"What does it mean to be an artist? What qualifies as great art? The answers to these questions are highly subjective. Through my personal experience, an artist is someone who moves through the world wanting to learn everything they can about it, then creates art to change it for the better. An artist has a hunger for knowledge and a thirst for exploration; a modern-day pioneer. An artist is someone whose spirit cannot be confined within the limiting walls society has placed around them; they are not held back by fear but rather propelled by it, leading them to endless possibilities of invention. Through the portal of art, an artist is able to transform themselves, empathize with others, as well as uncover deeper truths about the unexplained and the unknown. Great art, is devised from the collaboration of these kinds of artists. Dumont Millennial Productions is my effort to continue my expansion as an artist and welcome these kinds of collaborations, in service of innovation.
Growing up, my house on Dumont Ave. in Brownsville, Brooklyn was the most visited spot on the block. Due to my mother’s connection to the community, many people old, young, rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight, and more, passed through our door; our revolving door, servicing those in need. Whether it be food, love, a prayer, or a laugh, visitors found what they were looking for in this place of refuge and fellowship on Dumont Ave. As a kid, whenever we had company, I would sit on the stairs, close my eyes, and listen. Letting my imagination bring to life the stories I was spying on; stories of overcoming adversity, pursuing the American dream, chasing love, celebrating triumphs, reckoning with the millennial world and pioneering new efforts. Stories that in other places were considered taboo or difficult to discuss, but in this home, told in full truth, embraced and uplifted. It is the stories of these visitors that should be shared and unpacked in hopes of creating a more empathetic, equitable, and inclusive human experience for all those who choose to listen.
In the new millennium, we have seen great advancement of technology. This began with the world wide web, then continued with inventions like the iPhone, and now, with social media, the potential of connection lives right in our hands. We now have the tools to tell our stories through innovative modes and platforms, pushing the craft forward and granting more space to share, on a global level, what it means to be human through art.
Dumont Millennial Production’s goal is to put all of these elements in motion through development of new plays, musicals, concerts, television and film productions; all of which highlight millennial protagonist and the truth of their experiences, giving visibility to these peculiar stories that have the potential to unite the world, break the mold, and revitalize our interest in storytelling."
A Brownsville, Brooklyn native, Jelani most recently starred as Hercules in Public Work’s Musical Adaptation of Disney’s Hercules. He made his Broadway Debut in Frozen the Musical as Kristoff which earned him a Drama Desk nomination for Best Leading Actor and a Drama League nomination for Distinguished Performance. Jelani is a graduate of the inaugural class of Tisch School of the Arts' New Studio on Broadway and is an A Better Chance alumnus. Jelani received the San Francisco Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Leading Actor In A Play for his work as Pharus in Choir Boy (Marin Theatre Co.). He has been seen in production and readings Off- Broadway at Signature Theatre, The York Theatre Company, and many more. Jelani is an artistic ambassador at TheatreWorks USA. His television credits include: FBI (CBS), and the upcoming The Walking Dead: The World Beyond (AMC), and the upcoming Untitled Tracey Oliver Project (Amazon) His film credits include Respect (MGM), and the independent film One Hit Wonder.
A virtual reading of Goodnight, Tyler by B.J. Tindal, directed by Kent Gash in benefit of the National Black Theatre via YouTube Premiere on August 27th, 2020 at 7pm EST. Join us and donate!more info
A Live Zoom Webinar Series designed to hold taboo discussions unpacking the experiences of ABC scholars within affluent white spaces; with the goal of formulating concrete actions to improve inclusivity for all.more info
"Hello I was just writing to say thank you very much for the cake you made for my mum. It was there on time,beautifully made and tasted delicious. Coming from a big family of vegans all my family were impressed with the cake and we will definitely be ordering from you again. Thank you so much.”
“It feels like my tummy’s been kissed.”
Have a millennial story you are ready to share? Wanting to inquire about projects in development? Leave a message and we’ll get in touch.