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Posted on: January 22, 2024

BLACK HISTORY NOW: ART IS REVOLUTIONARY Creative Arts Series Lights Up Portsmouth


Portsmouth, VA (January 22, 2024) – Grammy-winning Home Studios, in collaboration with the City of Portsmouth and Portsmouth Museums, proudly present the Black History Now! Art is Revolutionary series. This multi-week series celebrating black excellence will cast a luminous glow across various locations throughout February, offering a kaleidoscope of carefully selected experiences for the public.


"Black History Now! is more than just a series of events; it's a vivid canvas spotlighting the power, passion, and creativity of Black artists, filmmakers, musicians, and changemakers," expresses Mark Mims, Co-founder of Home Studios. "We're thrilled to collaborate with Portsmouth Museums and bring this transformative experience to the city of Portsmouth, igniting dialogue and celebration across the community."


Dr. Alexander  Benitez, Director of the Department of Museums and Tourism for the City of Portsmouth, echoes this sentiment: "The Black History Now! series offers a dynamic and engaging platform for our community to embrace the multifaceted richness of Black culture. As we delve into the artistry, achievements, and struggles depicted in these events, we can foster understanding, empathy, and ultimately, progress toward a more inclusive and equitable future."


Noelle Torian, with Portsmouth Museums, adds, "By engaging in meaningful conversations and celebrating the power of Black art, we can ensure that Black History Month becomes not just a commemoration of the past but a catalyst for a brighter future."


Be prepared to be swept away by a vibrant series of events at various downtown hotspots and local schools:


  • Week One: A Toast to Soulful Flavors & Traditions: Kick off the series on February 2nd at the iconic The Famous in Portsmouth with a delectable celebration of food led by Shark Tank alumna and co-founder of Mango Mangeaux, Lakeisha Brown-Renfro. Immerse yourself in the inspiring story of this Black-owned restaurant, savoring the incredible Neo-Soul cuisine crafted from generations-old soul food traditions. 


  • Week Two: February 9th & 10 - Art that Changes the World: Join award-winning Artivist Nikkolas Smith at four local Portsmouth schools, and the Children's Museum of Virginia as he shares how his art sparks change. Nikkolas a dynamic Concept Artist, Children's Books Author, Film Illustrator (Judas and the Black Messiah, Space Jam II, Black Panther Wakanda Forever, They Cloned Tyrone), and Movie Poster Designer (Southside With You, Black Panther, Soul, Stranger Fruit), will inspire young minds with his powerful visuals and stories. He is a proud 2016 White House Innovators of Color fellow and creator of the 2023 Marvel Artist Series in collaboration with Target for an apparel line featuring Black superheroes. Experience art's transformative power first-hand through insightful talks, interactive workshops, and captivating storytelling.


  • Week Three: February 16th & 17th - Films that Spark Change: Witness the critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary, Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia, lauded as Best Local Feature and Audience Choice Award winner at The Philadelphia Film Festival, Best Documentary at the Oscar Micheaux Film Festival, Art Through Activism award winner at the Harlem Hip Hop Film Festival, and selected for the prestigious American Black Film Festival sponsored by HBO, Netflix, and Meta. Directed and Produced by Sundance Institute Fellow Kyra Knox, Home Studios, and executive produced by NBA legend Allen Iverson and his childhood friends Cleon Lockett and Paul Taylor, this impactful documentary tackles the heartbreaking issue of gun violence in Philadelphia, where over 500 lives were lost in 2021 alone. Highlighting organizations harnessing the power of basketball to combat gun violence and fight for a safer future, prepare for a stirring conversation about community resilience, hope, and the power of positive action.
    • Join us for a special kids filmmaking and screening event at The Children's Museum! 


  • Weeks 4-6:
    • Music that Changes the World x The Grammys Come to Portsmouth! Join us for a lively discussion and electrifying music curated  by The Recording Academy with local Portsmouth musicians: incredible artists showcasing the depth and talent of Portsmouth's thriving musical landscape. And don't miss the Children's Beatmaking Workshop at The Children's Museum! This interactive workshop is a perfect opportunity for young music enthusiasts to learn the basics of beatmaking and songwriting.
    • Fashion Forward! Fashion showcase by renowned Virginia designer, Hamilton Perkins! Perkins, featured in Forbes Magazine, Fast Company, and winner of Pharrell's Ambition award, will bring his unique vision to the stage, blending cutting-edge style with a deep connection to the city's lively culture. 
    • Literature: Black History Now! dives into the rich tapestry of Black literature and poetry, with captivating readings, insightful discussions, and creative workshops led New York Times Best Selling Authors and rising stars. Unleash your inner storyteller, witness words come alive on stage, and join community conversations that spark understanding and celebrate the power of shared narratives.


Portsmouth Interim City Manager Mimi Terry emphasizes, "Black history is American history. This series not only celebrates remarkable individuals and their artistry but also serves as a vital platform for amplifying ongoing conversations about equality, justice, and progress. We, as a city, are proud to invest in and champion initiatives that foster inclusivity and empower all members of our community."


Sponsored by the City of Portsmouth, the Black History Now! Series underscores its unwavering commitment to diversity and artistic expression. Tickets for this invigorating series, including the opening celebration at The Famous, Nikkolas Smith's school events, and the "Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia" screening, will be available to the public at


Stay tuned for the full schedule of events and follow Home Studios and Portsmouth Museums on social media for updates!



About Home Studios:


Home Studios isn't just an award-winning independent film studio, it's a powerhouse amplifying underrepresented voices across music and film. With a commitment to stories that move, inspire, and elevate, we've nurtured some of the industry's brightest talents. Our strategy is simple: We've harnessed the power of the internet to build bridges, forging partnerships with industry giants like Netflix, Amazon, Fox, REVOLT, Capitol Records, and Sony Music.


Our artists & alumni stand as living proof of our impact. They've snagged multiple Grammys, shared their narratives on global stages, and dominated Billboard charts with genre-bending projects. 



**#BlackHistoryNow #AmplifyingBrilliance #HomeStudios #ChildrensMuseumVA #ArtIsRevolutionary #PortsmouthMuseums

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