Black Metropolis: Improvisations on Paint Factory

Mann Center for the Performing Arts



Paint Factory performed by Darin Atwater and his Soulful Symphony, 2019, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Baltimore, MD. Photo by Stephen Cherry.


Composer Darin Atwater. Photo by Damien Carter.


West Philly rapper Chill Moody, artist-in-residence at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Raymond Davis.

A newly adapted version of Darin Atwater’s Paint Factory—an orchestral work of classical music, hip-hop, spoken word, and dance—marks hip-hop’s 50th anniversary and reflects on how culture and racial justice movements have advanced since the piece premiered in 2007. As the Mann Center’s artist-in-residence, West Philadelphia-based hip-hop artist Chill Moody collaborates with Atwater on the new iteration of the 14-movement composition, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra. The artists’ collaborative adaptation of the work produces an entirely new score, composition, and lyrics. Video documentation follows the creative process and Chill Moody’s residency experience at the Mann, with videos made available through the online “Mann Music Room” portal.

The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.