Avi Santo

Avi Santo

Dr. Avi Santo is Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Old Dominion University. He is the author of Selling the Silver Bullet: The Lone Ranger and Transmedia Brand Licensing (University of Texas Press, 2015) and co-editor of Making Media Work: Cultures of Management in the Entertainment Industries (New York University Press, 2014). The mission of the Institute for the Humanities is to foster critical conversations among Hampton Roads residents through the arts and cultural events.


Derrick Borte

Derrick Borte (Director, Our Nation)

Derrick Borte is a writer/director who began his career as a painter. After receiving his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Old Dominion University, he earned a Masters of Arts in Media Studies at PARSONS/The New School in New York, and joined the production staff at Sony Music Studios, where his fine arts background evolved with his indoctrination to film and video.

In 2010, Derrick Borte wrote, produced, and directed THE JONESES, which garnered a Gala presentation at the 2010 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. The film was also screened at the DEAUVILLE FESTIVAL OF AMERICAN FILM, DALLAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL, SEDONA FILM FESTIVAL, and ZURICH FILM FESTIVAL.  He is currently working with Echo Lake Entertainment on a television series based on THE JONESES

Borte’s work has also expanded into the episodic and commercial world, where he has directed campaigns for Jaguar, Volkswagen, Barbasol, Betty Crocker, Afrin, and others, as well as over 50 episodes of Television.

He recently completed work on two features, DARK AROUND THE STARS and H8RZ, which are both slated for release later this year.

Borte continues to exhibit his work as a visual artist, with shows over the last year in France and the US, and is set to direct LONDON TOWN with producers Christine Vachon and Sofia Sondervan.

Elizabeth Eccles

Elizabeth Eccles (I. Sherman Greene Chorale, Inc. Music Director)

Elizabeth Vaughan Eccles has directed the Chorale since 2012. She is a retired music educator who taught classroom and choral music in the Norfolk City School System for 34 years, followed by five years as the Music Education Coordinator in the Department of Music at Hampton University, Hampton, VA. She earned her BS degree from Norfolk State (College) University, MME degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Music Education from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana. In addition to teaching, her career has included positions of church organist/pianist, choir director, and soloist.

Adolphus Hailstork

Adolphus Hailstork (Composer, Within our Gates)

Adolphus Hailstork received his doctorate in composition from Michigan State University, where he was a student of H. Owen Reed.  He had previously studied at the Manhattan School of Music, under Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond, at the American Institute at Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger, and at Howard University with Mark Fax.

Dr. Hailstork has written numerous works for chorus, solo voice, piano, organ, various chamber ensembles, band, and orchestra

Among his early compositions are: CELEBRATION, recorded by the Detroit Symphony in 1976, OUT OF THE DEPTHS (1977), and AMERICAN GUERNICA (1983) two band works which won national competitions. CONSORT PIECE (1995)   commissioned by the Norfolk Chamber Ensemble was awarded first prize by the University of Delaware Festival of Contemporary Music.  In addition he has been awarded two honorary doctorate degrees.

Significant performances by major orchestras (Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York) have been conducted by leading conductors such as James de Priest, Paul Freeman Daniel Barenboim, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maezel, Jo Ann Falletta and David Lockington.

The composer’s second symphony (commissioned by the Detroit Symphony, and second opera, JOSHUA’S BOOTS (commissioned by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Kansas City Lyric Opera) were both premiered in 1999.  Hailstork’s second and third symphonies have recently been recorded  by the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra (David Lockington)  and were released on the Naxos. A new Virginia Symphony Orchestra Naxos recording, AN AMERICAN PORT OF CALL, was released in spring 2012.  THE GIFT OF THE MAGI is Professor Hailstork’s first ballet.

Harlem Quartet

Harlem Quartet & Guests (Musicians, Within our Gates)

Praised for its “panache” by The New York Times, The Harlem Quartet is “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent,”says the Cincinnati Enquirer. The quartet’s mission is to advance diversity in classical music, engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers. Since its public debut in 2006 at Carnegie Hall, the New York-based ensemble has performed throughout the U.S., including a 2009 performance for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House, and has appeared in France, the U.K., Belgium, Panama, Canada, and South Africa. In addition to performing on chamber-music series around the world, Harlem Quartet has collaborated with such distinguished performers as Itzhak Perlman, Ida Kavafian, Carter Brey, Paquito D’Rivera, and Misha Dichter (with whom the quartet made its Kennedy Center debut in February 2013). Harlem Quartet has also worked closely with jazz legends Chick Corea and Gary Burton, partnering with them in a 25-city “Hot House” tour and CD project. Their Hot House album won a Grammy Award in 2013, with a separate Grammy going to “Mozart Goes Dancing” as Best Instrumental Composition. The “Hot House” tour will resume in June 2014 with a trip to Japan. The Chorale consists of First Violinist Ilmar Gavilán, Violinist Melissa White, Violist Jaime Amador Medina, and Cellist Matthew Zalkind.

