Meet the 2022 Black Lens Filmmaker Fellows

  • Leona Carter

    Black Lens Fellow

    Leona Carter empowers women to build intimacy with their husbands through the power of dating again to enhance communication, from the kitchen to the bedroom.

    Leona is an International Empowerment Speaker, 10x, International-Multi-best-selling Author, and a Certified Intimacy and Relationship Coach. As the President and CEO of Carter Strategies, Leona hosts, Hey Coach Carter TV, where she talks to married women who are building their business and their bedroom. Leona has been featured on CBS, FOX, ABC, NBC and more.

    Married since 1995, Leona, and her high school sweetheart, Omarr, have six children and one grandson. Leona and her family moved from Seattle Washington to Kalamazoo Michigan for the tuition-based program called The Kalamazoo Promise, where her family was featured in the New York Times.

    Leona’s energetic personality and vibrancy set her apart from the normalcy of entrepreneurship. She blazes a trail everywhere she goes through her passion for serving. 

  • Galloway Moore

    Black Lens Fellow

    I am a black entrepreneur and small business owner that is fairly new to film but has been working with cameras for a long time. Ready to make a difference in the media world! 

  • Tanisha Pyron

    Black Lens Fellow

    Tanisha Lynn Pyron (Pretty Fire) is a classically trained actress, professional theatrical director & a co-founding member of Face Off Theatre Company.

    Most recently she directed Absentia at Ohio University and is excited to make her return to the stage. She is a virtuosic artist, creative photographer, spoken word poet, teacher, influencer, storyteller, and media entrepreneur currently working on publishing her first book of original poetry. BLACK POOL OF GENIUS Volume I and launching Tanisha Lynn Pyron Creative Services, LLC as a media brand.

    The subversive black girl artist considers herself to be a modern-day griot focusing on telling stories that redefine and re-appropriate "BLACK AMERICANA" highlighting and finding the beauty in the contradictions, pain and pride within "our stories" and thus hoping to discover and re-claim the beauty within her own. She has used acting, poetry, dance, and photography as modalities for making sure her creative vision and voice are seen, heard and felt.

    In her own words Tanisha expresses, "To me the art and the artist are one. As I seek to unlock and express what is contained in my own heart and to heal and celebrate my own beauty and spirit. The art will speak to who it needs to. "

  • Darius Quinn

    Black Lens Fellow

    Darius Quinn is an award-winning filmmaker from Kalamazoo, MI, focused particularly in the areas of writing, directing, and producing. 

  • Felicia Thomas

    Black Lens Fellow

    Felicia is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Born in spring of 1990. Very early on she developed a love for basketball and the arts and has since allowed her passion for both to help navigate through life.

    She’s an artist with experience in photography, graphic design, and painting. She is also in her second season as the head women’s basketball coach at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She studied graphic design and played basketball at Wayne State University.

    Felicia is co-founder of Artists of Color, an organization with a mission to help fellow artists find and follow through on creative opportunities in our community. In summer of 2020 she also created a brand called Palm Season, which represents a lifestyle rooted in purpose and supports having a healthy mindset to do so. She lives to inspire by showing up authentically and being a beacon of positive vibes in everything she does! 

  • Samara Woolfolk

    Black Lens Fellow

    A black lens utilizing a blogger technique and international perspective from an authentic black girl

 

Fellows are supported in part by funding from The Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation and The Stryker Johnston Foundation.

The program is further supported by our municipal partners including the City of Kalamazoo, City of Parchment, City of Galesburg, Oshtemo Township, Comstock Township, and Kalamazoo Township.