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Tribeca Film Festival, Black Art is Forever, Johnnie Walker, Blacktag

Tribeca Film Festival, Black Art is Forever, Johnnie Walker, Blacktag

Closing out the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, last night Johnnie Walker, Blacktag, the first-of-its-kind global platform for Black creators, and powerhouse writer and producer Kenya Barris, joined forces to host Black Art is Forever – an epic party uplifting, supporting and recognizing Black creators for their contributions to culture.

The latest initiative under Johnnie Walker’s newly-established First Strides program, Black Art is Forever recognized and honored the first five recipients of the First Strides Studio Creator Grant Program – an ongoing grant under First Strides in partnership with Blacktag, offering mentorship by Barris – and announced Johnnie Walker’s commitment to continue supporting diverse creators through a new round of grant funding and mentorship. The five grant recipients – Chidozie Ekwensi, Amanda Gordon, Skylar Rochon, Lachelle Watson, and Juan Wood II – will develop and produce their next project alongside the Blacktag team with Kenya Barris, which will be released on the Blacktag app later this year.

Through First Strides, Johnnie Walker and Blacktag will also introduce the opportunity for creators to access funding with the goal of bringing new voices to the national film festival circuit to showcase their work.

Kenya Barris, Coi Leray, Gogo Morrow & 6lack Group Shots
Produced by Karleen Roy, founder of The Vanity Group, the large-scale industry party also toasted the release of Kenya Barris’ new documentary ‘Civil’, and culminated with show stopping performances by singer-rapper 6lack, rapper Coi Leray, singer-songwriter and new signee to Barris’ label at Interscope Records GoGo Morrow, and renowned DJ Miss Milan on the turntables.

Coi Leray & Gogo Morrow

Attended by trailblazing Black creators, uprising filmmakers, changemakers, pioneers, and artists in the film industry and beyond, notable guests at Black Art is Forever included Civil’s Emmy-nominated director Nadia Hallgren, Civil documentary’s protagonist Ben Crump, actor Jermaine Fowler, actress Eloisa Santos, photographer Lenny S.,designer Victor Glemaud, model Zach Shaw, and esthetician Sean Garrette.


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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