Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the First ‘Percent for Art’ Installation, ‘Growth’ and artist Jorge Luis Rodriguez in Harlem Art Park ~ June 26, 2020

 

 

 

Image of Mayor Edward Koch who was the originator of the Percent for Art Program, along with Bess Myerson and the artist, Jorge Luis Rodriguez at ribbon cutting for ‘Growth’ in 1985 in the Art Park. Image via New York City Percent for Art courtesy of the Artist

On June 26th, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs will celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Percent for Art Program, and its first art installation, Growth, by sculpture artist, Jorge Luis Rodriguez. Here are some wonderful images of the artist and Growth as it was being created, and a few thoughts on this historic occasion by the artist when we visited his studio in May, 2020.

Continue reading “Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the First ‘Percent for Art’ Installation, ‘Growth’ and artist Jorge Luis Rodriguez in Harlem Art Park ~ June 26, 2020”

Zaro’s Family Bakery Opens on East 125th Street

 

 

 

This well-established, family-owned bakery, Zaro’s, first opened its doors in 1927, shortly after arriving from Eastern Europe, through Ellis Island. In the 1950s, the next generation expanded the business, and in 1977, opened the first of its four Grand Central Station shops ~ then Penn Station, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, with a total of 11 ~ until last week when they opened their doors along 125th Street in East Harlem.

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The 43rd Annual Three Kings Day Parade ~ January 6, 2020 in El Barrio

 

 

 

Image courtesy El Museo del Barrio

El Museo Del Barrio Presents The 43rd Annual Three Kings Day Parade which will be held on Monday, January 6, 2020. The Parade, entitled Nuestros Barrios Unidos: Celebrating our Collective Strength, will celebrate immigrant and migrant communities of past and present that continue to keep history alive by celebrating the cultural traditions of El Barrio and beyond. Grand Marshall will be Marco Saavedra, Immigrant Rights Activist and Member of “The Dream 9”.

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Jermaine Grant, Leader of The Black Hebrew Israelites, Passes Away on April 1, Prior to Prison Sentence

 

 

 

August 17, 2019 in front of Madison Avenue Headquarters, with a view north toward 125th Street and Promise Academy in the background on the left

Jermaine Grant, leader of the East Harlem-based Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, and the organization’s treasurer, Lincoln Warrington, were sentenced to prison on tax fraud scheme on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. Grant received an 18-month sentence, and Warrington was sentenced to a year. However, Jermaine Grant passed away on April 1, 2020 at the age of 44, just weeks before beginning his prison sentence. It is suspected that his death is related to the Coronavirus.

Below, a bit of recent history on this group, known as Black Hebrew Israelites.

The  viral video taken on January 18, 2019, on the day of the Pro-Life March in Washington D.C., brought attention to a little-known group ~ The Black Hebrew Israelites, who were involved in the initial confrontation that day. From the language used in the video, it appeared that the five Black Hebrew Israelites in the video were part of a division of that group called Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK), known to demonstrate at the corner of Seventh and H Streets in Washington D.C. This group, headquartered in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, occasionally makes an appearance in Harlem, staging themselves in front of CVS Pharmacy on the corner of Lenox Avenue and 125th Street, megaphone in hand, spewing their hateful rhetoric, and most recently on the opposite side of Lenox Avenue, between 124th-125th Streets.

On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, the Black Hebrew Israelite movement was once again in the news when David Anderson, a one-time follower of the Black Hebrew Israelites, brought hate and violence to Jersey City in a murderous spree.

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Zilia Sánchez: Soy Isla (I Am an Island) at El Museo del Barrio ~ November 20, 2019

 

 

 

Zilia Sánchez, Lunar con tatuaje (Moon with Tattoo), c. 1968/96. Acrylic on stretched canvas, 71 x 72 x 12 in., Collection of theartist, Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Zilia Sánchez: Soy Isla (I Am an Island) is the first museum retrospective of the prolific, innovative, and yet largely unknown artist Zilia Sánchez (b. 1926, Havana – lives and works in San Juan). The exhibition features over 40 works from the early 1950s to the present, including paintings, works on paper, shaped canvases, sculptural pieces, graphic illustrations, and ephemera.

