Celebrating the powerful legacy of two iconic communities, Memphis today announced its multi-year partnership with the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the City of New York and New York State. Launching with the 45th annual HARLEM WEEK, which this year runs from July 28 – August 31 in Harlem, the partnership is designed to pay tribute to both iconic communities and their ongoing impact on culture, service, innovation and education throughout the world. Harlem will specifically honor the City of Memphis’ bicentennial anniversary this year by embracing “A New Century of Soul” as the theme and spirit of the partnership.
“In Memphis, we believe that it takes soul to find a rhythm all your own, to give more than you take and to change the world around you. Harlem is one of the only other communities in the world that so closely shares this mind-set,” said Mayor Jim Strickland, City of Memphis. “We are honored to partner with our iconic sister city of soul in Harlem, along with the state and City of New York, in hopes of inspiring people from around the word to create positive change as part of a ‘New Century of Soul.’”
New York State, City and Harlem leaders initiated the partnership today with an official proclamation in honor of Memphis anniversary at the official HARLEM WEEK’s July 18th kick-off event at Gracie Mansion. Memphis leaders in culture, education, service, and innovation, will join Harlem and New York City leaders to offer week-long Memphis programming from August 12 – August 18. Residents and visitors of New York City will have the chance to experience Memphis soul and to get a glimpse of what makes the city a truly iconic and impactful community.
“On behalf of the citizens of the State of New York, I am pleased to join with the internationally renowned Village of Harlem in celebrating the bicentennial of Memphis, as it commemorates ‘A New Century of Soul,’” said New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“The Village of Harlem is honored to partner with the iconic city of Memphis as it celebrates its bicentennial. We are pleased to host the artists, chefs and key representatives from Memphis from Aug. 12-18, as we join Memphis in celebrating ‘A New Century of Soul,’” said Lloyd Williams, President of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.
Memphis music has changed the world and is once again creating a new sound across all genres. As an essential element of the HARLEM WEEK partnership, multiple Memphis artists will perform in New York City throughout the week. On August 15th Cameron Bethany takes the stage during an outdoor concert at the Plaza of the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building on W. 125th Street. Later that night, Keia Johnson will perform at the Apollo Theater. During “Summer in the City” and HARLEM DAY which takes place August 17 – August 18, Memphis artists Kina Del Mar, The PRVLG, and the dance phenomenon Memphis Jookers will perform several sets during the festival.
Memphis’ rich food and beverage traditions will also be featured during HARLEM WEEK with “A Taste of Memphis & Harlem” which runs from August 12 – August 18, showcasing a selection of popular dishes from each city at select Harlem restaurants. Food from Memphis Black Restaurant Week Chef Eli Townsend of Sage Restaurant will be featured along with Old Dominick drinks, helmed by the first female mater distiller in Tennessee, Alex Castle. Additionally, Harlem food industry leaders like Sylvia’s, Melba’s, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Lucille’s, and Shake Shack will highlight Memphis chefs and inspired dishes.
In 2019, Memphis will experience a unique moment: celebrating the past through our 200th anniversary while embracing the next 100 years. More than an anniversary, it is an invitation to people locally and globally to join us as we honor our story, and the powerful next chapter that is about to be written. Join us in our New Century of Soul. Together, We are Memphis. Welcome to our city of soul. Don’t forget to bring yours. #BringYourSoul.
HARLEM WEEK is an annual celebration of the best of Harlem which works to promote its rich African-American, African, Caribbean, Hispanic and European history, as well as arts, culture, religion, business, entertainment and sports. HARLEM WEEK 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.