Afrofuturism centers Black people as fully actualized without the constraints of racism and oppression. Souls, the premiere film in the festival, is a journey across the stars in the search of hope.

ALL ARTS continued to produce and broadcast a range of inspiring, diverse, multi-cultural and creative art for all audiences in FY21. Film and theater festivals struck a chord this year: House Seats aired seven new plays that premiered during Fire This Time Festival‘s 11th season — new works by emerging Black playwrights across the African diaspora. Afrofuturism: Blackness Revisualized portrayed the possibilities of Black futures through the imaginations of 10 filmmakers. And Past, Present, Future illuminated how artists interpret various stages of time.

ALL ARTS also connected audiences to performance pieces that portrayed crisis and resilience in its many forms: In This Life illustrated the five stages of grief through dance, narrative scenes and performance art; writer-performer Dael Orlandersmith explored Ferguson following the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Until the Flood; Con Alma connected 30+ musicians over three continents to reflect isolation and related themes sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic; Under the Greenwood Tree showed a community’s strength after plans to restage As You Like It for Free Shakespeare in the Park were halted due to the pandemic; and The First Twenty explored the cultural shifts that have taken place during the first two decades of the 21st century.

ALL ARTS premiered some of its initiatives on social media, such as with the Ballerina Book Club, a partnership with American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Isabella Boylston. Bolstyn not only interviewed authors and special guests (like Misty Copeland!), but also hosted live book club discussions on her Instagram account.

The Artist in Residence program at ALL ARTS expanded, welcoming four new New York City artists working across multiple disciplines: national Black Theatre’s Jonathan McCrory; Juilliard student musician Matthew Whitaker; artist, singer-songwriter and producer DonChristian Jones; and video/performance artist Le’Andra LeSeur. ALL ARTS’ first artist-in-residence Taylor Mac‘s piece Whitman in the Woods., a drag performance film exploring Walt Whitman poetry, premiered in May 2021.

ALL ARTS partnered with 22 organizations in FY2021, including Isabella Boylston; The Tank; The Public Theater; Women of Color on Broadway; Urban Bush Women; Grand Band; A Blade of Grass Films; Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Guggenheim’s Works & Process; Dance Camera West; Richard Alston Dance Company; Double Edge Theatre; New Yorkers for Culture & Arts; The Peace Studio; ArtDocs; Cyprian Films; Kyle Abraham and A.I.M.; Pam Tanowitz and Pam Tanowitz Dance; Kinetic Light; PEN America; The Resonant Bodies Festival; and National Sawdust.

To learn more about ALL ARTS’ robust offerings, visit their website.

Taylor Mac’s performance in Whitman in the Woods. brings a lighter, more comedic and directly queer lens to the poet’s work than is often seen. Whitman in the Woods.