Music Moves, stars come out for the Arkansas Black Film and Music Expo Feb. 9-10

Music Moves, stars come out for the Arkansas Black Film and Music Expo Feb. 9-10

Music Moves and DAYVISION films have teamed up to celebrate Black film and music once again.

The Arkansas Black Film and Music Expo returns to the Fayetteville Town Center Feb. 9-10 featuring special guests Daphne Maxwell Reid, Lyfe Jennings and Yung Joc.

“Northwest Arkansas is becoming a hub for independent filmmaking,” says Mike Day, founder of DAYVISION Films. “Having the film showcase creates an environment for Black filmmakers to come and show their incredible work in front of film lovers, fellow filmmakers, and potential investors.”

For the film night of the two-day expo, three Arkansas filmmakers — Justin Stewart, Lakisha Harper Bradley and Kaylynn Richardson — will screen their films and discuss them in a panel moderated by Caree Banton, University of Arkansas professor and podcast host of “Undisciplined.”

Afterward, Reid, who played the second Aunt Viv in TV’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” will join the panel to discuss her career as an actress and independent filmmaker. There will be a talk back with her and the audience.

“When Music Moves and DAYVISION were considering who to bring to Northwest Arkansas, Ms. Reid was a name everyone agreed on,” says Day. “This is a chance for filmmakers, and film lovers, in Arkansas to meet someone who has accomplished what Arkansas filmmakers are dreaming about.”

On Feb. 10 the music starts early, says Anthony Ball, vice president of Music Moves. For the second year in a row, the organization has partnered with the Fayetteville Mardi Gras parade to bring even more music to the Parade of Fools that will start at the square and head down Block Avenue to Dickson Street.

Following the parade, the Expo’s Saturday afternoon of family-friendly learning and fun begins at 3 p.m. Local hip-hop artist BAANG will perform at Fayetteville Town Center and talk about the influence of jazz on hip-hop with Jake Hertzog, an assistant professor of music from the University of Arkansas.

“This is a show we were inspired by when we went down to St. Louis. It really builds bridges the gap between the youth and the older generations,” Ball says.

“The family show was a huge success last year, so we wanted to build on top of that and have some educational [components]. Of course, education is very, very close to our hearts at Music Moves,” Ball says of the organization dedicated to making Black art and culture accessible through performance and education.

Part of their work last year was to bring together the Arkansas Gospel Chorale. Ball explains that the local community choir is part of Music Moves’ aim to get more local talent involved in music. The community choir will perform with members of area high school marching bands during the afternoon. This event is free for children younger than 12.

After the kids go home, the music kicks off again at 7 p.m. at Fayetteville Town Center. Headliner Yung Joc, who performed last year for Music Moves’ Freedom Festival, will perform. He’ll be joined by co-headliner Lyfe Jennings, an R&B and soul singer-songwriter, record producer and instrumentalist.

Regional and local talent will be represented with jazz musician Michael Fields Jr., soul-rock singer Branjae and blues guitarist Akeem Kemp.

“We have everything from blues to smooth jazz to rock and soul music, R&B, hip hop — the whole shebang,” Ball says.

He adds that more than 13 local Black and minority-owned businesses and organizations will have booths set up in the Fayetteville Town Center on both days of the expo.

“We always want to highlight other organizations and businesses in the community that may come from underserved communities that don’t get the notoriety and the big budget,” he says.

The event is a good introduction to Music Moves as well.

“You will get the performance side, and you will get the educational piece too. You will just be exposed to a lot of different art forms from the black diaspora.”



Arkansas Black Film & Music Expo

WHEN — Feb. 9-10

WHERE — Fayetteville Event Center

COST — Weekend passes, $75; Friday only, $50. Single tickets to the Saturday afternoon family show are $10 for adults. Saturday night music showcase starts at $30. VIP options are available.


FYI — Children younger than 12 are free for the weekend but will still need a tickets to events.



Arkansas Black Film

Festival Lineup

• “Be the Champion of Your Sound” — With the help of his daughter, an older man embarks on an unhurried journey of recovering from a stroke through art. Produced by Lakisha Harper Bradley.

• “Rock Van Winkle” — A hidden piece of history suggests that a former slave is behind the origins of the UA’s foundational roots. Directed by Justin Stewart. (PG-13)

• “The Prize” is a dramedy short film that follows an unhappy African American woman who gets more than she bargains for when she stumbles upon an energetic “old-head.”

Learn more about Rock Van Winkle in James Hales Remembering Rogers column published March 31, 2022.

Categories: Music