The Man Behind the Scenes
From an intern in high school where he first worked at Harlem Week to managing and directing Harlem’s largest event today. Marko Nobles has lived a life of commitment and direction. We caught up with the cool, calm, father of two, at the end of another year of Harlem Week events. Here, he talks about culture and Harlem Month.
Harlem World: Where were you born?
Marko Nobles: Born and raised in Harlem.
HW: Where did you go to college?
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MN: State University in Oswego, New York.
HW: What was your major?
MN: Communications Studies.
HW: Why did you decide to make Harlem your professional Home?
MN: Never wanted to leave Harlem, probably would have been easier to leave and comeback, but always wanted to stay in Harlem.
HW: What was your first big (job) break?
MN: I don’t know if I would call it a big break, but I worked with Harlem Week from high to college to today.
HW: What led to you working with Harlem Week?
MN: My best friend is the nephew of Lloyd Williams and working with the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) during the summer, the opportunity presented itself.
HW: What is the goal of Harlem Week?
MN: It originally started as Harlem Day, a day to be proud of Harlem for visitors and residents. It used to be on 125th Street in front of the State Office building, back in the day we had Nice and Smooth, Doug E. Fresh, Patrick Ewing, etc.,.
HW: I remember that (laughter)!
HW: The Harlem Week events go on more than a week, will their be a Harlem Month?
MN: My answer is no (laughs), if we say Harlem Month than it’ll probably turn out to be more than a month or more (more laughter).
HW: Who comes up with the events for each years Harlem Week?
MN: There are core events that take place, like the Summer Stage, in front of the State Office Building, and newer events like Summer Sermon, the Imagenation Film series, etc., that happen around Harlem. We determine which events fit the spirit and compliments Harlem Week’s theme, then they are put on the calendar.
HW: What do you mean by “fit the spirit” of Harlem Week?
MN: Events that encourage residents and visitors to come out and enjoy all that Harlem has to offer.
HW: Harlem Week is an institution in Harlem what do you see as the future of Harlem Week?
MN: Hmm, certain things will be done differently, to take advantage of the economic down turn, taking advantage of changes happening at the Studio Museum, the Apollo Theater. Tourism is huge, we want to promote culture, with those who have a stake in Harlem.
HW: What advice would give our readers who would want to be a part of Harlem Week 2011?
MN: They can volunteer, create an event, support the events and the kids can apply for a scholarship by going to www.HarlemWeek.com.
HW: Great, thanks Marko.