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Saturday, September 9 • 6:30pm - 8:30pm
A Most Beautiful Thing

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The moving true story of a group of young men growing up on Chicago's West side who form the first all-Black high school rowing team in the nation, and in doing so not only transform a sport, but their lives.

Join us on Saturday night at Festival for a special cinematic experience, as we present the feature-length documentary, “A Most Beautiful Thing!” Arshay Cooper—the movie’s inspiring protagonist—will be on-site to hold a question-and-answer session after the screening. Here’s how the film team sets the stage:
The film chronicles the first African American high school rowing team in this country (made up of young men, many of whom were in rival gangs from the West Side of Chicago), all coming together to row in the same boat. This amazing story is based on the memoir by Arshay Cooper.

“A Most Beautiful Thing” explores not only the safety these young men found on the water (where, as the captain reflected, “we were in a place where we could not hear the sound of sirens”), but the trauma of violence and cyclical poverty, examining how these young men were able to support each other in reimagining a different future for themselves, and how rowing and the water provided the backdrop for that opportunity.

Named one of the best films of 2020 by Esquire, “A Most Beautiful Thing” is narrated by the Academy Award/Grammy-winning artist, Common; executive produced by NBA Stars Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade along with Grammy Award-winning producer 9th Wonder [who also did the hip-hop score]; and [is] directed by award-winning filmmaker and Olympic rower Mary Mazzio. 

The movie will be shown at 6 PM on Saturday, September 9, at Wooden Boat Festival, with the Q&A session to follow. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to watch the film and engage with Arshay Cooper firsthand!

Learn more about Cooper and the film at www.amostbeautifulthing.com

avatar for Arshay Cooper

Arshay Cooper

Arshay Cooper
Arshay grew up on the West Side of Chicago and in 1997 joined (and later became captain of) the country’s first all-Black high school rowing team at Manley High School, an experience that changed his life. He dedicated two years of his life to AmeriCorps, focusing on diversity and... Read More →

Saturday September 9, 2023 6:30pm - 8:30pm PDT
Cruising Stage 431 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA, USA