In celebration of the Apollo’s Spring Benefit on Monday, June 13, the non-profit announced today it will release a limited edition non-fungible token (NFT) commemorating the annual event. Approximately 400 NFTs will be issued through Ticketmaster. The special NFTs will be given to each person who donated to Apollo’s Spring Benefit. The commemorative NFT will be a digital keepsake celebrating the world-renowned organization’s largest annual fundraising event.
As the 25th season of NYC Parks’ Citywide Monuments Conservation Program (CMCP) commences, a team of skilled conservators and trainees have started making the rounds to clean, recoat and treat several major monuments throughout the five boroughs. On Friday, this year’s three new seasonal apprentices worked with staff using ladders and a boom lift to preserve Richard Hunt’s Harlem Hybridalong with other sculptures in Harlem.
MASC Hospitality Group, producers of the Uptown Night Market and the Bronx Night Market are proud to announce their most ambitious project yet, Harlem Bazaar. The brand new monthly series aims to bring creativity, originality, and pizazz to the neighborhood; by showcasing NYC’s visionaries, creators, inventors, and artists all in one inclusive space. Patrons can expect the most banging flavors, the hottest merchandise, incredibly crafted items, exquisite art, fresh designs, and much more. Harlem Bazaar will take place at the State Building located on W 125th St, New York, NY 10027 starting with opening day on Friday, June 17th from 2:00 to 8:00pm ~ a well-needed month delay.
We call him Mr. Lee, but his name is Alvin Lee Smalls, and he is a true Harlem institution, known for decades as The King of Rugelach. This April 29th, National Rugelach Day, Mr. Lee turns 80 years young!
This month marks the launch of New Black Fest at the Apollo, a festival celebrating contemporary Black playwrights from across the nation. On April 22, 23, and 25 at 7pm, audiences will have the opportunity to see original works by 18 playwrights, each commissioned by the Apollo and New Black Fest co-founder Keith Josef Adkins. These commissions focus on how the artists of the Harlem Renaissance responded to their historical landscape, as well as how contemporary creatives are dealing with today’s issues in their own work. The festival also marks the first public presentation from the non-profit theater’s Apollo New Works initiative, a groundbreaking series of commissions dedicated to the creation of a diverse, 21st-century American performing arts canon. Tickets for each evening are $25.
A Conversation Between Women is an unexpected dialogue that takes place across mediums of twenty contemporary female artists. The artists are multigenerational and culturally diverse ~ what they have in common besides their gender is that they are part of a community of artists that works collaboratively with the curator, and nonprofit organization, Art Lives Here.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the legendary Hip-Hop showcase the Lyricist Lounge, the Apollowill bring together iconic producers, DJs, and rappers of the 90s to today, live and in-person on Saturday, April 16 at 8:00pm EST. For one night only, the concert will feature a slew of iconic artists, including KRS-One, Kid Capri, Talib Kweli, Grand Puba, Rah Digga, Buckshot, Mr. Cheeks, CL Smooth, and Bahamadia-among others to be announced. Lyricist Lounge began in 1991 as a regular gathering of some of New York’s best underground MCs and has grown into one of Hip-Hop’s most recognized platforms, showcasing newcomers and veterans on national concert tours, albums, documentaries, and the popular 2000 MTV sketch comedy series, The Lyricist Lounge Show. Tickets are on sale now at www.ApolloTheater.org.
Claire Oliver Gallery announces inaugural exhibition Who That Is? by artist Stan Squirewell, marking the artists’ debut at the gallery, on view March 25 – June 11, 2022. Through a ritualized process, Squirewell’s work examines who curates and controls the narratives that become accepted as history; from what perspective is history written, whose stories are told, and whose are neglected? Featuring more than 15 new works by the Louisville based artist, Who That Is? showcases works from Squirewell’s series While Shepherds Kept Their Watching, the creation of which is a summation of the multimedia artists’ practices of painting, photography, sculpture, and performance.
Harlem’s vibrant history and influence stretches far beyond the five boroughs. The music, art, culture, social life, food, fashion, politics and businesses that have originated in Harlem have had a profound impact on the world stage for generations. This is the magic of Harlem –it’s Fire & Soul. Even when the world is dim, bleak and uncertain, the hearts, souls and resilience of Harlemites burns bright. Our Fire & Soul 2022 exhibition exemplifies this very statement. The exhibit features 10 multi-generational artists whose work embodies the notions of beauty, joy, and connection. Let this exhibit provide you strength, optimism, connection, and hope during these remarkably challenging times wherever you find yourself.