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Historic Harlem Fire Watchtower Ribbon Cutting ~ October 26, 2019

 

 


The long-awaited ribbon-cutting for the restoration and unveiling of the historic Harlem Fire Watchtower took place on Saturday, October 26, 2019, to the delight of the entire community. Come along with us as we walk up to the Acropolis and celebrate the watchtower’s return.

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Spending the Day with the 2019 Party on Park in East Harlem

 

 

 

It’s Party Time! The Annual Party on Park, organized by Uptown Grand Central, took place on Sunday, September 22nd from Noon to 4:00pm. The Event went from 116th Street to 125th Street, along Park Avenue. If you didn’t make it this year, check out a few photos below.

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Uptown Grand Central Paints East 125th Street with Uptown GrandScale ~ East Harlem

 

 

 

Uptown GrandScale, Saturday, September 7, 2019 ~ ‘Harlem’ mural by Maria Castillo aka TooFly-NYC

Uptown Grand Central has stepped out from under the 125th Street viaduct along Park Avenue to transform fifteen hundred feet of construction fencing into a canvas for fifty artists.

We followed Carey King, Director of Uptown Grand Central and Project Organizer, Ayana Hosten, a veteran from the #100GatesProject in East Harlem, when the project began on August 3, 2019 with the artist Gera Lozano (@geraluz) and fellow-artists, WERC, Crow, Jill Folino and Kristy McCarthy, painting the entire south-west corner at Park Avenue and 125th Street.

@geraluz, August 3, 2019

Beginning Saturday, September 7th, the GrandScale Mural Project will kick-off the first of three weekends, transforming construction fencing on both sides of the 125th Street viaduct, to conclude in time for the annual East Harlem Event ~ Party on Park.

On Saturday, September 7th, painting will begin at 10am and continue to 7pm, with DJ Tedsmooth arriving at 3pm to begin celebrating the end of the day.

The dates include Saturday, September 7; Saturday, September 14th and Sunday, September 22nd during Party on Park.

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The 39th Edition of The Graffiti Wall of Fame, East Harlem ~ August 24-25, 2019

 

 

2019 Graffiti Hall of Fame

Once a year, the who’s who in street art gather for two-days in August to paint and play. The music is loud, spirits are high, and incredible murals are created. The Graffiti Hall of Fame stretches between 106th and 107th Streets, alongside the elevated Metro North train on Park Avenue in El Barrio. Known to Street Artists since 1980,  and now a tourist destination, it is rarely open (except by private tour) to the public. But once a year, James Top, Executive Director of this iconic Wall, invites us to watch the magic.

Take a walk with us down the steps into the 2019, 39th Edition of The Graffiti Hall of Fame in East Harlem, August 24-25th.

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Uptown Grand Central Continues ~ Uptown GrandScale ~ East of Park Avenue in East Harlem

 

 

 

Artist, Isais Crow, August 14 2019, 125th Street at Park Avenue in East Harlem

Continuing with the summer event, Uptown GrandScale, Uptown Grand Central steps east on Park Avenue, with a new mural by San Diego-based artist, Isaias Crow.

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Restoration Completed on Keith Haring’s Mural ‘Crack is Wack’ in East Harlem

 

 

 

Completed mural. Photo credit: NYC Parks

A restoration of the historic, two-sided mural ‘Crack is Wack‘ by Keith Haring was underway on the East Harlem handball court located on Harlem River Drive at 128th Street (Second Avenue). It was inspired by the crack epidemic and its effect on the community.

NYC Parks and the Keith Haring Foundation are pleased to announce today that the restoration of Keith Haring’s “Crack is Wack” has been completed. The mural was refurbished and repainted by artists Louise Hunnicutt and William Tibbals, and the project was sponsored by the Keith Haring Foundation.

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Uptown Grand Central begins its Summer Mural Project ~ Uptown GrandScale

 

 

Uptown Grand Scale

Uptown Grand Central has stepped out from under the viaduct to coordinate a colorful three-sided mural near Metro-North along 125th Street this summer. The project, which will begin on August 3rd, will transform 1,500 feet of green construction fencing on 125th Street/Park Avenue/124th Street, into a canvas.

