July 17, 2022—Regular readers of Arts & Culture Connection know my favorite time of the summer is HARLEM WEEK, and this year’s activities kick-off in about three weeks. I urge you to make some time, between August 12-21, 2022, to attend the virtual and/or in-person events.
Sponsored by the The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, HARLEM WEEK began 48 years ago as a one-day event of camaraderie and fellowship for the African-American residents of Harlem and persons of color in the other boroughs of New York City. Since that time, the festival has grown to showcase the diaspora of African, Caribbean, Hispanic and European cultures, alongside Harlem’s rich social, economic, and political history.
Once again, there will be 10 days of live and virtual celebrations of the people, arts, culture, and entertainment that reaffirm Harlem as the source of this nation’s cultural heartbeat. The theme this year is “INSPIRATION. IMPACT. LEGACY,” and there will be events for seniors, teens, families, music lovers, film buffs, live performances, virtual dance parties, as well as a jobs and careers fair.
I am looking forward to many of the events, including my annual favorites, which will be livestreamed on the HARLEM WEEK 2022 website at this link.
- Virtual Dance at Home Party every night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., beginning Friday, August 12, 2022. The dance parties will feature DJs spinning a wide spectrum of music that definitely will make you want to dance!
- Uptown Saturday Nite Virtual Concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, 2022.
- Charles B Rangel Systemic Racism Summit at noon (ET) on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. This summit will feature the tough discussions the entire country needs to continue. It will offer an unfiltered examination of systemic racism in our country and probe the effects on the African-American, Caribbean-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American populations.
- Economic Development Day on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. The live and virtual summit will feature key discussions on community development, cyber security, digital development, and inclusion of small businesses.
- Virtual Health Summit at noon (ET) on Thursday, August 18, 2022. This summit will bring together some of the foremost medical experts to discuss the effects of health issues and disparities on communities of color, including the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program also will cover alternative medicine modalities and mental health issues
- Arts & Culture/Broadway Virtual Summit at 3 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, August 18, 2022. This summit features conversations with actors, producers, directors, and those behind the scenes, discussing The Impact of Building a Culture of Diversity on Broadway–Environmental Justice
Aaliytha Stevens, Founding member of Black Theatre Coalition
Brian Moreland, Producer “Thoughts of A Colored Man”/ “The Piano Lesson”
Khady Kamara, Executive Director, Second Stage Theater
Vy Higginsen, Producer, “Mama I Want to Sing”
Gennean Scott, Diversity Officer, The Broadway League
Shanta Thake, Chief Artistic Officer, Lincoln Center
- Healing, Joy, and Liberation: Mental Health and the Arts Virtual Gathering at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, August 18, 2022. Presented by The Apollo Theater; the CUNY School of Medicine at the City College of New York; the American Composers Orchestra; the National Black Theatre, and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.This event features artistic rituals for healing, visual art, musical performances, and a panel discussion with mental health experts to encourage participants to get, keep, and spread joy.
And if you’re anywhere near Harlem, be sure to check out these in-person events:
- Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run & Anti Gun Violence Health Walk at 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 13, 2022. Sponsored by New York Road Runners and The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the event starts at 135th Street and Nicholas Avenue.
- Great Jazz on the Great Hill from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at Central Park’s Great Hill.
- Jobs & Career Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, at City College of New York.
- HARLEM WEEK/Imagenation Outdoor Film Festival on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park.
- The two-day NYC Children’s Festival begins Saturday, August 20, 2022, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Howard Bennett Playground on West 135th Street, between Malcolm X Boulevard and 5th This live event for children, ages 5-12, and their family members, will include storytelling, dance performances, step shows, theater, poetry and vocalist. There also will be arts & crafts, a double-dutch competition, face painting and information on health services.
- The Alex Trebek Children’s Spelling Bee will also be held August 20, 2022, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for children in first through fifth grades. The event will take place at the Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture.
You will find the full HARLEM WEEK 2022 schedule at this link. On the website, you also will find links to videos from the 2021 events, and pictures from previous years.
As always, I want to know what you think. How will you celebrate HARLEM WEEK—in-person or virtually? What’s your favorite event?