Hailed as “our most vital public intellectual” (Vanity Fair), MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Ta-Nehisi Coates is no stranger to the Apollo stage, as he serves as the Theater’s inaugural Master Artist-in-Residence, an initiative that deepens the Apollo’s relationship with an influential artist whose work aligns with the Apollo’s mission. His work with the Apollo includes the theatrical premiere of the staged adaptation of his seminal work Between the World and Me, as well as conversations with Oprah Winfrey about his debut novel The Water Dancer;and Lupita Nyong’o and the late Chadwick Boseman about Black Panther. As part of his multi-year residency, Coates will be joined by multi-talented rapper, singer, and actor Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots on the Apollo stage on Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m. EDT to discuss their work, what inspires them, and the ways in which they are reimagining their artforms for the future.
BET, a subsidiary of Paramount Global, announced today that the Harlem Entrepreneurial Microgrant Initiative, a $100,000 program created to provide support to small Harlem businesses in partnership with the 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID) and the Apollo Theater, will be accepting applications as of March 1, 2022 until March 31, 2022. Established in 2020 in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities, this third round of the microgrant initiative will continue to aid in small business recovery.
The Africa Center and Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) will kick-off Black History Month with the opening of African/American: Making the Nation’s Table. This exhibition will highlight the many ways African culture has influenced African American Cuisine, and how those traditions have blended to create the foundation for American food.
In perfect timing for Black History Month, Claire Oliver Gallery will open its doors to the New York debut exhibition A Contemporary Black Matriarchal Lineage in Printmaking features 21 works by nine contemporary Black women printmakers. Curated by two artists, founder of Texas-based nonprofit Black Women of Print, Tanekeya Word and member Delita Martin, the exhibition explores the depth and breadth of printmaking through the lens of Black women and their myriad narratives.
Founded in 1904, the New Amsterdam Musical Association (NAMA) is the oldest African-American musical organization in the country. It was founded at a time when the musicians union didn’t admit minority musicians, and the law stated that one had to be in the union in order to perform in New York City!
The Apollo announced details of its Winter/Spring 2022 season, with an array of free and ticketed programming in-person at the Apollo’s historic theater and online on the Apollo’s Digital Stage Highlights include the long-anticipated return of the Amateur Night at the Apollocompetition on Wednesday, February 16 at 7:30pm EST; Apollo Master Artist-in-Residence Ta-Nehisi Coates and The Roots’ Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, in conversation; the Lyricist Lounge 30th Anniversary Concert featuring hip-hop trailblazers to be announced; the premiere of The Gathering: A Collective Ring Shout, co-presented by the American Composers Orchestra and the Apollo and co-curated by National Black Theatre; the return of Africa Now! featuring East African jazz vocalist and Grammy nominee Somi; and more. The non-profit Apollo’s season centers Black artists and voices from the African Diaspora with myriad opportunities for artists and audiences to come back together at the iconic theater.
Living with Art Salon will open its doors to the first annual ‘Members Only‘ exhibition showing over 75 works of art created by 15 visual artists ~ all members of Art Lives Here, a non-profit arts organization, creating opportunities for emerging artists. Opening on December 8th, we couldn’t wait, and got a sneak-peek today.
On Sunday, December 26 at 7:00 pm EST, the Apollo will celebrate its annual Kwanzaa celebration, Kwanzaa: A Regeneration Celebration, featuring a world premiere from renowned New York-based dance company Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and performances from Apollo New Work artists Soul Science Lab with Chen Lo and Asante Amin. For more than 15 years, the Apollo has presented an annual Kwanzaa festival performance during the seven-day celebration of African American culture. This year, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre will produce a unique digital event of dance and music honoring the seven principles of Kwanzaa, the Nguzo Saba. The event, hosted by award-winning radio host and annual Apollo Kwanzaa emcee Imhotep Gary Byrd, will be streamed on theApollo Digital Stage. The program is pay what you wish and will be on demand through January 3.
Claire Oliver Gallery will open its doors to the spectacular work of Leonardo Benzant in his first solo presentation with the gallery. Featuring six new multi-media works, including four large scale mixed media sculptures and two paintings on paper, Across Seven Ruins & Redemptions Somo Kamarioka is an extension of the artist’s multi-year exploration of his conception of the Urban Shaman, which Benzant deploys a wide variety of media and found objects to create dynamic hanging beaded structures inspired by the Yoruba and Kongo community and the beaded regalia of African material culture. The exhibition will be open to the public November 11 to January 22, 2022.
