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St. Kate's hosts screening of MTV series "Rebel Music"

Rebecca McDonald '07 served as an associate producer for the the new MTV World music documentary series "Rebel Music."
Rebecca McDonald '07 served as an associate producer for the the new MTV World music documentary series "Rebel Music."
Photo by Jamel Shabazz; Artwork by Shepard Fairey

St. Catherine University is hosting a public screening of the new MTV World music documentary series "Rebel Music" on Monday, Nov. 18 from 6:30–9 p.m. in the Pulse, off the Dining Hall in the St. Paul campus student center, Coeur de Catherine. The powerful new six-part series looks into the lives of young people who are using art and music to ignite change around the world.

The event features a pre-screening panel discussion about the making of Rebel Music, the history of protest music, and art as social change. Panelists include Rebecca McDonald ’07, Rebel Music associate producer; Allison Adrian, ethnomusicologist and associate professor of music; and Nancy Heitzeg, professor of sociology and critical studies of race and ethnicity.

McDonald graduated summa cum laude from St. Catherine University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, women’s studies and critical studies of race and ethnicity. She is a producer and founder of B FRESH Photography and Media.

Her multimedia direction and production has been featured on national outlets including PBS’ “Independent Lens,” MTV, CurrentTV, Free Speech TV, Pacifica Radio, and her reporting has appeared in the pages of ColorLines, The Nation, The Source, Vibe, and locally-based City Pages.

What did you do at MTV on Rebel Music?rebel music poster

MTV World, a division of Viacom, recruited me to work as Associate Producer of the series, Rebel Music in 2012. I conducted the initial research about the history of protest music in the U.S. and around the world, building a database of contemporary examples of social movements and young people igniting change through music and art. I developed and edited the first trailer for Rebel Music that was used in pitching the series.

It was inspiring to meet young people transforming the idea of what political activism is, breathing life into their communities. Essentially, the young people of this world are shaping the sound of revolution, and oftentimes risking their lives in pursuit of a better tomorrow. I dug deep to uncover emerging pockets of creativity-- from rap in Nigeria, heavy metal in Iran, and punk rock in Cuba.

I left the project last year to direct my own documentary, Manidoowaadiziwag Ikwewag (Women Are Sacred), set to premier this December.

How were you inspired to work on global music?

I’ve always been interested and engaged with music, but my research, journalism and multimedia work became well-known nationally through highly-visible collaborations with Rock the Vote and Village Voice Media. 

However, my interest in global music started here at St. Kate’s. For my Women’s Studies senior seminar with Cecilia Konchar Farr, my award-winning final research paper was about women in Hip Hop leading a global movement of creating connections across borders, called “All the Ladies in the House, Say ‘Ho--o!’ A Global Hip Hop Feminist Response.”

I had no idea that the work I was passionate about in the classroom could translate into a viable career. I have owned my own business and worked full-time independently since 2008.


Rebel Music Screening event details:

6:30 p.m. Networking Reception
7 p.m. Pre-screening discussion
8 p.m. Rebel Music premiere, featuring Egypt and Afghanistan episodes

Co-sponsored by the Abigail Q. McCarthy Center for Women and the Multicultural and International Programs and Services (MIPS) Office, the event is free and open to the public.

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Nov. 14, 2013 by Sharon Rolenc

See also: Alumnae/i, Arts, Faculty, Liberal Arts, Social Justice