Tewodross Melchishua Williams, Associate Professor & Program Coordinator, VCDMA
Tewodross "Teo" Melchishua Williams (pronounced Tee-oh-droze Mell-keshu-ah) is a filmmaker, animator, visual artist and projection designer from Prince George’s County, Maryland. His animation, art and films have been shown to audiences nationally and internationally.
He has also been a featured speaker and consultant on several workshops, panels and television programs discussing issues and topics such as digital art & multimedia, design, animation, filmmaking and the cultural and historical aesthetics of the moving image, technology, hip-hop studies and diversity in the field of animation.
He received a Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Fellowship that allowed him to travel to Senegal and Morocco. He also has participated in research projects with high school students in Israel. Most recently he was part of a study abroad experience and visit to Ethiopia with students and faculty in the School of Business at Bowie State University, to focus on African and African American business, trade and investment opportunities.
Tewodross has received numerous awards and recognition for his work in video and animation such as The SONY Innovator's Award in Animation; Sony Corporation, New York, NY, First Place for Animation from The Maafa Film & Video Festival, Brooklyn, NY, The Paul Robeson Award in Film and Video, Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ, The Annual Rosebud Independent Film & Video Competition, Washington, DC, The National Black Programming Consortium's Prized Pieces, Columbus, OH. Most recently, his films were screened at The DC Black Film Festival, Urban Media Makers Film Festival, African World Film Festival, Heritage Film Festival and the Iconaclast Film Review.
He has also curated the hip-hop based exhibition, M3: MCs, Mics and Metaphors, which was exhibited at Flashpoint and Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC. He has served as a creative consultant on various film/video, design and animation productions, and mentors younger animators and filmmakers. He was the illustrator for children's book written by Dr. Winmilawe Shango's Son.
He also has produced animation, visuals and video projections for theatrical productions such as The Pitmen Painters, Caesar & Dada, The Thunder Thigh Review, Paige In Full, Liner Notes, Slam Theatre 1.0, Where My Girls At? and Galactic Ritual: A Hip-Hop Theatre Experience ft. SA-ROC and Sol Messiah, and Sole Defined.
He co-wrote the multimedia performance, and created videos and video projection for Nacirema and created produced video remixes and serves as resident VJ for the Shaolin Jazz – the 37th Chamber project (a mixtape of Wu-Tang Clan with Blue Note and other jazz musicians) produced by Gerald Watson and DJ 2-Tone Jones. He was a featured artist and apart of the Kennedy Center's One Mic: Hip-Hop Worldwide Festival and also a designer for Cinderella: The Remix.
He also participated in the Emmys Television Academy Faculty Seminar (2017) and continues to work with students and alum in the areas of filmmaking, animation, projection design and more. Tewodross or “Teo” as he affectionately called, received his BA in Art/Photographic Media from Morgan State University, and an MFA in Imaging & Digital Arts from UMBC. He also taught animation and motion graphics at Howard University and Prince George’s Community College.
His current research and interests include: product and industrial design, sustainable design, branding, hip-hop studies, visual culture, afrofuturism, science fiction, video projection design, 4K/HD, 3D/4D, projection mapping, filmmaking, animation and motion graphics. He does this through his film and digital media studio collective Visual Jazz, located in the Gateway Media Arts Lab located in Mount Rainier, just in the Gateway Arts district of Prince George's County.
Currently, he serves as an associate professor and program coordinator of visual communication and digital media arts program (VCDMA) and teaches courses in animation, motion graphics, cinematography, new media, hip-hop studies and contemporary (underground) art/design. He is a proud member of AIGA (DC Chapter), Creative Edge Collaborative of Prince George's County and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.