While he’s still a high school senior and a soon-to-be graduate of La Follette High School, local photographer Amadou Kromah is going to be the star of the Overture Center on Saturday, May 12, where his photos will be displayed and celebrated for the whole community to see.
“We will be auctioning off three pieces of work and I will be presenting 12 other works of mine throughout the whole Overture Center,” Kromah tells Madison365. Kromah has been working with Overture as a freelance photographer since 2016. “For me, it’s a graduation celebration/birthday celebration/gallery night. I really appreciate the Overture Center and how much they have helped me and my photography.”
Among the many events and performances Kromah has photographed during his short time as a photographer include performances by Boyz II Men, Patti LaBelle, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He has also photographed the Frostiball 2017 and 2018; Kids in the Rotunda and OnStage Series; and all the photography for the new “Local Legends” display kiosk in the Rotunda lobby.
“I’ve been doing photography for the past four years now – more professionally the last two years. As a freshman at Madison La Follette, I got into videography and photography … they have a club for videography and photography there,” Kromah says. “But I’ve always had a love and a passion for photography going way back.”
Kromah first came to Overture through a connection with Dr. Ed Holmes, director of diversity and inclusion at the Overture Center.
“Amadou is an example of what it looks like when we support young people, especially African-American males, to find their passion,” said Holmes in a statement. “As community members, we have a responsibility to help change the narrative and provide pathways and opportunities for our young people that they may not imagine possible. I’m proud that in Amadou’s case, Overture was able to help him identify his arts-related passion, nurture it and show him how he could continue to pursue it in the future.”
While photographing the outreach event for local students to attend a performance of DRUMLine Live! in March 2017, Kromah was approached by the Dane County NAACP and encouraged to enter the local ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) competition. Kromah went on to win the gold medal in photography at the Dane County competition, and a silver medal in photography at the 2017 National ACT-SO Competition in Baltimore. This month, Kromah took gold again for the 2018 Dane County ACT-SO and will once again represent Madison with the hopes of gold at the national competition this summer in San Antonio.
“One of the things I like best about photography is all of the great people I get to meet,” Kromah says. “It’s really a great experience for me to be able to go to all of these events and concerts and to be there behind the scenes. I really appreciate the opportunity.”
The celebration of Kromah’s photography will take place Saturday, May 12, 2-5 p.m. at the Overture Center in downtown Madison. It will feature a display of Kromah’s work, a live auctioning of a framed piece, and many different speakers including representatives from the City of Madison mayor’s office, NAACP of Dane County, and Overture Center for the Arts. Dr. Ruben Anthony, CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison will also speak along with Dr. J. Carter Ralphe, Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
“It’s a chance to meet and chat with me about photography,” Kromah says.”There will be some casual music going on and Rob Dz will perform some spoken word poetry. It’s really going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it.”