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News | Feb. 14, 2024

Celebrating African Americans and the Arts – E.J. Rupert

By DCAA Staff Writer

E.J. Rupert is an aspiring animated series writer who won first-place in the Creative Writing-Short Script category of the 2023 National Veterans Creative Arts Competition for his script, “Back to Fool.” E.J. will return to the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition in May of 2024 in Denver, Co. E.J. is also a part-time DJ, sings and plays the drums.

“I have been writing and drawing since I was a kid. I've also watched a lot of television, namely family sitcoms. My inspirations came from such creators as Charles Schulz, Jim Davis, and Bill Watterson, all of whom published comic strips and/or turned them into television shows. As a kid, I had a hard time coming up with ideas, but as I grew, I took in everything around me, and today, I incorporate much of it into my stories.”

In his award-winning script, “Back to Fool,” E.J. sets the foundation for what his character Eric and his family is all about. This script includes similarities between E.J. and Eric: “Eric tries to impress a girl at school, which is what I did many times, and his stepfather, Matt, is a Navy veteran who tries to make it as a screenwriter, which is the story of my life.”

E.J.’s “Eric” is about an ambitious African American boy trying to navigate through teenage life with his wacky friends, family, and pets, while living on the north side of Milwaukee, Wis.

“I want to bring something new to the public, as not much is known about Milwaukee, especially from an African American boy. I want to add the cultural experiences that I gained from being raised here, as well as life lessons, into my series.”

Learn more about the history and influence of African Americans and the arts by visiting your local art museum in person or online. Consider attending local events honoring Black History Month to experience the diverse and impactful contributions of Black and African American artists.