Guesting with the Quartet for the performance will be Violist Jennifer Arnold of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Cellist Jocelyn Demita Butler of the New Music School and theInternational Chamber Artists, and Double Bassist Eric L. Thompson, III of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.

David Mallin

David P. Mallin (Screenwriter & Director of Photography, Our Nation)

David Mallin is a cinematographer, filmmaker, and the Director of Old Dominion University’s Film Program.  He has a MFA in Cinematography from AFI in Los Angeles and a BA from American University in Washington DC. David focuses his work with students on the production of collaborative group and faculty-led projects run like real-world movie sets, with the belief filmmaking can only be learned experientially.

His AFI thesis film entitled “Lucky Lotus” was picked up by HBO for their program “East of Main Street: Asians Aloud” in celebration of Asian Heritage Month in May 2010. In 2004 and 2005, David spent 5 months living inside a UNHCR refugee settlement in Zambia documenting refugee issues with on-the-ground NGOs. David also sailed twice as a staff member of Semester at Sea, and spent 5 years working for The American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival.

Michael Morgan

Michael Morgan (Conductor, Within our Gates)

Michael Morgan born in 1957 and raised in Washington, D.C. where he attended public schools. He attended McKinley Tech High School in Washington D.C. and was affiliated with the D.C. Youth Orchestra Program but began conducting at the age of 12. While a student at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (studying composition) he spent a summer at Tanglewood. There he was a student of Gunther Schuller and Seiji Ozawa and it was at that time that he first worked with Leonard Bernstein. During his final year at Oberlin he was also the Apprentice Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic under Julius Rudel.

In 1980, he won first prize in the Hans Swarovsky International Conductors Competition in Vienna, Austria and became Assistant Conductor of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. His operatic debut was in 1982 at the Vienna State Opera in Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio”. In 1986, Sir Georg Solti chose him to become the Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra a position he held for five years under both Georg Solti and Daniel Barenboim. He became music director of the Oakland East Bay Symphony in 1990. Maestro Morgan serves as artistic director of the Oakland Youth Orchestra, music director of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra (and the Sacramento Opera) and was artistic director of Festival Opera in Walnut Creek, California for more than 10 seasons.  He teaches the graduate conducting course at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is Music Director at the Bear Valley Music Festival in California. In 2002 and 2003 he taught conducting at the Tanglewood Music Center and has led conducting workshops around the country. As Stage Director he has led productions of the Bernstein Mass at the Oakland East Bay Symphony and a modern staging of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Festival Opera, where he has also staged Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Gounod’s Faust.  As a chamber musician (piano) he has appeared on the Chamber Music Alive series in Sacramento as well as the occasional appearance in the Bay Area. As a guest conductor he has appeared with most of America’s major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Houston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Edmonton Symphony and Omaha Symphony. He was Music Advisor to the Peoria during their most recent conductor search. As conductor of opera he has performed with St. Louis Opera Theater, New York City Opera (in New York and on tour), and the Staatsoper in Berlin. Abroad he has conducted orchestras in Europe, South America, the Middle East (Israel and Egypt) and even the Kimbaguiste Symphony Orchestra in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2005 he was honored by the San Francisco Chapter of The Recording Academy with the 2005 Governors Award for Community Service. On the opposite coast, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) chose Morgan as one of its five 2005 Concert Music Award recipients. ASCAP further honored Oakland East Bay Symphony in 2006 with its Award for Adventurous Programming. The San Francisco Foundation honored him with one of its Community Leadership Awards and he received an Honorary Doctorate from Holy Names University in Oakland,CA.

He has served on the boards of the League of American Orchestras, the International  House at the University of California, Berkeley, the Purple Silk Music Education Foundation, the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, and Oaktown Jazz Workshops. He was recently elected to a four-year term on the Board of Trustees of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at U.C. Berkeley.


Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson (Old Dominion University)

Dr. Anderson’s research specializes in researching how new media practices and technologies transform, affect and negotiate those institutions and practices that make music popular. In 2006 he published Making Easy Listening: Material Culture and Postwar American Recording (University of Minnesota Press). The book was awarded a certificate of merit in the category of “Best Research in General History of Recorded Sound” by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections in 2007.

Dr. Anderson has also published essays in Cultural Studies and the Questions of Method (Blackwell: Oxford, UK, 2006), and Movie Music: The Film Reader (Routledge: London, 2003), as well as journals such as Spectator, The Velvet Light Trap, Stanford Humanities Review and the Journal of American Music. In 1996 his essay,”Reforming Jackass Music: The Problematic Aesthetics of Early American Film Music Accompaniment” won first prize from the Society for Cinema Studies for student writing and was subsequently published in 1997 in Cinema Journal. He has also been a regular contributor to the online journal Flow and in 2006 accepted a position to be come a charter member of the MediaCommons editorial board. If you are interested in his classes and some of his other random thoughts, he keeps recent syllabi and sundry notes

Dr. Anderson’s current research is on how the American music industry has had to re-articulate the vision of musicians, audiences and its products in the wake of recent social and technological changes such as the rise of file sharing, the ubiquity of broadband networks and the rise of online social networking platforms as part of our daily lives. He continues to write on music and media, with a forthcoming chapter in Mad Men: Dream Come True TV (I.B. Tauris, 2010).

Fred Bayersdorfer

Fred Bayersdorfer (Old Dominion University)

A native of Portsmouth, Virginia, Fred Bayersdorfer is the Assistant Dean of the Arts, College of Arts and Letters at Old Dominion University. He holds a bachelor of fine arts and master of humanities degrees from ODU. He has been an adjunct instructor in art history and criticism at ODU (1989 -2007), director of University Gallery at ODU (1989 – 1995), Arts Assistant to the Dean, (1995 – 2007) and director of the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries (2007 – 2013). He has written art criticism for the Virginian Pilot. Prior to coming to ODU he was director of the Museum of Art, Science and Industry in Bridgeport, Connecticut (1983-85) and director of the City of Portsmouth Museums system (1975 – 83).

Rob Cross

Robert Cross (Virginia Arts Festival)

Robert W. Cross founded the Virginia Arts Festival in 1997 and has served as its only Executive Director and Artistic Director. During his tenure, the festival has blossomed into one of the major Arts events on the East Coast, transforming the cultural life of Virginia’s Hampton Roads region and making the area a cultural destination for travelers from around the world. The combination of stellar performances and easy access to some of America’s finest historical sites and beaches has proved irresistible.

As the festival’s artistic director, Mr. Cross has drawn on his decades of experience as a manager, programmer and performer to build relationships with such distinguished dance companies as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Mark Morris Dance Group, Dance Theatre of Harlem and England’s Birmingham Royal Ballet. The festival has brought world-class theater to Virginia, including performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre of Scotland’s critically acclaimed drama Black Watch. And the festival has welcomed such prominent musicians as Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Lang Lang, Midori, Herbie Hancock, Van Cliburn, Renée Fleming, Steve Reich, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Orchestra and Tokyo, Guarneri, Emerson and Kronosstring quartets.

Mr. Cross has also enjoyed a long association with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. He joined the orchestra in 1981, and six years later was made principal percussionist, a position he still holds. He joined the symphony’s management staff in 1983 as personnel manager and quickly moved into the positions of artistic administrator, orchestra manager, interim executive director, and general manager, a post he held until 1995. Dedicated to reaching new audiences, Mr. Cross and the orchestra presented popular artists including Emmylou Harris, Tony Bennett and Ray Charles, and presented such silent films asThe Hunchback of Notre Dame and Phantom of the Opera, with the Orchestra performing the original scores.

Mr.Cross graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied percussion with Vic Firth of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As a performer, he has worked with such conductors as Klaus Tennstedt, Colin Davis, Leonard Bernstein, Joseph Silverstein, Lukas Foss and JoAnn Falletta. He has recorded for Naxon, Northeastern Records, NPR Classics, Albany and New Albion.

