ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – When the “Amplify” series was launched on The Arvada Center’s YouTube page earlier this summer, its creator, Betty Hart, had no idea it would be such a hit.

“The public embraced it in a way that was really beyond all expectations and immediately began to say, ‘what’s next?” she told CBS4’s Michael Abeyta.

(credit: Arvada Center)

It started out as three episodes of Black men sharing their frustrations and feelings about what it’s like to be Black in America through art. Now Hart says it’s time to hear from Black women.

“The women are building the house on the foundation that the men have laid. And so because the men have laid that foundation of fear and anger, women are able to do that, but they are also able to show joy,” Hart said.

Lynne Hastings made a short movie for the upcoming series. She says her message is one of hope for a challenging time.

(credit: Arvada Center)

“It’s very frustrating the disparity in how Black people are treated, Black men, and it’s all because of that stereotype that Black men are scary,” she said. “We can rise above this because we are resilient as a community, as a BIPOC community we are resilient we just have to keep fighting.”

Hart hopes white, Black and all people will watch these performances and listen to these artists’ joy and pain so we can learn to see each other as real people.

(credit: Arvada Center)

“I think part of the problem of why we got to this place in society is because we are able to stereotype people,” she said. “We’re not able to see them as full people. When you get to see the joy of a person as well as the pathos you link it to your own. Then empathy and compassion can rise.”

There are four episodes available to watch online right now with two more soon to be released.

If you would like to check them out head to the Arvada Center YouTube page.

Michael Abeyta

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