Elissa Blount Moorhead
Elissa Blount-Moorhead is a Baltimore-based producer, artist, writer, curator and lecturer. Blount-Moorhead is an advocate for social change through her interdisciplinary work in visual art, music, design, and film. She has produced public art events, gallery exhibitions, films screenings, and education programs since the early 90s.
Education and background
Elissa Blount-Moorhead was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She lived in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY before moving to Baltimore, Maryland in 2014. Blount-Moorhead studied at the Syracuse University College of Law and received her degree in 1993, and later received her MFA in Interior Design at Parsons School of Design in 2007. She has a 14-year-old daughter, Mahsati "Sunny" Moorhead and a 9-year-old son, Ziggy Moorhead.
Elissa Blount-Moorhead has produced public art events, gallery exhibitions, films screenings, and education programs since 1991. Blount-Moorhead co-founded Red Clay, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit arts organization dedicated to providing a platform for emerging media and experimental artistic expression. At Red Clay Arts, she curated and produced over 20 exhibitions and programs, in New York and London. These exhibitions include Random Occurrences (2005), a multi-venue exhibition in conjunction with Project Diversity; Cat Calls (2001), a Street Harassment project at St Ann's Warehouse and the NYC Museum; and an inaugural experimental series Practicum at Bric Arts Media BRIC(2002). With Red Clay Arts, Elissa Blount-Moorhead traveled to Jamaica, where she and her team taught children photography, photojournalism, new media and experimental artistic expression.
Blount-Moorhead was the Director of Design, Programming, and Exhibitions at the Weeksville Heritage Center. She was co-curator of Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn, a collaboration between with Creative Time and Weeksville Heritage Center. This was a walkable month-long art exhibition of four community-based art works by Xenobia Bailey, Simone Leigh, Otabenga Jones & Associates, and Bradford Young.
She was the Director of RushKids an arts education program administered Rush Arts Gallery (2001-2003).
Elissa Blount-Moorhead created and taught the Cultural Pluralism course for Pratt Institute's Graduate School of Art and Cultural Management (1999-2011), and at the Parsons Graduate School of Design at Cooper Hewitt since 2012. She lectures and publishes work internationally covering environmental design, history, and museology.
Blount-Moorhead was a co-founder of the art and social practice team, Tandem and TNEG film studio. Elissa Blount-Moorhead began her partnership with cinematographers Arthur Jafa ("Daughters of the Dust," "Crooklyn," "Dreams Are Colder Than Death," "Florida Water") and Malik Sayeed ("He Got Game," "Belly") in 2013, establishing the film studio TNEG. Their goal is to develop and produce new black independent films, but films that will also “push what we understand to be new black cinema and to create not just new narratives, but also new aesthetics and technical parameters within black cinema." She says, "I feel like independent film in general is becoming more well-regarded and more supported. If you just think back 20 years there was no IFC, or things like that. There are more alternative platforms now, like Netflix, that are now commissioning and financing work that will go directly through their channels—those are the ways you are able to provide an outlet for people and to hopefully allow filmmakers to create a voice that is not contingent on mainstream and Hollywood expectations."
- "Arthur Jafa, Elissa Blount Moorhead & Rashida Bumbray". Flux Projects.
- "Elissa Blount Moorhead | Making Meaning | CreativeMornings/BAL". Creative Mornings. 2016-02-02.
- McLymont, Indi (2002-10-14). "Elissa's dream takes her to Trench Town". Jamaica Observer.
- "The Contemporary : About". The Contemporary.
- "Presenting visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces". Art in Odd Places. 2016.
- "Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn". Creative Time Reports.
- Dennis, Michael (2015-08-04). "Blackstar 2015: Arthur Jafa & Elissa Blount-Moorhead Talk TNEG, Their Recently-Launched Production Studio". Shadow and Act.
- "Today's Family & Kids Activites [sic] in Bronx-Feb 28". City Guide NY. 2016-02-28.
- Sergio (2014-11-11). "Cinematographers Arthur Jafa & Malik Sayeed Team w/ Curator Elissa Blount-Moorhead to Launch New Film Production Company". Shadow and Act.
- Rucker, Gabrielle (2014-11-04). "A New Film Studio Made For Telling Our Stories". Mater Mea.
- "P Is for Pussy". Goodreads.
- "Book Launch: P is for Pussy by Elissa Blount Moorhead in conversation with Rashida Bumbray". The Powerhouse Arena.