Community

Kansas City Portraits: Damon Lee Patterson

Photographer Roy Inman captures stories of the people of Kansas City.

Damon Lee Patterson: Creative at Large

“I felt like I was in on a big, magical secret, being around these musicians, writers, painters and actors and I thought I needed to share it with other people,” says Patterson.

Above: Photo of Damon Lee Patterson by Roy Inman.

And I felt like I was talking with a young Gordon Parks. Damon is a walking example of a “creative” in the truest sense, and has much in common with Parks:  Both grew up in the inner-city; both had an artistic revelation or as Damon terms it, “a divine intervention;” both have done writing, photography and film-making.

About the age of 14, Damon got involved in community theater. Later, when he started teaching acting to children he saw how the introverted ones would “wake up and come alive, become talkative and expressive” in the workshops.

He knew he had to share this experience and thus was sparked the idea for his feature film documentary project, “Art Saved My Life.” It is an artful assemblage of interviews with Tech N9ne, Shane Evans, Lonnie McFadden, Nicolette Paige, Luna Breeze Blakeman, Bobby Watson and a bunch of other creatives. His film debuted at the 2013 Fringe Festival to sold-out audiences.

His next focus is to work on getting the film wider distribution.

“Then I am going to dive 100 percent into music,” which is not surprising, considering that he sings, plays the piano and guitar and produces music.