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El Barrio’s Guerrilla Wall Speaking to Issues on the Minds of its Community

 

 

 

Welcome to The Guerrilla Wall

HART: The Harlem Art Collective is the creative force behind The Guerrilla Gallery, located on 116th Street in El Barrio. In a community with a history of welcoming immigrants, local artists use the wall, located between second and Third Avenues, to address pressing issues of our times ~ local, national and international.  This month, they had a lot to say.

Join us as we visit the Harlem Art Collective’s Summer Wall Exhibition.

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Capucine Bourcart: Eat Me! on view in East Harlem

 

 

 

EATME! along 120th Street & Park Avenue, while the Metro North wizzes by

In a city filled with fast-food options on every corner, bags of chips and cans of soda filling the shelves in local deli’s and bodega’s, and large, glossy ads of sugared drinks on billboards and in shop windows, it’s not easy promoting healthy eating to our kids. Or is it. In the installation EAT ME! the artist, Capucine Bourcart takes a deep-dive into the ease of turning this around in her community, Harlem.

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‘Naomi Lawrence: La Flor De Mi Madre’ to Unveil in East Harlem

 

 

 

The installation completely up by the end of the day, July 1, 2019

The 12 foot x 24 foot Crochet mural, La Flor De Mi Madre by artist Naomi Lawrence, is being installed on the fence at Eugene McCabe Field in East Harlem. It represents the diverse community in which it is placed, in a  colorful representation of national flowers.

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Exploring Roots of Trees and Cultural Roots with Artist Susan Stair: Roots on Fire in the Art Park, East Harlem

 

 

 

Photo credit: AFineLyne

Spending time with artist Susan Stair brings a whole new meaning to the trees that fill our green spaces. As we watched her work to create the clay molds for her current installation, Roots on Fire, Stair took us on a virtual journey underground, exploring how trees constantly send electrical messages through their roots and the mushroom (or mychorrizal network) that compose the Wood Wide Web. Come along on our three-part journey (from the Trees to the Studio to the Installation) as we document the creation of the installation Roots on Fire.

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What is Here is Open: Selections from the Treasures in the Trash Collection (of Nelson Molina) at Hunter East Harlem Gallery

 

 

 

For over 30 years, Nelson Molina worked for the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) as a sanitation worker. His regular pick up routes were in Manhattan 11, a district bordered by 96th Street to 106th Street between First and Fifth Avenues. While he worked, he found many objects; some that needed repair and others that were fully intact. As hundreds and hundreds of objects amassed, Molina created the Treasures in the Trash Collection inside DSNY’s garage.  Much has been written about the eclectic treasurers collected by Molina. There have been too many articles on  the Molina treasurers to mention, and there was even a #TreasuresInTheTrash Tour in 2018!

Now, Hunter East Harlem Gallery will open its doors to an exhibition exploring the man and his treasurers.

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Historic East Harlem Courthouse

 

 

 

Historic Harlem Courthouse

One of the many historic sites in East Harlem is the Harlem Courthouse. It is located between Lexington and Third Avenues on 121st Street, adjacent to the Harlem Art Park and the tiny street known as Sylvan Place.

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East Harlem’s Demolition Depot & Irreplaceable Artifacts New Home on 126th Street

 

 

 

Demolition Depot

If you have been following GothamToGo East 125th Street, a work in progress, you will already know that East Harlem suffered a major loss when several old-time shops were forced to close, including Demolition Depot, a gorgeous shop that had been at its East 125th Street location since 1996.

We have great news ~ Demolition Depot has opened its doors at a new location, right around the corner on East 126th Street. Come along as we step inside.

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Continuous Focus ~ The 2019 Spring Cocktail Party + Photography Auction at New York Academy of Medicine

 

 

 

Photo credit: Anthony Edgeworth, Brigitte Bardot, 1965

The Josephine Herrick Project Presents ~ Continuous Focus: 2019 Spring Cocktail Party + Photography Auction to be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at the New York Academy of Medicine.

