The Apollo announced today the appointment of Michelle Ebanks as the next President and CEO of the nation’s foremost African American performing arts center dedicated to Black arts and culture. Ms. Ebanks has extensive leadership experience in media, entertainment, and live events. She previously served as CEO of Essence Communications, overseeing the nation’s leading media and communications company dedicated to African American women, including Essence magazine, the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African American women; Essence.com, the award-winning, daily online destination for African American women; and the internationally renowned Essence Festival of Culture, one of the largest annual live music events in the world. Ms. Ebanks will begin her new role in July 2023.
On Tuesday, June 20 at 7pm EST The Apollo Theater will host “CHAMP: Deaf Artists of Color Redefining the Performing Arts,” an in-depth discussion featuring the leading Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing artists, creators, and musicians working in the performing arts space today. The panelists come from all corners of the creative industry, spanning dance, theater, music, and film. Throughout the conversation, they will share their stories—their successes, their setbacks, and the steps they took to get to where they are today. Not only will this be an opportunity to connect and network with trailblazing artists, but also a chance to celebrate all of their contributions and uplift an integral but often under-acknowledged community.
The Apollo announced today its 2023 cohort of artists for its Apollo New Works initiative, an initiative which champions artistic development and allows artists across disciplines to incubate and present new works across The Apollo’s stages—its Historic Theater, Soundstage, and The Apollo’s Victoria Theater, which will open this winter. The series of commissions will feature world premiere performances, festivals, and programs rooted in music, dance, theater, poetry, and more, by an award-winning group of artists including: vertical dance company Bandaloop with composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, composer Billy Childs, playwright Francisca Da Silveira, actor Kevin R. Free, multimedia artist Ebony Noelle Golden, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, photographer Alex Harsley and the E. 4th Street Photo Gallery, choreographer Aku Kadogo and poet jessica Care moore, sculptor Jonathan Payne, American blues and soul singer Martha Redbone,musical duo Soul Science Lab (Chen Lo and Asante Amin), playwright Talvin Wilkes, and playwright Nathan Yungerberg, and The Apollo’s current Master Artist in Residence Kamasi Washington.
On Monday, March 27, 2023, The Apollo’s Board Chair Charles E. Phillips announced that the 99-seat theater in The Apollo’s new Victoria Theater—which marks the first major expansion in the organization’s history—will be named after its current President & CEO Jonelle Procope in honor of her two decades as leader of the iconic cultural and civic non-profit dedicated to providing a platform for Black creativity. The new, 25,000-square-foot facility is under renovation and will open later this year, adding two additional stages that will be operated by The Apollo and will welcome in artists, audiences, other cultural and civic organizations and creators, and students. The surprise announcement took place at a celebration in honor of Ms. Procope at the Ford Foundation following her announcement at the end of 2022 that she will step down as President later this year.
Since 1934, aspiring performers have come to The Apollo to “Be Good or Be Gone!” On Saturday, March 25 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., The Apollo (253 W. 125th Street) will hold live auditions for its signature program, Amateur Night at The Apollo, the quintessential talent competition and one of the longest-running events in the world.
The Annual Kwanzaa celebration returns to The Apollo Theater as an in-person event for the first time in two years, offering attendees the opportunity to experience the cultural importance and collective Black joy that characterize the holiday. Kwanzaa: A Regeneration Celebration will take place on Friday, December 30 at 7:30pm EST, anchored by performances from renowned New York-based dance company Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre—the creative force behind the 40-year tradition which blends contemporary modern, West African, house, and hip-hop dance styles—as well as special guest artist, Haitian American singer Pauline Jean. Also featured will be the young people of the Forces of Nature/Harlem Children’s Zone Youth Arts Academy of Dance and Wellness, performing under the direction of Jae Ponder.
Jonelle Procope, President and CEO of the Apollo, announced today that after two decades of leading the iconic cultural and civic non-profit dedicated to providing a platform for Black creativity, she will step down on June 30, 2023. Ms. Procope’s leadership, first as a member of the board and then as president and CEO, has transformed a venue that was in disrepair into an internationally recognized cultural institution, expanding it into the largest African American performing arts presenting organization with one of the most diverse boards and audiences in the country. Throughout her tenure, the Apollo has also served as an anchor for the revitalization of legendary 125th Street in Harlem and as a center for community and national discourse.
