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Rich Mckeown

FILM MAKER - DIRECTOR | Mali: The Quest for Peace

Rich Mckeown is the recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award, The President's Volunteer Service Award and The State of Maryland's Governor's Citation in 2023. He is founder and president of KoolKidz Television & Publishing, LLC. Established in 2005, KoolKidz has garnered over 300 Film Festival selections and awards worldwide including his film American beatboxer, inducted in the Harvard Hip Hop Archives and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Library & Archives. KoolKidz films have been broadcast on the Revolt TV, The Urban Movie Channel, the Education Channel, Tubi, as well as the East Africa Television’s Kids Time Program. The KoolKidz children’s DVD’s are available in libraries throughout the United States and Canada.” Rich is the sole composer and music producer on all the early projects. He brings 15 years of experience working for publishing and entertainment giants Prentice Hall/Simon & Schuster; Sony Video; Boosey & Hawkes; Bertelsmann Music Group & HBO combined with an additional 12 years in sales.

As a public speaker and educator, Rich has conducted several workshops for the National Black Children’s Development Institute in Silver Springs, Maryland and has presented to the students and faculty at Columbia College in Chicago, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and had four Film/Beatbox workshop residencies with Harvard Office of the Arts/Learning from Performers Program.

In 2018, Rich was named Arts Hub Leader for the Mandela Washington Fellows who attend Wagner College on Staten Island, NY. He became a 2019 Mandela Washington Fellow Reciprocal Awardee for instructing a 10 day micro-budget filmmaking workshop in Equatorial Guinea. In 2021 Rich was awarded a US Embassy Diplomacy Grant in Guinea-Conakry to teach and set up a film department at the Espace Cultural de Siba Fassou, an artists based NGO and the Institut Supérieur des Arts Mory Kanté, both located in Dubréka. Rich was awarded a second Diplomacy Grant to return to Dubréka and further his work and program. His 3rd Diplomacy grant is from the U.S. Embassy in Bamako, Mali where he will be producing the inaugural Bamako Films for Peace Symposium & Workshop at the U.S. Embassy in Bamako and Le Conservatoire des Arts et Multimedia Balla Fasseké Kouyaté, in June of 2023. Rich completed the first half his 4th Public Diplomacy grant in November of 2023 and will return in 2024 for the 2-part program of The “Films for a Bright Future for Guinea’s Marginalized Communities” program which will be conducted in all three of the American Corners in Guinea culminating in a large community screening in the capital of Conakry.

Rich Mckeown
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