By Seth Fera-Schanes
The Harlem Arts Festival is back at Marcus Garvey Park this weekend (June 25th-26th!) We covered the festivities last year and it really is a wonderful community event.
You can easily access the park by most NYC subway lines exiting at the 125th street stop and then a short walk. While you are in the neighborhood be sure to take advantage of some great restaurants, photo opportunities of historic brownstones and the local gallery scene.
This year there will be 43 musicians, dancers, singers, theatrical and visual artists performing over the 2 day event and 30 local small businesses will have vendor spaces in the park.
Executive Director and co-founder, Neal Ludevig said “As the Harlem Arts Festival has grown, we’ve been able to strengthen our relationships with local artists and the communities they serve by providing a stage for them in their own backyard to share their artistic gifts.”
A few of the artists highlights are:
- Harlem Arts Festival and renowned Harlem-based light designer Bentley Meeker are collaborating to produce a major public art piece. Meeker’s major public pieces and lighting projects include the “H” underneath the 125th and 12th Street viaduct, “Flame to Now IV” at the Whitney Museum, the “Temple of Whollyness” at Burning Man, and many others. In partnership with HAF and 5th On the Park, a 28-story condominium, Meeker will install hive lights atop the building and light Marcus Garvey Park over the festival weekend.
- Timothy Bloom, a two time Grammy award winner who has written songs for artists such as Smokey Robinson, Ne-Yo and Chris Brown, will headline the Saturday night festival lineup, while Soulsteps, led by artistic director and choreographer Maxine Lyle, and one of the dance groups featured for Step in the viral video “The A to Z of Dance” will close the festival on Sunday.
- The Movement Theatre Company, Harlem’s premiere theatre group, will host 3 private comedy sets throughout the weekend at Harlem Village Academies (HVA). The series is part of a larger partnership with HVA and will include theatre, spoken word and poetry performances on-site. A spoken word Cypher will open the space on Saturday, June 25th at 5:45pm, hosted by La Caridad la Cruz.
The festival is free and open to the public, with the exception of the Opening Night Party and the Festival Brunch for which tickets are available online. Tickets to all festival events can be reserved or purchased online.