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.”