Four Philly Artists to Watch This Black History Month

ChatterBlast & Big Picture Alliance  image
ChatterBlast & Big Picture Alliance
February 1, 2024

What does creativity mean to you? As a creative agency, we’re constantly seeking the answer to this question, pushing the boundaries to create lasting, impactful stories—whether it’s for our clients or our own backyard in Philadelphia.  

With the start of Black History Month upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on the official theme for 2024: African Americans and the Arts. Celebrating the many achievements and influence Black Americans have had on cultural expression and creativity across every facet of the arts, Black History Month is a time to spotlight the significant impact Black art has had on our past and present. It’s also an opportunity to look toward the future. 

In honor of this, we’ve teamed up with our partners at Big Picture Alliance to amplify some of the most influential young Black artists and filmmakers currently making waves in Philadelphia, and ask what creativity means to them. Check out their work below! 

Sam Austin – @samaustindp

“To me, creativity is like dreaming with your eyes open. It’s a way to make the intangible, tangible. Creativity breeds innovation and ingenuity, without it, we’d all still be banging rocks together.” 

Sam is a multidisciplinary filmmaker specializing in cinematography and creative storytelling. His career began in high school where he worked on several productions both behind and in front of the camera through Big Picture Alliance’s Youth Media Collective. He went on to excel in BPA’s Film & Media Futures workforce program, where he wrote and served as director of photography for his debut film, Magenta

He’s also worked with local production companies such as Big Picture Productions, All Ages Productions, Loaded Pixel Creative, Ten01 Media Collective and even founded his own company, YNOT studios. In 2022, he returned to Big Picture Alliance as a teaching artist and mentor, passing on his knowledge and experience to the next generation. Sam provides a raw and authentic lens into his perspective of the world through his storytelling. 

Nasya Jenkins –

“Creativity is important to me because it allows me to express myself and my experience authentically!”  

A Philadelphia native, Nasya has gained experience in photography, filmmaking, and graphic design. Through these mediums, she has found that the core of her work is based in empathy, representation, and emotional exploration. Her latest project, Lover’s Anonymous, follows a young romantic after being stood up on a date, only to find love in an unlikely place. 

Eldric Parks – @eldric.laron

“If a young person in your life has the audacity to dream big, your job is to scaffold it into reality instead of shrinking it into a preconceived standard.”

Eldric is a Philadelphia based filmmaker who specializes in sound production and video editing. Shortly after graduating highschool in 2019, Eldric racked up production, videography and acting experience as an intern at Cass Corridor Films in Detroit. Here, he witnessed the ins and outs of film production, which inspired his creative decisions to come. 

Eldric is a member of Detroit music collective, Critical Theory, where he produces, directs and writes. Thanks to his filmmaking skills, he’s also excelled in programs like the Film & Media Futures program with Big Picture Alliance, where he did sound design for the short film, Let’s Take a Trip, and worked on a documentary for The People’s Kitchen, a free farm-to-table restaurant that specializes in food preservation and advocates for land justice. He continues to be an asset for fellow storytellers as an eclectic apprentice, diligent freelancer, and a reliable collaborator. Check out his latest music video below—filmed at GroundFloor Studios

Darien Woodard – @directordarien

“Every human has the responsibility to make their dreams come true, and help others around them realize theirs.”

Darien is a queer filmmaker native to Philadelphia and continuing to grow their creative accomplishments within the community they grew up in. As a filmmaker, Darien is dedicated to telling the stories of underrepresented communities and highlighting them as-is, without focusing on the traumas that come from being a minority. 

Through community building, Darien was able to co-found a Ten01 Media Collective, which helps support local artists in Philadelphia. After graduating high school, Darien participated in the Arts2Work apprenticeship before joining BPA’s Film & Media Futures in 2021. Following the year-long filmmaking extensive, Darien joined the Big Picture Alliance staff as the assistant communications and event coordinator, working to distribute original film content. Through this role, Darien hopes to connect younger, underrepresented filmmakers with the opportunities to share their stories outside of their respective networks. 

In their film, You’ll Always Have Hope, a woman’s birthday surprise is crashed when she begins to suspect her wife is cheating and her daughter may be a psychopath.

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