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New York Road Runners Club Members Volunteer Day in Marcus Garvey Park East Harlem

 

 

 

New York Road Runner Volunteers

On a sunny Saturday ~ during Memorial Day Weekend ~ we spied a small army of weeders, rackers, mulchers, and general cleaner-upers, hard at work along the Madison Avenue side of Marcus Garvey Park in East Harlem. They were New York Road Runner volunteers who regularly give of their time and energy. Follow along as we walk (not run) along the Park to take a closer look at what they’re doing.

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The Historic Corn Exchange Bank Building in East Harlem

 

 

 

The newly renovated Corn Exchange Bank Building, 81 East 125th Street, East Harlem

The total transformation/renovation of the historic Corn Exchange Bank Building is one we would hope for all of our historic sites. It was a work of love topped with true dedication to the project by a man who saw the building in its deteriorating state every day as he passed by on Metro North that runs alongside Park Avenue on his way to work. But let’s start from the beginning, because this historically Landmarked building has quite a history.

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El Barrio’s MonumentArt Project 2015

 

 

 

EVER for Monument Art Project, PS 109 at 99th Street & Third Avenue

MonumentArt2015 was the second installment of the International Mural Festival in East Harlem and the Bronx, sponsored by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito,  José Morales of La Marqueta Retoña and La Respuesta in Santurce, Puerto Rico, partnered with muralist Celso González‎ to produce and curate the festival. Eleven internationally known artists created nine murals throughout El Barrio from 99th Street to 138th Street. Many of the murals focused on El Barrio’s rich culture and heritage. Let’s take a walk, as we watched the artists create in October, 2015.

Looking back……

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Mapping Resistance: The Young Lords in El Barrio ~ Images by Hiram Maristany, Presented by Miguel Luciano

 

 

 

Mapping Resistance: The Young Lords in El Barrio ~ Images by Hiram Maristany. This image located on 99th Street, just west of Second Avenue, on the side wall of PS 109

Mapping Resistance: The Young Lords in El Barrio is a new public art project featuring photographs by renowned photographer, Hiram Maristany ~ a founding member of the Young Lords and their official photographer. Follow along as we take the walking tour, map in hand to view 10 large-scale images across five locations in El Barrio.

Save the Date ~ August 16th from 6-8pm when El Museo Del Barrio will hold the Uptown Bounce ~ MAPPING RESISTANCE: The Young Lords in El Barrio Reception at La Marqueta (Lot 1) on Park Avenue at 112th Street. The event is free and will feature live music by Jorge Vasquez Los del Barrio, food and refreshments courtesy of Amor Cubano.

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NYC Parks’ Creative Courts + Saya Woolfalk + Publicolor = a Work-in-Progress in Marcus Garvey Park Harlem

 

 

 

May 17, 2019

NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks ~  Creative Courts initiative, Facebook Artist-in-Residence Program (FB AIR Program), along with artist Saya Woolfalk, the non-profit Publicolor, and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance/Public Art Initiative have arrived at the basketball court on Madison Avenue near 122nd Street in Marcus Garvey Park. Watch as this work-in-progress takes shape over this next week.

Join the unveiling on June 2nd with Creative Courts.

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Gourmet Bistro Amuse Bouche opens in La Marqueta

 

 

 

Image courtesy Amuse Bouche Bistro

The much anticipated opening of the gourmet bistro, Amuse Bouche in La Marqueta is finally here! The expansion of the popular caterer will be open from Thursday through Sunday, with a wide selection of tempting treats, fresh baked goods, sumptuous prepared meals, and finely brewed coffees and teas.

Update ~ Temporarily closed. Stay tuned.

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Culture and the People: El Museo Del Barrio, 1969-2019

 

 

 

Vargas-Suarez Universal Virus Americanus XIII, 2003. Oil enamel on wood. Acquired through “PROARTISTA: Sustaining the Work of Living Contemporary Artists,” a fund from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust and a donation from the artist 2003.16.

El Museo del Barrio will celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a major permanent collection exhibition and timeline, contextualizing the history of the institution, in a two-part exhibition. The exhibition will reflect on the institution’s activist origins and pioneering role as a cultural and educational organization dedicated to Latinx and Latin American art and culture.

