Rocket Grant (2017)
Statement of Work
Brian Hawkins is an animator whose work is concerned with the vagaries of memory and historical narratives. Early in life, he was fascinated by ragtime, a syncopated precursor to jazz that developed at the turn of the twentieth century in his home state of Missouri. He began actively researching and performing the genre as a teenager, which resulted in an award-winning documentary about the composer James Scott.
Brian first read of the disappearing Franco-American communities of Missouri while completing his thesis, and he began seriously investigating the topic in the summer of 2016. In the course of his research, he discovered that he is descended from one of the first French settlers of Sainte Genevieve, Missouri. He is currently developing a project which focuses on the distinctive folkways of the Missouri French Creoles. Their folktales will be presented as cut-paper animations, and live-action documentary footage will provide historical context and show the ways the community celebrates its cultural heritage to this day.