Eleanor Earl

Eleanor Earl (Hampton University)

Eleanor Earl has been an Assistant Professor of English and Modern Foreign Languages at Hampton University since 2003. She became the Film and Television Studies Program Coordinator several years later, and in 2009 she received the E. L. Hamm, Sr. Distinguished Teaching Award. She teaches courses such as Screenwriting, Television Writing, Introduction to Filmmaking, Introduction to Motion Pictures, Film Criticism, English Literature and Written Communication.

Since 2010 Ms. Earl has been executive producer (along with President William R. Harvey), director, and co-host of a weekly television show, “The View from Hampton U,” on COX-11 and COX-9.

Ms. Earl took an M.F.A. in Theatre Writing with a specialization as a Bookwriter, Lyricist, Librettist from The Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She also took an M.A. in Humanities with emphases in Communication, English Literature, and Theatre from Old Dominion University, with graduate credits in English Literature from a program held at Oxford University in Oxford, England. Ms. Earl took a B.A. in Rhetoric and Communication Studies from The University of Virginia.

As a writer, Ms. Earl has had staged readings of her plays and musicals at such venues as Her Majesty’s Theatre and Covent Garden’s Africa Centre in London. She performed her one-woman show, for which she wrote both text and music, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. She was also a member of the Blacksmyths, a writing workshop at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. As an actress, poet, and singer she has shared the stage with Carol Maillord of the internationally acclaimed singing group “Sweet Honey in the Rock,” celebrated poet Amiri Baraka, and she was featured as a poet alongside Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez for the “Saturn Women 2 Women Tour” at the 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles, CA.

Ms. Earl is partnered with Shomi Patwary in Illusive Media, a multimedia company that has produced music videos and commercial video for artists such as Beyoncé, Lupe Fiasco, Diplo, Mary J. Blidge, ASAP Rocky, and many more prolific artists. She is also an executive producer on the feature film adaptation of Dr. Van Whitfield’s best-selling novel, “Something’s Wrong With Your Scale” and several other independent film and television projects that are in various stages of development. She serves on the Board of Directors for Alternative Intervention Models ( ), an organization based in Los Angeles, CA, that is devoted to changing the lives of at-risk youth through the arts.

Gail Easley

Gail Easley (Crispus Attucks Cultural Center)

Gail Easley has been Executive Director of the Crispus Attucks Cultural Center and Attucks Theatre since October 2010. She has expanded the educational and artistic programming for Virginia’s state and national historic landmark for the performing arts, has overseen a major renovation effort of the Attucks Theatre and has led the region in arts management training.

Signature artistic programs during her tenure have included an unprecedented celebration of the work of Langston Hughes; international film festivals of the arts of the United Kingdom, Africa, Japan, Germany, France, and 3 countries of South America; long-term relationships with the Virginia Arts Festival, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Stage Company; festivals of gospel, blues, acappella music and street arts; a celebration of original works of emerging and national touring artists; as well as revival productions of Ragtime and Follies. Ms. Easley also works closely with the Crispus Attucks Cultural Center Board of Directors on Attucks’ performances and outreach programs. She oversees the Attucks Theatre’s affiliation with Dance Theatre of Harlem community outreach and continues to work with the City of Norfolk Department of Cultural Facilities, Arts & Entertainment on the Attucks performances and educational programs.

Sarah Florini

Sarah Florini (Old Dominion University)

Sarah Florini is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Theatre Art and in the Institute of Humanities at Old Dominion University. Her work focuses on the intersection of racial politics and technology. Her publications include “Tweets, Tweeps, and Signifyin’: Communication and Cultural Performance on ‘Black Twitter’” published in Television and New Media and “Recontextualizing the Racial Present: Intertextuality and the Politics of Remembering Online” published in Critical Studies in Media Communication. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled Blackness. There’s an App for That: Racial Politics and Black Digital Cultures.

Charles Ford

Charles Ford (Norfolk State University)

Charles H. Ford, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of History at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. He also serves as the University’s Director of its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for accreditation. Along with his research partner, Dr. Jeffrey Littlejohn of Sam Houston State University in Texas, he has published an array of works on civil rights and twentieth century Virginia; the most significant of these is Elusive Equality: Desegregation and Resegregation in Norfolk’s Public Schools (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012.)