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Franco the Great Gates Arrive at East River Plaza ~ East Harlem

 

 

 

The East River Plaza and Blumenfeld Development Group have given a permanent home to several of the Gates, created by beloved Harlem Artist, Franco ‘The Great’ Gaskin.

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East Harlem Locations are 1 of 17 Recommended for Historic Districts Designation

 

 

 

Image taken from page 35, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form ~ Draft for proposal

The New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended adding 17 properties, resources and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. One target area that is recognized as having contributed to New York’s diverse history is in East Harlem.

Sign up to Tour East Harlem’s first Historic District on The Municipal Art Society’s Jane’s Walk this May.

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Storefront for Art and Architecture ~ Spring Benefit at La Marqueta

 

 

 

Image via storefront benefit.org

Storefront for Art and Architecture’s 2019 Spring Benefit will take place on Wednesday, May 29th at La Marqueta in East Harlem.

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Metro North 125th Street Artwork ‘Harlem Encore’ Lights up the Night

 

 

 

The above-ground Metro North Station on East 125th Street boasts the MTA commissioned sculpture entitled Harlem Encore. The work, created by sculptor artist Terry Adkins, celebrates Harlem’s past achievements and bright future.

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Ballon Rouge Collective to Open in East Harlem

 

 

Ballon Rouge is an international female-led gallery collective founded in 2017 by Helene Dumenil, with curators from cities like Istanbul, Brussels, London, Sao Paulo, Paris and New York.

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Mother, Bethel, Harlem, USA to open at Hunter East Harlem Gallery

 

 

Thomas Allen Harris: Mother Bethel Harlem USA

Mother, Bethel, Harlem, USA is a collaboration between artist and filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris and students from Hunter College’s IMA MFA program, centered around Harris’s interdisciplinary project, Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR).

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‘Present Histories’ Continues to Grow in Harlem Art Park

 

 

Along the Eastern Wall of the East Harlem Art Park, Kathleen Granados, Present Histories: An East Harlem Photo Album (as of November 27, 2018)

The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Public Art Initiative is pleased to announce the unveiling of the next Art in the Parks: Active Open Space site-specific installation Present Histories: An East Harlem Photo Album by the artist Kathleen Granados.

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#OldSchoolJam ‘Street Art Edition’ + #100GatesProject Tour ~ East Harlem

 

 

Old School Jam in East Harlem

We joined Carey King of Uptown Grand Central and Ayana Hosted of 100 Gates Project in East Harlem for an Old School Jam ~ Street Art Edition, along with a Tour of some of the Gates in the !00 Gates Project, including a live paint!  Below, a few pictures of the day.

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Maren Hassinger: Monuments coming to Marcus Garvey Park

 

 

 

inHarlem
Finished installation on the Mall at Madison Ave side of the Park

June 16th will bring inHarlem back to Marcus Garvey Park, with the eight site-specific installations Maren Hassinger: Monuments. Take a walk with us, beginning on 124th Street at the Fifth Avenue entrance.

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Museum of the City of New York presents Stanley Kubrick: Through a Different Lens

 

 

 

The exhibition, Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs, opened at The Museum of the City of New York, featuring more than 120 photographs by Stanley Kubrick from the Museum’s Look Magazine archive.

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Yorkville/East Harlem Scavenger Hunt ~ with Historic District Council

 

 

 

Photo credit: Lexington Ave at 102nd St via NYPL

The Historic Districts Council is hosting a Historical Scavenger Hunt in Yorkville and East Harlem on May 19th!

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#100GatesProject + NHEMA in El Barrio 2017-2018

 

 

 

andre trenier at sisters caribbean cuisine in East Harlem

During the summer of 2017, The 100 Gates Project and New Harlem East Merchant Association (NHEMA) teamed up to bring local artists together with local merchants, beautifying gates in and around East Harlem. The project, which also includes Staten Island, is part of the New York City Department of Small Business Service’s Neighborhood 360 grant opportunity program.

