New York, NY–Continuing the momentum from their inaugural year, today the Harlem Arts Festival announced that its second annual fundraising gala would take place on Wednesday, May 29th at MIST Harlem, a local cultural entertainment center. The fundraising event is an opportunity for the organization to raise money and awareness about the talent that will hit the festival stage in June through preview performances.
Performers that night will include Kris Bowers, who won the 2011 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition and was most recently featured on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne album, Jennifer Archibald, from the Arch Dance Company who was a 2012 Harlem Arts Festival featured artist and 2013 Fellow of the New Directions Choreography Lab under the direction of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Artistic Director, Robert Battle and Brandee Younger, a versatile young jazz harpist and 2013 Harlem Arts Festival Selectee who has collaborated with artists ranging from Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, and Wycliffe Gordon, to Common, Ryan Leslie, Cassie, Talib Kweli and Drake.
“At our inaugural gala last year, we raised more than $6,000 and we’re looking to match or double that amount this year,” said Neal Ludevig, the executive director of the Harlem Arts Festival.
The Harlem Arts Festival has also formed a new partnership with MIST Harlem that will create opportunities and provide an ongoing platform for local artists. While both organizations are fairly new to the Harlem community, they share a vision of creating a central hub for artists to create, experiment and interact with new and existing forms of art in their own backyard.
In addition to hosting this year’s fundraising gala, MIST will serve as the backdrop for a new open-mic jam session event series hosted by the executive committee of the Harlem Arts Festival. As part of this agreement, they will provide access to their venue, on-site technology, full staffing and cross-promotional opportunities, which is the equivalent to an in-kind donation of $10,000 to the festival.
“What the Harlem Arts Festival has done over the last year to showcase a variety of talented artists in Harlem is phenomenal,” said Keira Wesley-Busher, the coordinating director at MIST Harlem. “How could we not partner with them? Both of our organizations are new and growing and this alliance will benefit the artistic community in Harlem and provide a platform for artists to express themselves and be seen by the world.”
In March, the two organizations hosted an open-mic night, which was the first joint event in the series. Tickets for the gala range from $75 for Young Patrons (under 30) to $150 for VIP guests and are on sale now at www.harlemartsfestival.com/
About the Harlem Arts Festival
The Harlem Arts Festival is a free annual multidisciplinary event that showcases local performers and visual artists that inspire and nourish the artistic community in Harlem. The festival aims to promote arts education and literacy by implementing arts-related discussion forums, educational workshops, performance opportunities and activities for youth and family. This project is part of Harlem’s addition to the larger, citywide commitment to provide free art in the public parks during the spring and summer months. This year’s festival will take place on June 29th and June 30th at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park at 124th street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues. To learn more about the festival visit www.harlemartsfestival.com.
About My Image Studios
MIST (for “My Image Studios”) Harlem, is a $21M, 20,000 sq. ft. cultural entertainment center that opened in late 2012. MIST features a 130-seat restaurant (Harvist) and three (3) performance spaces presenting the best in film, live music, spoken word, comedy and more—performed by top established and emerging black & Latino artists from around the world. MIST Harlem is completely minority-owned, and resides in the Kalahari: the 250-unit, award-winning, LEED Gold-certified condo. www.myimagestudios.com.