Barbara Hamm Lee

Barbara Hamm Lee (WHRO)

Barbara Hamm Lee serves as Managing Director for SkillsOnline, WHRO’s workforce development initiative.  In addition to her duties for SkillsOnline, she is the Executive Producer and Host of Another View, a weekly call in talk show that “discusses today’s issues from an African American perspective”.    She has also held the position of Project Director for the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ African American Public Radio Stations Initiative, consulting with 26 African American public radio stations on compliance, governance, development, programming and community engagement.  She has served as Creative Services Officer, Chief Communications Officer, Chief Public Affairs Officer and Chief Community Engagement Officer, all with WHRO Public Media.

She is very active in the community serving as the Chair of the Board of Commissioners for Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority; Chair of the Board for the Norfolk Education Foundation; Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors for the YWCA, South Hampton Roads; and a board member of Bon Secours Hampton Roads (Governance Committee), the Planning Council, and the Bennett College Alumnae Association – Tidewater Chapter.

She is married, has two daughters and a granddaughter and attends First Baptist Church, Berkley.

Andrey Kasparov

Andrey Kasparov (Norfolk Chamber Consort)

Andrey Kasparov is currently Professor of Music at Old Dominion University, teaching Composition, Piano and Music Theory.  He also directs ODU’s New Music Ensemble and co-directs the Norfolk Chamber Consort (  A graduate of the Moscow Sate Conservatory and Indiana University in Bloomington, he concertizes, publishes and records internationally.  His critically acclaimed releases include the Complete Original Works for Piano Duet/Duo by Florent Schmitt on Naxos Records as well as Hommages Musicaux and Ignis Fatuus: Piano Music of Adolphus Hailstorkon Albany Records. The prizes he has won include those from the Sergei Prokofiev International Composition Competition in Moscow, Russia and the Piano Competition for 20th-Century Music in Orléans, France.

Nancy Klein

Nancy Kirkland Klein (Old Dominion University)

Nancy Kirkland Klein is currently Professor of Music at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. She received her early training as a musician under the baton of James Erb and has studied conducting with Robert Shaw, Eric Ericson and John De Revere. She has directed the ODU Choral Department since 1986, premiering the works of Daniel Pinkham, Adolphus Hailstork, Steven Melillo and John Dayve, among many others. Her university singers have been heard performing a variety of music throughout the world. The University Choral Singers recorded a dual CD album with the JASDF band in Tokyo, performed Quartet music in Vecenzia, Italy, and warmed the halls of Iona Abbey, Scotland with their song. Klein has conducted concerts in Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, as well as the National Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and numerous venues throughout the Region. Dr. Klein has directed the Sound of America Honor Band and Choir in Annual European Concert Tours since 2009, performing in Notre Dame Cathedral. St. Mark’s Basilica, and Concert Halls in six countries. She has prepared choirs for Combined Armed Forces performances, conducted the Continental Army Band and directed choirs/bands on the USS John C. Stennis, USS Enterprise and USS North Carolina. Regularly employed by the U.S. Army to train instrumental conductor in the art of choral conducting, Dr. Klein also supervises the Masters of Music Education degree program at Old Dominion University, teaching graduate level and advanced undergraduate conductors. Nancy Klein is much sought after as a guest conductor and clinician. She holds numerous awards for teaching, mentoring and inspiring students; including the Joel S. Lewis Award, Robert L. Stern Award, University Professor Award and the ALLI Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the Arts. She is recognized nationally as a member of “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who of America’s Teachers,” and “Who’s Who in Entertainment”.

Arthur Knight

Arthur Knight (College of William & Mary)

Arthur Knight is an associate professor of American Studies, English, and Film and Media Studies at the College of William & Mary.  He’s the author of Disintegrating the Musical: Black Performance and American Musical Film (Duke University Press, 2002) and several essays on African Americans and American film.  He’s currently at work on short book on the classic musical, Stormy Weather, and Black Star: A Cultural History of African American Fame.

Terry Lindvall

Terry Lindvall (Virginia Wesleyan College)

