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Denise Ward-Brown

Denise Ward-Brown is a filmmaker whose work frequently explores African and African-American themes and history. Most recently, she completed Home Going, a three-part documentary suite about Washington Park Cemetery—a historical representation of the African-American Church, an autonomous institution founded in a segregated society. She is currently producing and directing projects with funding from the Missouri Humanities Council and a 2016 Ferguson Seed Fund Grant from Washington University.

Ward-Brown also was awarded a $20,000 Regional Arts Commission Fellowship, a Regional Arts Commission Artist Support Grant, Sam Fox School Faculty Creative Activity Research Grants, and a Project Series Grant from the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. With support from a 2015 grant from The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation, she designed the course Tale of Two Cities: Documenting Our Divides, in which students engaged with and documented social justice organizations throughout St. Louis.

Ward-Brown began making documentary videos in West Africa as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 1997–98. Her first films addressed traditional celebrations in Ghana, and she received second place in the Documentary Award category at the Abuja International Film Festival in 2004. She has received production grants for her award-winning documentary Jim Crow to Barack Obama (JC2BO), including a CALOP grant in 2011 and a Kresge Arts in St. Louis Grant.

Ward-Brown earned a BFA (cum laude) from Tyler School of Art at Temple University and an MFA (summa cum laude) from Howard University.

Personal website

Work by Denise Ward-Brown

Text reads, "Poet Laureate Eugene Redmond in still from NEVER BEEN A TIME" above a still from the video, in which Redmond wears a white shirt with ea blue vest and cap, under the floor of a wooden structure. There is a tree behind him.

Eugene Redmond Under Black Bridge, Never Been a Time film still, 2017

A portrait of a person (Grandmother Kennedy) superimposed on a landscape: there is a bridge in the foreground and the St. Louis Arch in the background.

Grandmother Kennedy @ Black Bridge, Never Been a Time film still, 2017

Text set in a large typewriter font superimposed on a landscape, in which a bridge is shown in the center, with greenery to the side.

Black Bridge with NewsprintText, Never Been a Time film still, 2017

Text reads, "NEVER BEEN A TIME - Poet CELILLIANNE GREEN", below a still from the video, in which Green is filmed in front of a spray painted brick wall. Green wears a white collared shirt, black framed glasses, and a colorful, cool-toned scarf.

Poet Celillianne Green, Never Been a Time film still, 2017

Text reads, "NEVER BEEN A TIME - filming poet jason vasser", below a still from the video, in which vasser stands in front of railroad tracks, wearing a graphic tee that reads, "NATIVE SON BY RICHARD WRIGHT".

Poet Jason Vasser-Elong, Never Been a Time film still, 2017