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

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

The latest initiative in Johnnie Walker’s new 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 as part of 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 grants 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 offer creators the opportunity to access funding with the aim of bringing new voices to the national film festival circuit to showcase their work.

Kenya Barris, Coi Leray, Gogo Morrow and 6lack Group Photos
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 spectacular performances from singer-rapper 6lack , rapper Coi Leray, singer-songwriter and new signatory to Barris’ label at Interscope Records GoGo Morrow, and famed DJ Miss Milan on the decks.

Coi Leray & Gogo Morrow

Attended by pioneering black creators, emerging filmmakers, changemakers, trailblazers and artists from the film industry and beyond, notable guests at Black Art is Forever included Emmy Civils nominated director Nadia Hallgren , civilian documentary protagonist Ben Crump, actor Jermaine Fowler, actress Eloisa Santos, photographer Lenny S., designer Victor Glemaud, model Zach Shaw and esthetician Sean Garrette.

Darcy J. Skinner