Professor Terry Lindvall occupies the endowed C. S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought at Virginia Wesleyan College.  He has authored seven books, most recently Mocking God: A History of Christianity and Satire from the Hebrew Prophets to Stephen Colbert (NYU Press, forthcoming 2015).  Of his many articles and books on film, his most relevant for this event are “Spectacular Transcendence: Abundant Means in the Cinematic Representation of African-American Christianity” Howard Journal of Communication (September 1996) Religious Communication Article of the Year (RCA, 1997); “Cinema Virtue, Cinema Vice: Religion, Race, and Moving Picture Exhibition in Norfolk, Virginia, 1906-1922” (eds. George Potamianos and Kathryn Fuller) Beyond the Bowery: Cinema and Mass Entertainment in Small-Town America from its Origins through the Multiplex (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008);  “Sundays in Norfolk: Toward a Protestant Utopia through Film Exhibition in Norfolk, Virginia, 1910-1920” in Going to the Movies: Hollywood and the Social Experience of Cinema (ed Melvyn Stokes), (University of Exeter Press, 2008); and Sanctuary Cinema: Origins of the Christian Film Industry (New York University Press, 2007) Religious Communication Book of the Year Award (RCA, 2008).  He has executive produced over 50 films, several of which have won National Student Academy Awards.

Booker T. Mattison

Booker T. Mattison (filmmaker/Regent University)

Booker T. Mattison is an author and filmmaker who wrote the screenplay for and directed the film adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s classic story “The Gilded Six Bits,” which aired on Showtime. It starred Chad L. Coleman (“The Walking Dead,” “The Wire”), T’keyah Keymah (“That’s So Raven,” “Cosby”), Wendell Pierce (“The Michael J. Fox Show” “Treme’ “) and Novella Nelson (“The Antwone Fisher Story”). The Hollywood Reporter said, “Mattison’s direction and feel for her characters match up to Hurston’s sterling piece of fiction…full of atmosphere and strongly developed characters.”

His most recent film “Habeas Corpus” is the story of a man who can’t get over the death of his father so he steals his body from the funeral home. “Habeas Corpus” stars Chad L. Coleman, Tim Reid (“Sister Sister” “WKRP in Cincinnati”), Jamie Hector (“The Wire,” “Heroes”) and Lee Chamberlin (“All My Children” “The Electric Company”). “Habeas Corpus” has won five film festival awards and screened at seven festivals and conferences around the country.

Andrew Quicke

Andrew Quicke (Regent University)

Professor Andrew Quicke teaches in the Department of Film & Television at Regent University specializing in redemptive cinema, the history of contemporary American cinema, foreign cinema and writing for short films and television.

Professor Quicke’s professional career in national and international cinema spans more than four decades. Past roles include writing, directing and producing for BBC Television; vice president of programming for Clearview International Cable Television in Bangkok, Thailand; news bureau chief for CBN News and Middle Eastern television (Jerusalem and Beirut); president of Kensington Film Services in London; and founder and executive producer of Reuters-Visnews International Film Training School. At Regent, he teaches courses on aesthetics and techniques of cinema-television, advanced motion picture production, redemptive cinema, history of contemporary American cinema, critical studies, foreign cinema, and writing for film and television.

Stephanie Richmond

Stephanie Richmond (Norfolk State University)

Dr. Stephanie Richmond is an assistant professor of history at Norfolk State University. Dr. Richmond’s research specialty is gender and race in the Atlantic world.  She is currently working on a book manuscript on early feminist thought in the antislavery movement in the United States and Britain entitled A Sisterhood against Slavery: Women, Class, and the Atlantic Antislavery Movement and a project mapping networks of female abolitionists.  Dr. Richmond is the web content manager for the 1619: The Making of America conference series and project director for the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for the Study of the African Diaspora.

Monty Ross

Monty Ross (Film Producer)

Monty Ross is known for incorporating innovative production strategies for producing ​independent ​film and television projects. Ross ​is a Norfolk Commissioner on the Arts and Humanities and recently ​began teaching at Old Dominion University as an adjunct instructor​. H​is​ areas of emphasis are contemporary global African American ​cinema and producing movie content for all multimedia platforms​. To date, Ross production supervised the break-through ​$7 million grossing indie film She’s Gotta Have It , Island Pictures​ (1986) and co-produced Lee’s next eight motion pictures, including Do the Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1993) and Clockers (1995) for Universal Studios and Warner Brothers Pictures. After Lee, Ross produced Keep the Faith, Baby (2002), Showtime/Paramount Pictures ​bio-film on the life and times of the late Congressman, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.  Ross, under the title of director, is actively involved in all facets of the film industry. His concentration is film instruction, directing documentaries and highly entertaining films that incorporate interactive multimedia activities for young audiences.

