Friend of the podcast Christian Dante White (Hello, Dolly!) shares his favorite memories of creating the Broadway Legacy photography series.
I was in Philadelphia doing the National Tour of Motown when the #OscarsSoWhite started. I looked at the lack of diversity in Hollywood and it really struck a chord with me. I wanted to celebrate the beautiful brothers and sisters that was within my community. This feeling was even more strong because we were at the heels of the beginning of #BlackLivesMatter movement.
I had just completed a successful photo shoot of the First National Company of Motown in Minneapolis with photographer Brent Dundore. We were going to collaborate again in NYC with The Broadway Inspirational Voices in the coming weeks. I sent him a message with an idea to photograph African American men of Broadway. He was all in.
The first shoot I was so nervous and had no idea what it would turn into or who would say yes, but it all came together. What I didn't know is that the real magic was beyond the photography, but these men coming together and celebrating each other.
After our first round was released, everyone was so proud and supportive of it. But the main question is where are the women? So for the second round, we had the women of Broadway come together in a bigger space and more people. This time with John Eric Parker of the first Legacy at my side with Brent to be a style consultant. It happened again - magic beyond the camera of women and men loving on each other and looking fabulous.
Last year we did two sets, which included over 100 actors. I was proud John, Brent and I got through it again this time, adding in stage managers and children of Broadway.
We have more in store for this project, so keep watching and supporting Broadway Legacy. As an artist, it's important to leap and create what wasn't there before with love. Art is a form of activism, and you never know how powerful that can be unless you take an idea and put it into play.