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The Return of the Harlem Fire Watchtower to Marcus Garvey Park

 

 

 

Image taken October 18, 2019, courtesy of a reader

Harlemites and preservationists were delighted to receive the recent news that the historic Harlem Fire Watchtower, removed from the Acropolis overlooking Marcus Garvey Park in 2015 for restoration, would have its unveiling and ribbon-cutting on October 26, 2019. In addition, we learned from Connie Lee, President of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and Director of Public Art Initiative, that the Urban Park Rangers will open the gate and escort the public up to the top of the Watchtower on the third Sunday of the month, from Noon to 3:00pm, weather permitting. Urban Park Ranger Tours to the Top are currently on hold. Stay tuned for future dates.

Below, a few images and history of the Watchtower as it was dissembled in 2015, and reassembled in 2019.

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CCCADI ~ Making Music in El Barrio

 

 

 

The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) moved into a historic firehouse in East Harlem in 2016.  Since then, a plethora of art, education and entertainment have filled the floors within. Here are a few events coming up that caught our eye.

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Dream Street Park ~ East Harlem

 

 

 

Who wouldn’t want to live on ~ Dream Street.  Well, in this case, we’re on 124th Street between Second and Third Avenues ~ and the dreamy mural is a depiction of a multi-cultural city painted by local children, most of them homeless.

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QUEENIE: Selected artworks by female artists from El Museo del Barrio’s collection

 

 

Sculpture by Alessandra Exposito. Image via Hunter East Harlem Gallery

QUEENIE ~ Selected artworks by female artists from El Museo del Barrio’s collection opened on March 21st at Hunter East Harlem Gallery.

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Disillusionment: Perspectives Beyond at Taller Boricua Gallery, East Harlem

 

 



Moving into Women’s History Month, Taller Boricua Gallery invited 25 women artists to create art about present conditions of ‘Disillusionment.’  “Addressing issues of deception, falseness, unfaithfulness, betrayal and treachery ~ with reference to wearing, inhabiting, being veiled, clothed, draped, revealed, exposed or wrapped in disillusion” and they created the exhibit, Disillusionment: Perspectives Beyond.

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It’s a New Season at CCCADI in East Harlem

 

 

It’s a new season of African Heritage SouSou: Always Africa! at Caribbean Cultural Center (CCCADI), and it begins on Saturday, February 10th.

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NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Unanimously Voted to Landmark Three East Harlem Buildings

 

 

Connie Lee, Landmark East Harlem, President of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, and Public Art Initiative, December 2014 in front of Richard Webber Harlem Packing House, 207-215 East 119th Street in East Harlem

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) scheduled a public hearing for February 13, 2018, on three buildings in East Harlem ~ and unanimously voted to Landmark all three.

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125th Street in East Harlem ~ a Work in Progress?

 

 

 

One East Harlem will be located at 201 East 125th Street. Rendering courtesy of S9 Architecture will include a two-story supermarket!

125th Street in East Harlem has seen a constant stream of renovations and building over this past several years. We thought this might be a good time to review what we know about projects coming to East Harlem this year, and continue to update as the year unfolds.

In addition, the Second Avenue Subway extension, which will run to a new station between Park and Lexington Avenues, will affect new building along East 125th Street (Durst and Extell) ~ an Update Here.

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The Second Edition of ‘Selections’ + Lucia Hierro, ‘Mercado’ to Open at Elizabeth Dee Gallery

 

 

Ronny Quevedo, The Main Event (Nomadic Structures), 2016, Screen print and blind embossment on paper, 26 x 39 inches

Harlem & The Bronx have something to say, and will share “their unique and diverse cultural voices” in their art, generating “a robust discourse” in the second edition of ‘Selections,’ an exhibition series curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, presented by Elizabeth Dee Gallery.

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CITICIEN ~ 100 Puerto Rican Artists @ Taller Boricua Gallery in East Harlem

 

 

CITICIEN: El Barrio NYC, an exhibit featuring 100 artworks highlighting the historical and present-day impact of the Jones Act, will open at Taller Boricua Gallery on January 12, 2018.

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First View of East Harlem’s New York Proton Center

 

 

North Facade. Image via NYCEDC

City Officials got a first view of progress on New York’s first advanced cancer treatment facility, the New York Proton Center (NYPC) in East Harlem.

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