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Harlem Stage

New York, NY            

Mission Statement:

Harlem Stage is a performing arts center that celebrates and perpetuates the unique and diverse legacy of Harlem and the indelible impression it has made on American culture. We provide opportunity, commissioning and support for artists of color, make performances easily accessible to all audiences, and introduce children to the rich diversity, excitement and inspiration of the performing arts.

 About Harlem Stage:

Harlem Stage is a unique incubator of emerging American artistic talent across all artistic disciplines and an important New York City platform for artists of color to develop and present their creative voices. We identify visionary artists of color and support them by commissioning, developing, presenting and producing their vital work that responds to the social and political conditions that shape our lives. In the three decades since our inception, Harlem Stage has curated a broad range of extraordinary programming in dance, theater, music and film, and engaged in excess of 1,000,000 audiences, 400,000 schoolchildren and 8,500 artists, including five winners of MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Awards.

 The organization was recognized nationally for its leadership in this arena when the Association of Performing Arts Presenters awarded Harlem Stage the 2014 William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence and Sustained Achievement in Programming. In the educational realm, each year thousands of NYC schoolchildren experience a diversity of artists in performance and in classrooms throughout Upper Manhattan, where they interact directly with talented role models of diverse backgrounds and experience first-hand a positive, living template for a life spent creatively.

 Our vision is dynamic – to engage in a constant journey of discovery that involves artists, audiences and the community in the creative exploration of our cultural heritage and artistic vision. Our demonstrated commitment to artists, our community, and the field of performing arts continues to be manifested in our programs and provides a model for institutions in the field seeking to serve as a nexus between artists and communities.

 We continue to be one of the only institution of our kind providing significant, in-depth support to artists of color where traditional institutional support within the larger arts community is not consistently available to them. We identify and work with artists engaged with the issues that both reflect and seek to impact our community and the world creating challenging, relevant and socially significant work that connects our audiences to the art, artists, and their creative processes.

 Harlem Stage functions as an anchor in the community as we have become a meeting ground for people of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds and a significant contributor to community development efforts. Engaging the community in our artistic and education programs is only a piece of this. Our work in the development of the Harlem area is one that is exemplified in our work with the revitalization of our surrounding footprint, the two square blocks bound by 133rd to 135th and between Convent and Amsterdam, our commitment to employing individuals and engaging businesses in our neighborhood, as well as the presentation of community centered, affordable programs.

Harlem Stage 30th Anniversary Gala

Performance by Randy Weston and Roy Hargrove at Harlem Stage’s 30 Anniversary Gala. Randy Weston, Harlem Stage’s Director of Programming Brad Learmonth, and the Ford Foundation honored.

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Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project by Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd

Over the past three years, Composer Vijay Iyer and poet Mike Ladd completed the development of this multi-disciplinary work which explores the dreams of a new generation of young veterans of color from current wars. Holding It Down had its world premiere at the harlem Stage Gatehouse in 2012.

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