100 Years of Harlem Community History ~ harlem is… a Project of Community Works and New Heritage Theatre Group




For twenty years, Community Works/New Heritage Theatre Group has celebrated 100 years of Harlem’s cultural history through the harlem is…. public art exhibitions, programming, and school and community partnerships. This month, they announced the launching of the harlem is… website, the new digital home for the harlem is… exhibitions, virtual events, and educational activities devoted to honoring the living legacy of local heroes in the iconic Harlem neighborhood.

Timeline ~ A brief history of Harlem: 1900-2012 on view at Spirit of Community exhibition at Harlem Hospital, December, 2017

“We are proud to have created a website that demonstrates how, in uncertain times, we can shift to a digital platform to sustain the essential work of storytelling and honoring local heroes who are the pulse of our communities, yesterday and today,” said Barbara Horowitz, founder and president of Community Works NYC. “It is critical to offer new audiences and new generations the healing power of community.”

Online, learners of all ages can celebrate Harlem’s community history through stories of the people and places that contribute to its rich cultural legacy; explore the digital exhibitions, timeline, and multimedia; learn from our harlem is… Music, Dance, Theater and Healing curriculum activities and essays; engage with our virtual programming and commissioned art projects; and discover our two decades of work using the arts to bridge neighborhoods and chronicle Harlem’s living history.

Liquid Heat, artist Jessica Angel presented by Community Works NYC + New Heritage Theatre Group at Harlem Hospital, 2019

The harlem is… website is a unique public history with dozens of original portraits of Harlem residents and luminaries photographed by Ruth Morgan, and over 100 archival images of the people places and institutions that make Harlem a cultural capital, researched from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library. It is a gateway to oral histories and biographies of local heroes developed with harlem school students and community artist-facilitators that bring Harlem’s history to life through Visual Art, Theater, Music and Dance, and healing work of Social Activism.

Contributions to the harlem is… digital experience include a performance by acclaimed Harlem poet and actor Daniel Carlton; a commissioned mural by artist Paul Der; two dozen thoughtful essays from such noted arts educators and historians as Christopher Paul Moore, Robert G. O’Mealy and Farah Jasmine Griffin, journalists Lee A. Daniels, Ron Scott and Greg Thomas, and theater notables as Gregory Mosher and Talvin Wilks; and curricular activities curated and developed by scholar and educator Deirdre Hollman who has been a leader of the harlem is… community learning project with Harlem schools for the past twenty years.

L-R, artist Ademola Olugebfola , Barbara Horowitz, Voza Rivers at Harlem Hospital, Spirit of Community 12-10-17

The website, designed by noted museum exhibition designer Whirlwind Creative, is the only resource of its kind, a community curated local history with national significance. Designed to be an integral part of the permanent exhibition of harlem is… Music Dance, and Theater at the Harlem Hospital Center, the website also offers unlimited access to these cherished local stories to a global digital audience.

Voza Rivers, executive producer of New Heritage Theatre Group, said “What is remarkable here is through this project, the Harlem community is telling its own story, passing along diverse histories to new generations. This is how legacies are made, and how communities survive.”

Barbara Horowitz, Community Works and Voza Rivers, New Heritage Theatre Group. Photo credit: Hubert William.

Community Works/New Heritage Theater Group, who celebrate twenty years of collaboration this year, will launch a series of online panel discussions this Winter and Spring to virtually convene community around the various social justice themes from harlem is… and highlighting the recent harlem is… Healing social media campaign.

harlem is…. a commemorative journal celebrating 20 years of harlem is… 

“A Community telling its own story”….Barbara Horowitz, Founder & President, Community Works NYC.

Follow harlem is… on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram

Currently on view, ‘Heroes of the Pandemic’, an outdoor exhibit located on St. Nicholas Avenue between 120th and 121st Streets in Harlem.