Marcus Garvey Park has a plethora of art over this past few months, with the installation of Susan Stair: Ascending the Mountainand Thomas J. Price: Witness, added to the park’s weekly music and dance. Now, we look forward to the unveiling of Alice Mizrachi: Renaissance Women, an abstract, figurative sculpture that honors women of the Harlem Renaissance ~ paving the way for many of the artists today, including Mizrachi.
How many of us take the time to think about our legacy ~ our legacy as a family member, friend, person in our community, or as an artist, and what we might leave behind after we’re gone. The BARDO ∞ PROJECT shines a light on terminally ill artists and creatives nationwide, exploring creativity as a form of spiritual care. It is a project that helps to create their legacy, and in so doing, illuminates the positive effects of art ~ while educating the public about end of life care options. Here, a life’s work is celebrated at that transitional time between death and rebirth. helping to define and create a legacy.
On Saturday, October 9 and Sunday, October 10 the Apollo will hold in-person auditions at its legendary theater for the 2022-23 season of its signature program, Amateur Night at the Apollo, the original talent show and one of the longest-running events in New York City. Auditions will be held at the Apollo on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 9 a.m. ET through 6 p.m. ET. Each day, Amateur Night producers will audition the first 200vocalists, rappers, dancers, instrumentalists, comedians, spoken-word artists, and other performers vying for a coveted spot on the Apollo’s stage, where they will compete for a chance to win the $20,000 Grand Prize. Performers between the ages of 12 and 17 will compete for a spot in the “Child Star of Tomorrow” category and a $5,000 prize. Amateur Night at the Apollo returns live and in-person for its 32-night competition on Wednesday, February 22, 2022.
The Apollo today announced details of its fall 2021 season, taking place in-person at the Apollo and online on theApollo’s Digital Stage. The season features a broad range of free and ticketed events and programs, paying tribute to the Apollo’s legendary community of artists and highlighting new works and commissions. Highlights include in-person auditions for Amateur Night at the Apollo in October ahead of the long-anticipated February 16, 2022 return of the original, legendary talent show; a preview of upcoming projects from an array of Apollo New Works artists; an Apollo Film Presents: ImageNation Cocktails & Sol Cinema virtual screening of the rarely seen documentary Devil’s Pie: D’Angelo about the singer’s rise to stardom, sudden disappearance, and return to music; the beloved Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night featuring Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theater returns to the Digital Stage, and more.
Jazz prodigy Matthew Whitaker will be celebrating the release of his new album, Connection, with a live concert at Harlem Stage on Saturday, September 25th at 7:30pm!
Whitaker’s new album not only communicates his growth as a player, composer, and bandleader but also the importance of community and the connections it fosters. Having been musically trained in Harlem, it’s fitting for Whitaker to debut his new album at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, celebrating his ties to the city that has shaped him as one of the leading artists of his generation.
The Studio Museum in Harlem announced its fall programming, kicking-off the season with Thomas J. Price: Witness, the artist’s first solo museum presentation in the United States. As part of the Studio Museum’s ongoing inHarlem initiative, the nine-foot-tall bronze sculpture entitled The Distance Within (2021) will depict a young Black man looking down at his cell phone. The large-scale artwork celebrates a familiar form rarely monumentalized within a public setting and continues the artist’s exploration of blackness and Black masculinity as it relates to presence, movement, and freedom.
Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to announce the gallery’s debut solo exhibition by photographer Jeffrey Henson Scales, In A Time of Panthers: The Lost Negatives. The exhibition features 20 photographs from the 1960s including Scales’ earliest forays as a photographer during the electrifying summer of 1967 when at age 13 with his paternal grandmother he toured the Midwest to see relatives. As a Black teenager, he saw the poverty and oppression of Northern Black communities and when he returned to Oakland, CA became immersed in photographing the milieu of the Black Panther movement in Northern California. The images chart the emergence of his awakening as a documentary photographer as well as a Black man in a pivotal moment in the 20th century that echoes today’s Black Lives Matter movement. In a Time of Panthers: The Lost Negatives is on view September 16 – October 29, 2021 at Claire Oliver Gallery in Harlem.
Dust off your walking shoes! The Harlem Arts Stroll, produced by Calabar Gallery, is back with two strolls during the month of September. The strolls will take you from 110th Street to 155th Street ~ do part of it; do all of it.
