This project will engage the community in a call and response filmed conversation, though means of a mobile viewing and recording booth. The initial ‘prompt’ conversation is composed of archived interviews with native-born Kansas Citians talking about their experiences of racism and segregation in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
In 2014 The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, hosted an exhibit titled History & Hope: Celebrating the Civil Rights Movement, which brought together photographs, drawings and prints acknowledging the role artists and musicians played in the civil rights struggle. Jason Piggie was the videographer for this exhibit, and was able to capture video and audio from Afro-Americans who lived in Kansas City during and after segregation.
The original film includes a wide range of interviews featuring important local figures and artists, such as Bob Kendrick, Mayor Sly James, Michael Toombs, Nedra Bonds, Anita Malbeia, Lonnie McFadden, Lonney Powell, Gerald Dunn, Shane Evans, Jayne McShann Lewis, Elmer Jackson, and Michelle Bessley. These interviews will be shown in a series of 5-minute clips on a mobile viewing and recording booth that will be exhibited in public places. Each viewer will then be invited to record a statement related to what they viewed, how it made them feel, and what can be done to change for the better.
Footage captured in response to the first ‘call’ will then lead to the second part of the project. The clips will be edited into a short, 15 to 25-minute documentary. Both the original film and the new documentary will be shown in a local theater, and exhibited at programmed public settings where viewers will be able to interact and continue the conversation. These locations will include local street festivals such as the Annual Troost Festival, Kansas City Ethnic Enrichment Festival, Latino Arts Festival, and Juneteenth KC Festival at the American Jazz Museum. Schools such as UMKC, Penn Valley Community College, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, East High School, and Van Horn High School, will be potential settings to continue the dialogue.
Jason Piggie is a passionate Photographer/Filmmaker/ Producer/Director, whose desire is to create thought provoking and inspiring works. Jason graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) with a B.A. in communication. He has thirty years of photography experience and fifteen years of filmmaking experience. Jason has written and directed 15 short films including Homecoming, Otis’ Song, Bad Dream, Mattie’s Song, Agent C and Domestic. In 2009, Jason won 1st place at the 3/5/7 Film Festival in the 5 Minute Category and in 2012 won best in show at the Arts KC show. His film projects have also been featured in the changing gallery at the American Jazz Museum. Jason has exhibited in Kansas City Artists Coalition: River Market Regional Exhibition, Reflecting the Time – The Box Gallery Kansas City, MO, Jazz Speaks to Life Legacy – American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, MO, All Hail to Hale – American Jazz Museum Kansas City, MO, and Jazz Then and Now – American Jazz Museum Kansas City, MO. He currently lives in Kansas City, Missouri, but has work in other parts of the continental USA.