Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is as much a center for disruptive institutional and narrative change as it is a production house. Indeed, its creative campus in Filipinotown, Los Angeles is itself a rejection of antiquated Hollywood thinking, not just in foregrounding absent voices and missing representations in front of and behind the camera by people of color and women, but in reimagining how projects are greenlit, created, produced, and distributed, and by whom. In ten short years, ARRAY has built the institutional infrastructure to produce award-winning content in film (Selma) and television (Queen Sugar), across genres of drama (When They See Us), documentary (13th), unscripted (Home Sweet Home), and animation (Naomi).
Yet ARRAY is also deeply invested in the social impact of its work, creating educational and learning materials for much of its content, as well as programs such as LEAP (Law Enforcement Accountability Project) to commission art projects in the service of social justice activism. Seeing an enormous opportunity to assist diversity in employment opportunities in the industry, the non-profit ARRAY Alliance most recently built a database for below-the-line production personnel. It’s easy to see that DuVernay and her women-led team at ARRAY have not waited for permission to build, create, grow, and envision a different and more equitable future for neglected filmmakers, artists, and social activists. Through brilliant visioning and old-fashioned sweat equity, ARRAY has crafted a new way forward in an industry heavily resistant to change.
As such, ARRAY deservedly wins a Peabody Institutional Award.