Inspired by the 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers® and the opportunity to share the ensemble’s artistry and cultural significance beyond Nashville, the nonprofit Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) and Nashville Public Television (WNPT), Nashville's independent nonprofit PBS station serving Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, are partnering to distribute Walk Together Children: The 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers through PBS member stations across the country this fall.
Walk Together Children, a performance film produced by TPAC in 2021, will premiere in Nashville on NPT at 9 p.m. CT on Sunday, Oct. 3, in advance of the Fisk Jubilee Singers’ “Jubilee Day” celebration on Oct. 6. The national distribution includes broadcasts on 33 PBS member stations in 19 states in October and November. Please check your local listings for additional broadcast information.
In Walk Together Children, Dr. Paul T. Kwami and his students pay tribute to the original nine members of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, organized as a choral ensemble in 1871 to perform and raise money to support Fisk University. As the current singers explore the personal stories of the trailblazers who paved the way for future generations, they reflect on their roles as students and preservers of the world-renowned choral group’s legacy. Inviting viewers to share in their unique bond and learn the significance of the Negro spirituals and their value in today’s culture, the film is a dual concert event celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers and a call to action for the bright future ahead for Fisk University and all of Nashville.
“It is very exciting to see the collaboration between Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Fisk Jubilee Singers develop beautifully into the production of Walk Together Children: The 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers,” says Dr. Paul T. Kwami, D.M.A., Fisk Jubilee Singers Musical Director. “The film tells the stories of the nine original Fisk Jubilee Singers, and I am thrilled that we honor them through this film and salute the generations of Fisk Jubilee Singers and their directors. Our collaboration will continue to benefit school children globally through our educational offerings.”
Created in collaboration with Dr. Kwami and producer/director Jon Royal, Walk Together Children was produced by TPAC for student audiences as part of its annual Season for Young People and supported by contributions from Amazon, Bank of America, Enterprise Solutions, and Delta Dental of Tennessee. The national distribution of Walk Together Children is further supported by HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health and Curb Records.
Through partnership with Nashville Public Television, the film is reformatted for public broadcast to include historical context about the celebrated cultural legacy of the Fisk Jubilee Singers and their contributions to preserving the unique musical tradition of Negro spirituals for a nationwide audience.
InsideOut Panel Discussion on Oct. 4
TPAC will host a virtual panel discussion of Walk Together Children at 12 p.m. CT on Monday, Oct. 4 as part of its InsideOut program. The discussion, sponsored by Vanderbilt University's Office of Community Relations, will include Fisk Jubilee Singers Musical Director Dr. Kwami, Fisk University Executive Vice President Dr. Jens Frederiksen, film director Jon Royal, WNPT’s Program Manager Jessica Turk, TPAC's Executive Vice President of Education & Community Engagement Roberta Ciuffo-West and Fisk University graduate Ariana Okhuozagbon. The event will share excerpts from the film and discuss the history of the ensemble.