Quick….Quick ~ write this down ~ EatUp! New York, a new one-hour special with hosts Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Bevy Smith will take you on a special culinary tour this Saturday night, August 28th at 7:00pm on ABC Channel 7.
As part of Shake Shack’s collab series Now Serving, Shake Shack’s culinary team has joined forces with restaurateur Pinky Cole and her Slutty Vegan team to create a one-of-a-kind, limited-time menu item for a good cause: the SluttyShack. The vegan burger will be available in limited quantities on Wednesday, August 11 at the Shake Shack in Harlem, NY – the neighborhood where Pinky opened her first restaurant, Pinky’s, in 2014 – during Harlem Week, a ten-day live and virtual experience celebrating the people, arts, culture, entertainment and history that Harlem is known for throughout the world. Proceeds from the vegan burger will be donated directly to ROAR, a community of hospitality leaders advocating for New York City’s independent restaurant industry and creating a path to a sustainable future.
One Day Only ~ August 11th
To celebrate the collab at Harlem Shack Harlem, guests will enjoy live entertainment from New York’s own DJ Menyu, an appearance from Pinky Cole and custom SluttyShack swag, available while supplies last. All proceeds from the sale of Slutty Vegan that day will be donated to a charity helping the restaurant industry.
On the heals of the exhibition ‘At Home’, Living with Art Salon opens its doors to The Summer Salon, creating a unique and colorful conversation between Ceramics and Fiber Art. This new exhibition features the works of two artists ~ Reuben Sinha and Tomo Mori.
Today, the Apollo, in collaboration with 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID) and the Harlem Commonwealth Council (HCC), announced the recipients of the Harlem Entrepreneurial Micro-Grant Initiative, a $20,000 program created to provide support to small and independent Harlem businesses affected by COVID-19. Following last year’s successful launch of the program, this year it was expanded in scope, providing funding to local community-based arts organizations and arts collectives and local businesses in financial need. The 20 $1,000 micro-grants were distributed to local merchants and organizations that define the culture and the vitality of Harlem.
A dialogue began last year, serious and thoughtful discussion ensued, and artists have continued the conversation. Here, alongside a small pocket-park on 128th Street in Harlem, artist Julio Valdez unveiled his installation this week entitled ‘I Can’t Breathe.‘ The installation is just a few blocked away from last year’s colorful ‘Black Lives Matter‘ mural on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. extending from 125-127th Streets.
Here’s a piece of old New York for you ~ The Collyer brothers – Homer, born in 1881 and his brother Langley, born in 1885. They were the children of an eccentric gynecologist and a former opera singer. The family moved to a four-story brownstone, located at 2078 Fifth Avenue in 1909, where it is said that Dr. Collyer would occasionally paddle his canoe to work at the City Hospital on Blackwell’s Island. The canoe, his preferred method of transportation, he would carry to and from his home in Harlem at 128th Street.
The Apollo today announced the non-profit’s annual spring fundraiser will take place virtually on the Apollo Theater’s Digital Stageon Monday, June 7 at 7:30pm ET. This year’s benefit, APOLLO RESOUNDING, will honor Felicia and Ben Horowitz with the inaugural Impact Award, given to individuals whose philanthropic leadership has made an extraordinary impact on the arts and artists and who share the Apollo’s values of innovation, diversity, and inclusion. Multihyphenated producer and DJ Derrick ‘D-Nice’ Jones will receive the Percy E. Sutton Award, recognizing indiviuals who uphold the value of the arts and philanthropy as a crucial part of the fabric of our community. The benefit is chaired by the Apollo Board Chair Charles Phillips and Karen Phillips, Cheryl and DerekJones, and Carolyn and Mark Mason.
As New Yorkers begin to step out, it’s worth reflecting on the year behind us, and what we latched on to, and kept us sane, while we were ‘at home.’ It was during the pandemic that we first learned of artist Elan Cadiz and the Scaffold Project ~ exploring equality and tolerance in our homes, communities and in the world at large. This month, Kente Royal Gallery opened its doors to Elan Cadiz and her thoughtful project documenting memories, lessons learned, relationships, and the most important part of her project ~ people, during this very difficult time.
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, yesterday joined elected officials and community members to officially cut the ribbon on improvements to playgrounds at Morningside Park and Thomas Jefferson Park in Harlem. The projects are two of more than 800 completed under Commissioner Silver’s leadership, advancing the City’s mission to build a more equitable 21st century park system.
