[Harlem Renaissance 100 Celebration!]
Consisting of a series of events taking place throughout the year, Harlem Renaissance 100 will kick off in February with a community-wide Harlem Culture Crawl (February 1st) where residents and visitors alike can explore Harlem’s cultural institutions as well as the neighborhood’s exciting culinary scene.
Organizers announced Thursday the official launch of the Harlem Renaissance 100, a multi-year celebration and tourism initiative commemorating the milestone 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance and the artistic brilliance born from that movement.
Spearheaded by Harlem One Stop, this unprecedented partnership comprised of over 40 of Harlem’s most esteemed cultural institutions will not only celebrate the centennial and its cultural legacy but also spotlight the vibrancy and creative energy of today’s Harlem seeking to inspire the next generation of artists.
Consisting of a series of events taking place throughout the year, Harlem Renaissance 100 will kick off in February with a community-wide Harlem Culture Crawl (February 1st) where residents and visitors alike can explore Harlem’s cultural institutions as well as the neighborhood’s exciting culinary scene. Additionally, there will be partner hosted events during Harlem Culture Crawl including the Apollo Theater’s Open House, and an Opening Ceremony featuring talents from Harlem School of the Arts, Harlem Opera Theater, Harlem Chamber Players and more held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Participating partners from Harlem Park to Park will also offer specials for patrons.
Upcoming highlights of the Harlem Renaissance 100 Celebration include:
- Between the Lines: I Love Myself When I Am Laughing – A Zora Neale Hurston Reader, a conversation hosted by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s around the legendary writer’s reissued work (February 11th)
- A Black History Month Reception and Harlem Renaissance 100 Celebration presented by the Office of the Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer (February 12th)
- The Schomburg Center presents The Harlem Chamber Players’ 12th Annual Black History Month Celebration – Featuring virtuoso pianist Joseph Joubert and his wife, soprano Renay Peters Joubert, the celebration will include selections by Duke Ellington, Joseph Joubert and Hall Johnson. Terrance McKnight of WQXR will host. (Feb. 13)
- The Eleventh Anniversary New York City 2020 Fine Art Show & Sale – This event will celebrate the African Diaspora, bringing together contemporary artists with the growing class of collectors for a weekend of events and activities. (Feb. 13- 16)
- New York African Chorus Ensemble will present The Gathering XIV Pt. 2 highlighting Africa’s contributions to the Harlem Renaissance (February 22nd)
- Harlem Opera Theater presents “A Tribute to the Composers of the Harlem Renaissance” (February 29th)
- The Romare Bearden Foundation will present its Cinque Artists Series, a networking event in the spirit of the Cinque Gallery founded by artists Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis and Ernest Crichlow in 1969. Hosted at Harlem School of the Arts (March 17th)
- The Museum of the City of New York presents 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winner Jeffrey C. Stewart discussing his critically acclaimed biography of Alain Locke, known as the father of the Harlem Renaissance (March 24th)
- Harlem One Stop presents the inaugural Jazz Icons of Harlem
- A Series Celebrating American Cultural Innovators honoring some of Jazz music’s most legendary names including Mary Lou Williams, Philippa Duke Schuyler, George Gershwin and Billy Strayhorn (May -November, 2020)
- Harlem Stage Presents Harlem Renaissance Live Radio Play: STEW with Tony Award-winning playwright and actor Stew (May 20th)
- The Harlem Chamber Players will close their 12th Anniversary Season with “The Ordering of Moses,” featuring famed composer, music director and conductor Damien Sneed including a world premiere arrangement of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” (June 4th)
“The purpose of Harlem Renaissance 100 is to inform, educate and re-connect communities to the momentous movement that made Harlem world-renown then and which still resonates today,” said Yuien Chin, Executive Director, Harlem One Stop. “When we started on this journey, I knew we couldn’t do this effectively in a silo. How do you celebrate such a massive and integral period in not only Black culture but really in American history? The answer is that we had to do it together. It is a huge undertaking, but I think each organization brings their unique artistic point of view to the table to ensure that we will have comprehensively encapsulated the brilliance of everything that has, that is and that will come out of Harlem.”
Originally called the New Negro Movement, the Harlem Renaissance was a cultural, social, and artistic eruption born in Harlem at the end of World War I and spanning through the mid-1930s. Growing out of the Great Migration – the relocation of millions of African-Americans from the South to other parts of the country – and the emergence of Harlem as the premier Black metropolis in the United States, the Harlem Renaissance was an unrivaled period of brilliance in both profound intellectual expression and preeminent entertainment that went on to become a global movement. With his seminal essay, “The New Negro,” Alain Locke, considered to be the Father of the Harlem Renaissance, opined that this movement of intellectual liberation would be a precursor to social change, ushering in a new revolution. Central artistic figures of the Harlem Renaissance include: Locke, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston; Jacob Lawrence , Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and James Weldon Johnson.
HARLEM RENAISSANCE 100 sets a path to bolster Harlem’s legacy for future generations and to draw together historic preservation, cultural identity, and community empowerment as an economic generator of local and visitor engagement. For more information, please visit: www.harlemrenaissance.org