A larger-than-life outdoor public art exhibit is opening on August 12 on St. Nicholas Avenue between 120thand 121st Streets as part of the continuing Harlem is . . . Healing campaign by Community Works and New Heritage Theatre Group and in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program. The installation has been extended to May 1, 2023.
The sidewalk exhibit presents compelling portraits of nine of the 50 Harlem is. . . Healing honorees from all walks of life who have helped the community weather two years of pandemic and social justice turmoil with a variety of activities from providing food and spiritual support, to sustaining youth groups, to creating artwork, to working to get guns off our streets.
“This is an invitation for the public to acknowledge that our heroes are local, people who work daily towards a better community,” said Barbara Horowitz, Founder & President of Community Works.
The launch is part of HARLEM WEEK (Aug.12 – 21) and in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. The exhibit will be available for public viewing for four months.
The five-foot panels, featuring stunning portraits and quotes, are presented through the NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program’s Art Display Case Exhibits initiative. Visitors may read more complete tributes at Community Works’ website, as well as on Instagram and Facebook. Visit the NYC DOT Art Program.
“What better way to celebrate HarlemWeek than to note the best contributions of our own people,” said Voza Rivers, Executive Producer, New Heritage Theatre Group and Harlem Week executive producer.
The honorees include:
- Arva Rice, President and CEO of the NY Urban League
- Jackie Rowe-Adams, co-founder of Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E
- Akemi Kochiyama, writer, activist
- Andrea Arroyo, artist, activist
- Robin Bell-Stevens,Director and Executive Producer of Jazzmobile
- Dietrice Bolden, Managing Director of lMPACT Repertory Theatre
- Rev. Michael A. Walrond Jr., Senior Pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church
- Tau Battice, Harlem photographer
- Winston Majette, Executive Director, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.
Over two years, through online exhibitions and social media posts, Community Works has spotlighted people who seek to help offset the disproportionate effects on Harlem from COVID-19 and the turmoil over social justice by distributing food, creating jobs and offering spiritual, financial and emotional well-being. The Harlem is . . . Healing project is a logical extension of Community Works’ 32-year mission to connect neighborhoods through the arts and education.
Community Works and New Heritage Theatre will be organizing free group tours of the exhibit with artist educator Daniel Carlton.
The exhibit was designed by Clara Alonso and features the photography of Tau Battice, with project management by Connie Lee of Art Lives Here. Support for photography and public programming provided by Con Edison and Humanities New York.
While you’re there, walk one short block north on St. Nicholas to 122nd Street and Visit the Harriet Tubman Memorial ‘Swing Low’ by African-American sculptor Alison Saar. Continue walking north to 125th Street, and west to Morningside Avenue, check out the recently cleaned (by NYC Parks’ Citywide Monument Conservation Program) ‘Harlem Hybrid’ by artist Richard Hunt. (Must note here that if you cross 125th Street, and walk a few doors west, treat yourself to something sweet at Make My Cake before heading home.
Follow #HarlemIsHeritageTours on YouTube.