Harlem Community Development Corporation (Harlem CDC), state and local officials, and community leaders will celebrate the opening of a Harlem landmark with a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly restored Minton’s and The Cecil restaurants on Saturday, November 2nd at 12:00 pm.
The event will take place at Minton’s which is located at 206 West 118th Street, Harlem, NY.
SPEAKERS | Owner of Minton’s & The Cecil, Former CEO of Time Warner & Chairman of CitiGroup Richard Parsons, Restaurateur & Executive Chef of The Cecil & Minton’s Alexander Smalls, U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel, NYS Senator Bill Perkins, NYS Assembly member Herman D. Farrell, Jr.,
NYS Assembly Member & Chairman of the Harlem Community Development Corporation’s Board of Directors Keith L.T. Wright, NYC Council Member Inez E. Dickens, Housing and Services, Inc. James M. Dill, and Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams.
The Harlem Arts Festival gala fundraising event on May 16 at the Alhambra Ballroom was a smashing success raising $6,000 bringing the total amount of money raised to over $18,000 with all proceeds going directly to artists.
The Harlem Arts Festival’s mission is:
“To produce a multidisciplinary arts festival, showcasing local performers and visual artists that will inspire and nourish the artistic community in Harlem. It aims to promote arts education and literacy by implementing arts-related discussion forums, educational workshops, performance opportunities and activities for youth and family. This project will be part of Harlem’s addition to the larger, citywide commitment to provide free art in the public parks during the spring and summer months.”
The event was well attended with stylishly dressed benefactors and performers and founding members of the organization. The tables had beautiful centerpieces, with well dressed waitstaff circulating drinks and tending an open bar.
A diverse group of artists provided the evening’s entertainment. Artists included Saxophonist Ben Barson, a recent Harlem resident and one of the artists selected for the upcoming Harlem Arts Festival.
Queen Esther, with Dan Rosengard on piano, and Briana Thomas, with Conun Pappas Jr. on piano. A special dance performance by eight children of the Ballroom Basix program, a Harlem-based nonprofit non-competitive dance program that teaches children ballroom and Latin dancing skills.
For me the highlight of the evening was singer Brianna Thomas, a vocalist, teacher, composer and arranger who reminds me of my sister and who is very talented and who brought the house down. Below is my favorite performance. Please visit HarlemCondoLife.com on YouTube for more videos.
I also enjoyed catching up with founding members J.J. El-Far, Neal Ludevig and Chelsea Goding and Sakita Holley, Founder & CEO of the House of Success, all of whom impressed me with their stories of how things came to be and their passion and commitment.
My only regret is not having won anything at the silent auction, which included paintings, and offerings from Land Yoga and 67 Orange. But clearly the event did well, which is of great pleasure to me.
The inaugural Harlem Arts Festival is scheduled to take place in the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater at Marcus Garvey Park June 29-30. Out of a pool of 75 applicants, 35 artists have been selected to be part of the festival.
“There’s a very rich, creative legacy here in Harlem, but there is also a lot of talent here right now,” said J.J. El-Far, Harlem Arts Festival’s creative director. “We wanted to create a festival that celebrates all of the arts. Our artists have a diverse array of talents and they all have roots or connections here.”
The mission of the HarlemArtsFestival is to produce an annual multi-disciplinary arts festival in June of each year at the newly renovated Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park, free and open to the public, showcasing local performers and visual artists to inspire and nourish the artistic community in Harlem.
This year’s festival is set to take place on Friday and Saturday, on June 29th and 30th!
They seek artists from all disciplines to apply via their website and submit their work, where a committee of established artistic presenters from Harlem with backgrounds in music, dance, theater, and visual arts will help select the artists that will perform each year.
This project will be part of Harlem’s addition to the larger, citywide commitment to provide free art in the public parks during the spring and summer months.
COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS & JOINT PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
“This annual multidisciplinary event, the Harlem Arts Festival, will highlight the value of the arts to our city and the community. It is in true Harlem fashion to provide entertainment and enlightenment to visitors and residents alike. The Harlem Arts Festival is a fitting addition to the rich artistic history and cultural splendor that is so intrinsic in our community.”
– Senator Bill Perkins
They have already received pledged support from the following individuals and organizations from within the community, and would love your support too:
• Clyde Valentin: Executive Director of the Hip Hop Theater Festival
• Grace Aneiza Ali: President of Of Note Magazine Associate Director of the Dwyer Cultural Center
• Harlem Park to Park
• Homer E. Cook: Community Outreach Coordinator for the Global Technology Preparatory School & The NYC Department of Education
• Jan Willem Van Bergen: Board Member Adarsh Alphons Project
• Larry Scott Blackmon: Deputy Commissioner of Community Outreach, City of New York & Recreation
• Lawrence Rodriguez: Executive Director of Casa Frela Gallery
• Laura Greer: Programming Director from The Apollo
• Saundra Heath: Executive Director of Heath Gallery
• Senator Bill Perkins: New York State Senate, 30th District
• Simone Eccleston: Programming and Arts Education Manager of Harlem Stage
• Sidney Grant: Artistic Director at Ballroom Basix