Cecelia Tucker

Cecelia Tucker (Old Dominion University)

As assistant to the president for community relations at Old Dominion University, Cecelia Taliaferro Tucker has devoted herself to improving relationships among the races.  She has worked in her current position since  1991.  She undertakes a wide variety of community relations activities for the University, especially for and with the minority and African-American communities of Hampton Roads.  These activities include liaison with community groups, alumni relations; government relations; student, faculty and staff recruitment, a continuing concern for improving campus climate and civility; public speaking; representing the President and specific projects as assigned.

She has served on boards of numerous community organizations, including the Virginia Stage Company, Young Audiences of Virginia, the Virginia Beach Community Services Board , the African-American Jewish Coalition , Empowerment 2010 and the Dwelling Place.  She was president of the American Cancer Society’s Tidewater Chapter and the Tidewater Chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice, now, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.  She is also the former president of the Auxiliary to the Norfolk Medical Society where she personally raised more than $60,000.00 for the Norfolk Community Hospital.  She also helped raise $10,000 for the Hunton YMCA and $25,000.00 for the United  Negro College Fund.

In addition to her extensive community involvement, Tucker has held three state appointments by Governors John Dalton and Charles S. Robb.  She was a member of the Bi-racial Monitoring Committee for both governors and served on the Virginia Enterprise Zone Task Force for Governor Robb.

Widely recognized as a community leader, Tucker has been recognized for her works by several area organizations.  She has been honored with such awards as the Martin Luther King Award and the Outstanding Service Award from the Norfolk Links, the McDonald’s Hampton Roads Black Achievement Award, Tidewater Community College’s Martin Luther King Award, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Trailblazer’s Award, National Conference for Community and Justice Humanitarian Award, Zonta  International 2002 Women’s Achievement Award, Norfolk NAACP Lifetime Investment in Freedom Award, Urban League of Hampton Roads Legacy Award, YWCA Women of Distinction Award, Old Dominion University chapter of the NAACP President’s Award, the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi , an Honorary Member Award  from the Golden Key Honor Society of Old Dominion University; Booker T, Washingon H.S. Friends and Alumni Association Distinguished Teacher and Instructor and the Pioneer and Valuable Member Award from the Minority Advisory Council of United Way.  In February, 2013 Tucker received the Hampton Roads Legend Award from the Urban League of Hampton Roads Young Professionals and finally, she received the Diversity and Inclusion Award in December, 2013 from SunTrust Bank and the Children’s Harbor  Anchor Award in May 2014.

Currently, Tucker serves as a board member of the William A. Hunton YMCA, Rotary Club of Hampton Roads,  Norfolk Education Foundation, American Red Cross of Southeastern Virginia,  Minority Advisory Council of United Way and the  L.D. Britt Scholarship Committee.  Further, she is a member of the Board of Trustees Ministry at the historic Bank Street Memorial Baptist Church in Norfolk.

She graduated cum laude from Virginia Union University in Richmond with a bachelor of science degree in biology education and a master of science degree in biology from Michigan State University.

Van Dora Williams

Van Dora Williams (Hampton University)

An Emmy award-winning producer and writer, Van Dora Williams has worked in the journalism field for over 25 years.She has worked in all media platforms; television, print, radio and the web throughout her career.Most of her work was done in television as a PBS producer and reporter.Her documentary programs have been broadcast in local, national and international markets. Along with her writing, producing, and editing skills, Prof. Williams has also produced web content for national multimedia projects highlighting issues that affect minority communities.She has extensive experience working with and developing national outreach community initiatives that targeted specific communities.


Joshua Barnes, Wynter Benda, Foster Billingsley ,Alonzo Brandon, John R. Broderick, Isaac Bunch, Victoria Burke, Allen Campbell, Caitlyn Chandler, Denise Christian, Anne Corso , Maria Delacruz, Breck Daughtrey, Debbie Dickerson, Darren Everette, Chris Free, Zach Gehring, Dan Genard, Nancy Grden, Lora Hadjidimova, Colleen Higginbotham , Michele Jenkins, Jacqui Johnson, Marcus Jones, Rebekah Joyce, Nikki Kilgore, La Wanza Lett-Brewington, Chris Mason, Karen Meier, Megan Mensink, Lee Mongold, Son Nguyen, Stacey Parks, Stephen Pullen, Samantha Riggins, Tom Robinson, Fred Schoenfeld , Traquita Simmons, Alana Smith, Jackie Stein, Cullen Strawn, Rita Sutherland, Nicole Swartz, Geraldine “Dee Dee” Williams, Charles Wilson