Tewodross Melchishua

Tewodross Williams

Tewodross M Williams CHAIR Dept of Fine & Performing Arts

Phone 301-860-3751 tmelchishua@bowiestate.edu

Main Campus Fine & Performing Arts, Room 2130


  • MFA, Imaging and Digital Media Arts, UMBC
  • BA, Art: Photographic Media, Morgan State University

Areas of Expertise

Animation, filmmaking, design, visual communication, motion graphics, visual culture, hip-hop studies, internships, creative consulting, cinematography, film/video editing, composting, visual art, painting, mixed media, digital art, media production, video art, video projection design, mapping, entertainment, study abroad and global partnerships, production design, program management, arts management, curriculum development, mentoring, creative research, collaboration, and interdisciplinary studies


Tewodross Melchishua Williams (pronounced Tee-oh-droze Mell-keshu-ah), is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Visual Communication and Digital Media Arts (VCDMA) program, in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts (DFPA).  He is an award-winning filmmaker, animator,  producer, designer, afrofuturist, and professor born in Washington, DC, and raised in Prince George’s County, MD. As a filmmaker, he is currently exploring projects in narrative film,  animation, short and long-form video, mini-documentaries, visual art, and more. His recent projects focus on concepts in science fiction, music, African/Black culture and diaspora, and more. In addition to cinematic and artistic endeavors, he also continues to work in the areas of motion graphics, animation, filmmaking, visual branding, production design, and projection design in the DMV area. He is also the Creative Director at Visual Jazz, his film/animation studio collective located in Mt. Rainier, MD in the Gateway Arts District of Prince George's County, Maryland.

He has received numerous awards and recognition for his work in video and animation such as The SONY Innovator's Award in Animation; Sony Corporation, New York, NY, First Place for Animation from The Maafa Film & Video Festival, Brooklyn, NY, The Paul Robeson Award in Film and Video, Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ, The Annual Rosebud Independent Film & Video Competition, Washington, DC, The National Black Programming Consortium's Prized Pieces, Columbus, OHMost recently, his films were screened at The DC Black Film Festival, Urban Media Makers Film Festival, African World Film Festival, Heritage Film Festival, and the Iconaclast Film Review.

He also curated the hip-hop-based exhibition, M3: MCs, Mics and Metaphors, which was exhibited at Flashpoint, The Congressional Black Congress, and Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC. He has served as a creative consultant on various film/video, design, and animation productions, and mentors younger animators and filmmakers. He was the illustrator of the children's book Shango's Son. He was a featured artist and a part of the Kennedy Center's One Mic: Hip-Hop Worldwide Festival and also a designer for Cinderella: The Remix. He also participated in the Emmys Television Academy Faculty Seminar and continues to work with students and alum in the areas of filmmaking, animation, projection design and more. 

He co-wrote the multimedia performance, created videos and video projection for Nacirema (Artistic Blind Date, Source Theater) and created produced video remixes, and serves as resident VJ for the Shaolin Jazz – the 37th Chamber project (a mixtape of Wu-Tang Clan with Blue Note and other jazz musicians) produced by Gerald Watson and DJ 2-Tone Jones. Some of these venues have included the Kennedy Center, The Atlas Theater, Anacostia Community Arts Center, Anacostia Playhouse, Imagination Stage, Studio Theater, Source Theater, and The Dance Place.

Most recently, he produced opening title sequences for BET+ HER presents The Couch for short films that focused on mental health awareness, "Everything Is Fine" directed by Victoria Rowell, and "Baby Blue" directed by Kim Fields.

He also served as a production designer on the forthcoming, feature-length film "The Available Wife" produced by BSU alumna, Tressa "Azarel" Smallwood and her company MegaMind Media. This film will premiere at The American Black Film Festival (ABFF). 

Professor Williams worked along with other BSU students in the VCDMA program, who served as production assistants for the film. He also produced motion graphics design for Tressa's film "All In" which aired on BET.  He created animation and motion graphics for the short film production "As Above" directed by Sewra Kidane. His current work focuses on unique stories, short and feature-length films as well as visual and interactive experiences in science fiction, animation, and musical biopics from the Black/African diaspora. 

Research Interests

Filmmaking, Production, Animation, Cinematography, Entertainment, Visual Culture, Hip-Hop Studies, Film/Video Editing, Motion Graphics, Stop-Motion Animation, Entrepreneurship in the Arts, Career Development, Immersive Media, Digital Art, Study Abroad, Global and Corporate Partnerships, Diversity, Inclusion, STEAM/STEM, Interdisciplinary Studies, Social Justice, Motion Capture, Game Design, XR, Virtual production, Artists/students with special needs

Service Interests

Awards & Honors

  • Outstanding Alumni, Visual and Performing Arts, UMBC
  • Ethiopia Study Abroad (Business and Trade in Africa), Bowie State University
  • Hip-Hop Community Initiative Grant
  • Fulbright Hays Seminars Abroad, Senegal & Morocco
  • Bringing the Lessons Home, Israel, The U.S. Holocaust Museum
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Initiative (SURI), Bowie State University
  • Flashpoint Gallery DC Fellowship, Curator/Artist
  • Individual Artist Grant, Maryland State Arts Council
  • SONY Innovators Award in Animation
  • MAAFA Independent Film and Video Festival

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

  • National Alliance of Artists from HBCUS (NAAHBCU)

  • AIGA, DC Chapter

  • Gateway Media Lab 
  • Television Academy