Grace Notes: Reflections for Now (United States | 2016, 7 min)

Directed by: Ian Forster

In this film, internationally acclaimed artist Carrie Mae Weems stages "Grace Notes: Reflections for Now," an original performance that austerely dramatizes one of the most pressing problems of our time, racial violence in the United States. Although known for her work as a photographer, in "Grace Notes" Weems blends spoken word, music, projected video, and dance to commemorate the tragic deaths of young black men like Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. "The thing to me that is remarkable about our history, about who we are, about how we have conducted ourselves in the onslaught of history, is to maintain the core of our dignity," says Weems to the show's cast during a rehearsal. "That is really the ultimate call of grace." "Grace Notes" was commissioned by Spoleto Festival USA and performed in June 2016 to honor the nine churchgoers who were killed one year earlier at Emanuel AME Church, located just three blocks from where the production was performed. Weems is represented in public and private collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY and she received a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” grant as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.