepresented artists, their growth & the progression of the work they do. However, we cannot actively promote growth within the confines of West Michigan unless we train, support and actively promote those with the talents to cultivate said growth.
We say we believe that art is a reflection of society. Therefore, by amplifying the voices and talents of those who have been historically marginalized, we contribute to a more inclusive and equitable world. What better way to advocate than to start a collective that focuses on the arts, artists and their forward movement. In a full circle moment, the movement that started it all, reemerges to make the Midwest a little more "melanated".
If you are a Black artist looking for representation that understands your unique perspective and experiences, BAM Talent is excited to announce our expansion into representation for Black artists of all walks! Our company is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Arts & Entertainment industry, both locally & nationally... and we are thrilled to be able to offer a platform for underrepresented voices to be heard. We have already signed on Non-Exclusive Talent for Voice, Stage, Film and other Medium & are consulting with artists on how to further their careers. If YOU are an artist with a project or a vision for YOUR career, we want YOU to join The Collective.
At BAM Talent, we understand that the entertainment industry has historically been biased against people of color. This is why we are committed to changing the narrative and promoting inclusivity. We believe that every artist has a unique story to tell and we are here to help you share that story with the world.
If you are interested in learning more about BAM Talent and our representation services for Black artists, please, contact us. We would be honored to help you navigate your way to achieving your dreams. Sign up at WWW.BAMTALENT.ORG/MOVE
Why We Need Your Support:
BAM Talent provides a lot for West Michigan! Creating art & jobs, providing assistance, enlightenment and change of this magnitude requires resources, time, and dedication. We were gracious enough to receive a grant from the GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION for our past season. With it, we employed more than 40 Individuals (locally and nationally) as well as created avenues of support for working and starving artists to grow withint their field... without having to leave home to do so. That said, we are turning to you, our friends, neighbors, followers & supporters, to help us bring 2024 illustrious season to fruition.
For your convenience, we have broken down funding needs into a breakdown of our programming and budgetary needs:
COMMUNITY REQUEST: $200,000
- OPERATIONS: (Salaries, Office necessity, etc.): $100,000
- LIVE PRODUCTIONS (MOTOWN, BREKKY, STEVIE): $40,000
- AUXILLARY PROGRAMMING BUDGET: $60,000
- Salaries: 60,000/yr
- Office and Storage Rentals (Set, Costuming, Equipment Upkeep): 10,000/yr
- Resources for Operations (Office Materials & Consumables, Strategic Planning, Digital Business Services) $20,000
- BAMCares Internal (Company meals, self-care fund, team-building, etc.): $10,000/yr
- Show Budget: $12,000/show (x3=$36,000)
- Season Marketing Budget: $4000
- BAMCARES EXTERNAL (Charity Program): $10,000
- BAM::BACKEND (Youth Program): $10,000
- New Works Workshop: $10,000
- BAM DIGITAL (BAMTube, BAMCast,etc): $30,000
Even if you can't contribute financially, you can still make a significant impact by sharing our campaign with your friends, family, and social networks. Every share brings us one step closer to our goal and BAM Talent cannot exist without YOU! Thank you for being a part of this crucial movement. Together, we can inspire the change we wish to see in the world. ❤️
#BAMTalent #OKSocialExperiment #BTBLOG #BLKARTMATTERS #OKSE #MOTOWN #SITKOSW #GRTMOM #BREKKY #DBUNNY #BREKKYWITHDBUYNNY #CrowdfundingCampaign
Grand Rapids, MI
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