Stage actor and writer Sidney DuPont (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Trevor: The Musical) has gathered a group of Broadway and Off Broadway performers to launch “The Walkout Project,” a movement to urge the exclusive patronage of Black-owned businesses on July 4.
DuPont and a large ensemble that includes Hamilton’s Tamar Greene and Jared Dixon have recorded the new song and music video “Walkout,” dropping tomorrow on the holiday.
Watch a trailer below.
“Black people have lived in fear,” DuPont said in a statement. “We have been methodically, systematically, and socially conditioned to make white people feel comfortable. We have done this to elevate in the workplace, for better housing opportunities, and for the basic safety of our lives and our Black children’s lives. And yet still, we are killed, beaten, and heavily policed. The Walkout Project was created by artists to cancel out the mentality of white comfortability by instead focusing on the equity of the ‘Black Dollar.’
The project follows recent calls by Black theater artists for greater inclusion on Broadway, both onstage and within the industry and creative processes. One of the actors taking part in the video is former Hamilton star Amber Iman, who recently helped organize a three-day forum for the Broadway Advocacy Coalition called Broadway For Black Lives Matter Again.
Says DuPont, “My vision for this project has always been to say to the country and to the world one singular truth: ‘Until we’re all free, no one is free.’ Black people cannot possibly claim freedom when the system that is supposed to protect and serve us instead continues a destructive and traumatic pattern of taking Black, unarmed civilian life. This is why we are asking Americans to join us in #TheWalkoutProject kickoff this July 4th. We will be walking out of the system by supporting exclusively Black-owned businesses that day. And we especially encourage the support of Black LGBTQ+ owned businesses.”
Producing “Walkout” is Veatrix, a Black-owned production company. The song will be released exclusively on Tidal, and the corresponding music video will be exclusively released on the official website for #TheWalkoutProject.
The video’s cast includes Ari Groover (Little Shop of Horrors), Ben Fankhauser (Newsies), Christina Sajous (SpongeBob), Crystal Kellogg (School of Rock), Gabrielle Elisabeth (Beautiful), Gabrielle McClinton (Chicago, Pippin), Hailee Wright (Beautiful), Jasmin Richardson (The Book of Mormon), Kayla Davion (Tina), Kennedy Caughell (Wicked), Marla Louissaint (The Visitor), Michael Stiggers (The Lion King), Nicholas Rodriguez (Tarzan) Terence Archie (Company), Jenna Marie Graves (Ailey II), Yael Reich (Hadestown), Amanda Castro (In The Heights), Ashley de la Rosa (Hamilton, Beautiful), Nasia Thomas (Ain’t Too Proud), Aashley Morgan (Beautiful), Malcolm Armwood (Hadestown), Housso Semon (The Lion King), Garrett Coleman (Hammerstep), Courtney Cochran (Dance Theatre of Harlem, Brooklyn Ballet), singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, Melissa Benoist (CW’s Supergirl, Beautiful) with Joshua Roberts (Britton & the Sting) on drums and Chris DiMeglio (TILT Brass) on horns.
Creative team for the video is DuPont as composer/lyricist/director, Jonathan Mousset Alonso as Musical Arranger, James Rushin as Music Supervisor, and Amy Marie Seidel as Associate Director.
All proceeds from the video will be donated to:
Black Lives Matter
Broadway Advocacy Coalition
Black Visions Collective
Color of Change
National Bail Fund Network
Marsha P Johnson Institution National Urban League.