Today, the legendary Apollo announced its upcoming fall/winter 2022 season, featuring a variety of offerings from conversations with prominent figures and acclaimed dance works to Grammy-winning vocalists, emerging comedians, and more.
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.
On Tuesday, May 26 at 7:00pm ET, the Apollo Theater and ImageNation presents a film screening of It’s Different In Chicago as part of ImageNation’s Cocktails and Sol Cinemaon the Apollo’s Soundstage.
The film highlights the city, known by many as the birthplace of house music as well as an incubator for hip-hop hitmakers. It’s Different In Chicago tells the story of how these music genres and the cultures around their communities have complemented and competed with each other, leading to deep revelations about the different segments within the Black community of Chicago.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Mastercard will present the “Jennifer Hudson Live at The Apollo” concert on August 19th, the first live audience performance at the Apollo Theater since March 2020. At this intimate gathering of Black women entrepreneurs and select cardholders, Ms. Hudson will perform classic Aretha Franklin hits featured in Respect as well as songs from her own catalogue. Limited tickets are available for purchase on Priceless.com here, with 100% of sales benefiting Fearless Fund.
On Saturday, August 14 at 11am ET, the Apollo Theater will celebrate HARLEM WEEK and Free Comic Book Day, the largest annual comic book event, with an exploration of Harlem-based superhero, Luke Cage. This free virtual panel of comic creators and television producers illuminates Luke Cage’s rise from the comic book page to Netflix series while tackling social justice issues.
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.
The Apollo – the soul of American culture and a globally recognized national treasure – will honor nine-time Grammy Award-winning and two-time Academy Award nominee Mary J. Blige with her induction into the Apollo’s Walk of Fame, on Friday, May 28th at 10:00am in a free, public outdoor event.
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.
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.
Today The Apollo Theater announced details of its fall 2020 season, which will take place exclusively online on the Apollo’s Digital Stage. The season features a broad range of free virtual events, including Wyclef Jean performing his Double Platinum album The Carnival; a special Live Wire conversation focused on the artistry of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin; and monthly Apollo music nights with independent musical artists through the Apollo Music Café, featuring artists Stout, J. Hoard, and Madison McFerrin.
This February, the world famous Apollo Theater will kick off Black History Month with Apollo Open House: Celebration of Cool on Saturday February 1st from 1 p.m. – 6.p.m., to celebrate and explore the rich history of the Theater as it continues the legacy of Black History.
Today, the iconic nonprofit Apollo Theaterannounced details of its spring 2020 season featuring genre-spanning performances—from music, dance, and theater to comedy and film screenings—that continue the theater’s strong mission of articulating African American narratives through cultural programming. Season highlights include the Apollo’s Africa Now! and African Film Festival 30th Anniversary Celebration presenting the legendary Oumou Sangaré; Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber performing Isaac Hayes’ Academy Award-winning score Shaft, alongside a screening of the film; the Apollo Salon Series presentation of A Time to Love, a musical theater collaboration with National Black Theatre; and the signature series that brings patrons to the Apollo year-round, Amateur Night at the Apollo, Apollo Music Café, andApollo Comedy Club.Through its programming, educational, and community initiatives, the Apollo continues to advance its commitment to creating a 21st century performing arts canon, providing a home to artists and the community, while tackling important social issues for Harlem, New York, and the nation.
Here it is ~ The exciting Apollo Theater 2020 Spring Season.
On Monday, July 29, 2019 the Apollo Theater announced special programs and offers to celebrate Harlem and HARLEM WEEK throughout the month of August. HARLEM WEEK is an annual celebration of the best of Harlem which began in 1974 as HARLEM DAY, a one-day event of encouragement and fellowship in Harlem for New Yorkers. Given the huge success of the celebration, additional days were added to showcase the community’s rich economic, political and cultural history. HARLEM WEEK now offers over 110 events throughout the summer to over 2 million attendees, including participants and visitors from around the world. HARLEM WEEK celebrates the many wonders of the historic neighborhood – including the world famous Apollo Theater.
The 2019 edition of The Tribeca Film Festival will open with a documentary on The Apollo Theater! The Roger Ross Williams directed film, which will air later in the year on HBO, will screen at the historic Harlem venue on April 24th.