As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance, the proposed Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District would recognize this neighborhood’s significant association with notable African Americans in the fields of politics, literature, healthcare, and education during the Harlem Renaissance from the early 1920s to the 1940s. The proposed district consists of intact streetscapes of a striking variety of 19th and early- 20th century row houses, multi-family dwellings, and institutions, designed by prominent New York City architects within two sections on either side of Frederick Douglass Boulevard between West 136th Street and West 140th Street.
Claire Oliver Gallery is proud to announce the Gallery’s debut solo exhibition of Bahamian artist Gio Swaby. Both Sides of the Sun is comprised of more than 20 new works that range from life-scale line works, created entirely from thread without the aid of pre-drawn sketches, to small-scale intimate mixed-media textile portraits. Swaby’s work seeks to underscore joy and resilience while showcasing the beauty in imperfection and individuality as a counterpoint to the often-politicized Black body.
Where were you in 1969? If you were in Harlem, chances are you were either in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) or heard about the Harlem Cultural Festival ~ a summer of free outdoor concerts held on Sunday.
Sculpture artist Zaq Landsberg created and presented the illustrations for this piece during the last administration, prior to COVID-19 and our citywide shutdown. It was inspired by Buddhist imagery, and meant to depict our iconic American landmark, weary, reclining, and asking the question ~ “what stage of America are we in.” COVID-19 closed our city, and Reclining Lady lay waiting, like all of us, for better days.
Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to present Love Letters for Harlem, an exhibition of photographs by John Pinderhughes, Ruben Natal SanMiguel, Jeffrey Henson Scales and Shawn Walker. Love Letters for Harlem showcases the talents of these four Harlem-based photographers and their work that celebrates the lives and culture of Harlem. A portion of the proceeds from this exhibition will benefit Harlem Community Relief Fund, an initiative of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce (GHCC), who in concert with Harlem Week, ReThink Food NY, NY State Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, CCNY, NAACP are working together to combat food insecurity in Harlem.
Living with Art Salon opened its doors to three diverse women in the arts, Elan Cadiz, Giannina Gutierrez and Leah Poller. The exhibition, At Home, explores how we live at home, as a family ~ as neighbors, as friends, as lovers ~ looking back on your dad’s favorite chair growing up, waking up in your own bed, working from home in this moment in time, and the emotions connected to the people and places that home ‘is’. Come along on our preview of this thoughtful and timely exhibition.
The Apollo Theater announced details of its spring 2021 season, which will take place exclusively online! The season features a broad range of free and ticketed virtual events, including the Apollo Film series celebration of House Party and House Party 2, cult classics created more than 30 years ago. The virtual program includes performances by Kid ‘N Play, Full force and more. The season expands the nonprofit theater’s road as a partner, commissioner, and co-producer of programming that centers Black artists and voices from the African Diaspora, while tackling important social issues for Harlem, New York and the nation.
On January 26, 1934, the Apollo Theater opened with the show “Jazz a la Carte” headlined by Benny Carter and his Orchestra, Ralph Cooper and Aida Ward. Soon after, The Apollo became the premiere place for the performing arts and entertainment in Harlem.
Overlooking Marcus Garvey Park, at 15 West 124th Street, stands an 18,000+ square-foot, brick building that had been the home to the Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary ~ the nation’s oldest order of black nuns. In 2016, the Order celebrated its 100th Anniversary and year of service with a Gala featuring His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan (Archbishop of New York), with performances by Melba Moore and other celebrity guests, held at the New York Academy of Medicine.
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, joined Assembly member Al Taylor, Manhattan Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington, Community Board 10 Chair Cicely Harris, President & CEO of Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement Malcolm Punter, and community members this week to cut the ribbon on the reconstruction of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson Playground in Central Harlem. The $1.59 million renovation is the 51st project completed through the Community Parks Initiative (CPI), the City’s first-ever parks equity initiative, funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
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.
Claire OliverGallery is pleased to announce a group exhibition Four Now: New Works by Bisa Butler, Adebunmi Gbadebo, Leonardo Benzant and Gio Swaby. The exhibition and a dynamic virtual program of talks and events is designed to telegraph the excitement and energy of Miami Art Week to the gallery’s Harlem headquarters. The program includes a range of conversations between the artists and guest speakers including actor, artist and collector Hill Harper, James Beard Award-winning chef Bryant Terry, Nora Atkinson, the Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator-in-Charge for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Dr. Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Newark Museum Curator of American Art. The exhibition will be on view by appointment December 1, 2020 – January 9, 2021 and virtual programming can be joined online at the gallery’s website.