Akilah Newton Projects (ANP) is a company that celebrates diversity in ethnicity, gender and orientation through literature, games and art activities and supplies. The founder, Akilah Newton, is an activist, author and entrepreneur. She has always had a fascination with the arts and pursued her passion by studying music, drama and dance. In 2003, she moved to the UK to attend university at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Arts, Music & Entertainment Management, she returned to Montreal and created an organization for artistically inclined youth. She founded Overture with the Arts (OWTA) in 2009, an organization committed to making performing-arts education accessible to youth from all walks of life. She recognized that the arts have the power to unite communities, and made it her mission to produce OWTA programs and events that spark discussion about social change. In that vein, one of OWTA’s most popular programs is their annual Black History Month school tour. The tour visits schools across Canada and educates youth about Canadian Black history using music and spoken word.
In 2018 Akilah co-wrote children’s book Big Dreamers: The Canadian Black History Activity Book for Kids Volume 1. The book highlights the achievements of Black Canadians whose stories are often left untold.
For over 10 years Akilah has been working tirelessly to promote Black History and she wanted to capture the work that she’s been carrying out through OWTA. She conceptualized a documentary about Canadian Black History and her production company, November 18 Productions, was born. The first project that will be produced by her company is called Beyond February.