Denise McGill is director, producer and director of photography. MCGILL works as a photojournalist, videographer and writer. She’s stood on five continents gathering images that document the human experience. Her projects focus on social and cross-cultural issues. She worked as an overseas correspondent for the award-winning magazine THE COMMISSION, and has traveled to 30 countries on assignment. Her work was honored in 2008 with the one-woman juried exhibition PRICELESS SOULS. In video, she has consulted for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture-SC, using storytelling methods to help soil scientists communicate conservation techniques to farmers through online videos. She serves as Associate Professor of Visual Communications at the School of Journalism & Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, where she teaches photo and video.
Byron Hurt is executive producer. The award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer and anti-sexist activist will serve a mentoring role and consult every aspect of the one-hour documentary as it completes production.
Hurt is an Emmy-nominated TV show host and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Journalism School. His critically acclaimed documentary, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and broadcast nationally on PBS’ Emmy-award winning series Independent Lens. He is also a consultant for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Forward Promise initiative, a storytelling project for boys and young men of color.
Dr. Eric Crawford is the Director of Music. He has done extensive field recordings of traditional music and Negro spirituals on Gullah islands. His transcriptions are held at the Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In 2013, he supervised the Saint Helena Island Gullah Spirituals project, and the recordings were published by The Atheneaum Press on the DVD Gullah: The Voice of an Island. A master pianist, Crawford composes jazz and gospel music, and he directs several modern gospel choirs. Dr. Crawford is Associate Professor of Musicology at Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC.
Ron Daise is a Cultural Consultant. He is best known as the star and cultural consultant of the television series Gullah Gullah Island. Now he is involved extensively as a writer, songwriter and Gullah culture preservationist. He currently works as Vice President for Creative Education at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet. Daise is past chairman of the federal Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, and he has written several books about Gullah culture. He is a recipient of the South Carolina Folk Heritage Award, given for lifetime achievement and excellence in folk art that has enriched the lives of the people in their community and state; South Carolina Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest honor; and the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Victoria Smalls is a Cultural Consultant. She develops and runs numerous cultural education programs and events at Penn Center National Historic Landmark District. She has strong ties to Penn Center; her father Elting Smalls graduated from Penn School in 1943; her parents met on the historic grounds during the Civil Rights Movement. Ms. Smalls serves on the federal Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission; she is a Commissioner on the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, and serves on many other boards. She has a personal mission of promoting and preserving Gullah Geechee history, art and culture.