WETA Airs GMU-TV Video on Professor

Posted: January 17, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Kate Passin

“U Street Sound,” a GMU-TV production, debuts on WETA today. The 17-minute video explores Art and Visual Technology professor Walter Kravitz’s art installation at the Reeves Center, a Washington D.C. government building at the corner of U and 14th streets.

The public art project is a tribute to the jazz era and the city’s historical jazz center. The project revisits U Street during that era with the creation of a kinetic mixture of dancers and jazz musicians, explains Kravitz. He created a 24-foot high chorus line of dancers and 8-foot high jazz musicians, which are painted in a vibrant array of colors and suspended from the main atrium and foyer of the center.

Many members of the Mason community helped to create the video. Lesley Smith, an assistant professor in New Century College, wrote the script, and Mason alumna Rene Harrison narrated the piece. Brian Keegan, a student at the university, composed the music for it, and he recently received a Crystal Award of Excellence for his work. GMU-TV staff members involved with the production include Susan Kehoe, Greg Smalfelt, Sandy Taylor, Steve Watson, and Richard Wood. Kravitz completed the project with the help of student interns.

“U Street Sound” airs on WETA Channel 26 tonight at 10:30 p.m. It follows the Ken Burn’s documentary series “Jazz.”

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