Harlem Arts Festival raises more than $18,000 and previews festival talent at gala

Neal Ludevig, Bill Perkins

HAF Executive Director Neal Ludevig and NY Senator Bill Perkins

Earlier this week, Harlem influencers, residents, patrons of the arts and local officials such as NY State Senator Bill Perkins and Larry Blackmon, the Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Parks and Recreation gathered at the Alhambra Ballroom to raise money and fete the area’s inaugural Harlem Arts Festival which will take place June 29-30 of this year.

In addition to gala performances from Ballroom Basix, and Jazzmobile singer Brianna Thomas the executive committee announced the official list of festival performers and featured a brief preview of Saxophonist Ben Barson and vocalist Queen Esther who will both be performing at the fest.

After a successful round of crowdfunding on Kickstarter that netted the group more than $13,000, an additional $6,000 was raised at the gala. Funds raised for the festival will be used toward park permits and fees, overall production costs and artist stipends.

“Raising funds for any inaugural event can be difficult, but we are encouraged and deeply grateful for all of the support we’ve received from the community who share in our vision to provide a platform for Harlem artists to perform in their own backyards,” said Neal Ludevig, executive director of the Harlem Arts Festival. “And at Wednesday’s gala, we gave festival supporters a taste of the caliber of talent they can expect to see this summer.”

(from l to r) Neal Ludevig, Chelsea Goding and J.J. Elfar


Queen Esther serenades the audience


Saxophonist Ben Barson plays a tune


Jazz artist Cobi Narita (second from left) and guests enjoy gala festivities


A glimpse at the gala's silent auction table


Join the discussion One Comment

  • Manuel Reed says:

    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.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: