Barbara Horowitz , Founder and President of Community Works, announces the launch of a year-long, citywide, multi-arts focus on Harlem’s historic role in the development of Black Theater and its impact on our national culture. Partnering with prominent venues and organizations across the city – including CCNY, the Interchurch Center, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New York Public Library for Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theater, Columbia University, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council – the exhibition and public programs will broaden the dialogue and showcase the multi-faceted story of Harlem theater.
The launch at 6:00pm, May 20th at Aaron Davis Hall will draw over 250 people from all walks of life – including Harlem ’s theater legacy keepers – to a special reception and dialogue. The evening will include a viewing of the exhibition, a special tribute to Harlem’s legacy keepers, excerpts from Jamal Joseph’s film, harlem is…THEATER, and a dialogue about Harlem’s contemporary theater life featuring Ty Jones, Producing Director, Classical Theater of Harlem; Sade Lythcott, CEO, National Black Theater; Keith Josef Adkins, Founder/Artistic Director, The New Black Fest; Deadria Harrington, Producing Artistic Leader, The Movement Theatre Company; and Talvin Wilks, playwright, director, dramaturg (moderator).
The evening will also include a tribute to Tunde Samuel (1949-2001), theater producer, artist, visionary, and activist. “Tunde was our mentor, inspiration and our entry into Harlem and Harlem theater life,” says Barbara Horowitz, Community Works founder and president. “From our meeting in 1990 until his passing in 2001, he and I co-presented and produced hundreds of black theater events for young people at the National Black Theater. He was the motivation and he remains the inspiration for Community Works to celebrate and share these stories.”
Originally unveiled ten years ago at The Museum of the City of New York in February 2005, harlem is…THEATER celebrates the rich tradition of theater in Harlem from the founding of the African Grove Theater in 1821 to the present. The exhibition includes stunning portraits, video montages and student reflections on the dynamic impact of theater in Harlem . Harlem is…THEATER was created through the lens of Harlem’s young people and community members who interviewed, researched and documented Harlem theater legends through Community Works ’ Making a Difference education program. In 2014-15, the exhibition will be expanded and paired with public programs including performances , artist talks, film screenings, tours, and participatory workshops.
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“It is very exciting to see that ten years later this exhibit resonates and is still so relevant,” says Barbara Horowitz. “The community of Harlem has a distinct and unparalleled history steeped in Black arts and culture. As the Harlem community continues to change it is critically important that the countless contributions and the artistic voices of this community be recognized, honored and preserved not only in Harlem itself but throughout New York City . The program’s goal is to celebrate and educate audiences of all ages about the rich history, traditions and culture of Harlem and to provide opportunities for shared cultural experience and community exchange.”
Opening Reception, 6:00PM, Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Aaron Davis Hall, 135th Street and Convent Avenue , New York City
The exhibit is open to the public at Aaron Davis Hall May 5 – June 30, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.
All events are free and open to the public. Reservations for the reception on May 20th are required and accepted by visiting http://harlemistheater.eventbrite.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org