The mission of the Harlem Arts Festival is to provide resources,
visibility and career opportunities to artists;
to increase participation and engagement in the arts
by the Harlem community;
and to continue Harlem’s artistic legacy of making art that
preserves the history and develops the identity of Harlem.
Harlem Arts Festival is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization co -founded in 2010 by three young arts entrepreneurs living in Harlem. Now in its 5th season, HAF presents multi-disciplinary performances in venues throughout Harlem, culminating in an annual festival that takes place in Marcus Garvey park at the Richard Rodgers amphitheater.
The performances showcase 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. The goal of the Harlem Arts Festival is to fuel the cultural and artistic prosperity of our neighborhood.
In only a few short years, the Harlem Arts Festival has showcased more than 150 artists and has garnered press from media outlets such as ABC News, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The New York Daily News, The Village Voice, Amsterdam News, Flavorpill, and more. Attendance has grown exponentially since its first festival in 2012 with more than 6,000 attendees in 2014 alone. Its budget and staff have more than doubled since 2012, and the festival’s reputation continues to grow, marking the amphitheater as a performance destination for worldacclaimed artists while cultivating local talent.
Artists are selected for the festival through an application process, vetted by HAF’s Artist Selection Committee. Are that are selected each year join the HAFamily, which gives them a number of opportunities. In addition to having to performing at the Harlem Arts Festival, HAF Artists are given regular opportunities to showcase their work in venues around New York City, to conduct workshops, classes and residencies in local schools, and are given tools and guidance via media clips, photography, video footage, rehearsal space, recording studio time, mentorships and more to assist them in creating materials that can be sent to presenters for further career growth. The Harlem Arts Festival also has a number of relationships with organizations and individuals that become part of the artists’ network as well. All opportunities for HAF Artists are compensated with honorariums.
There are a number of benefits to being an HAF Artist. These include:
- Performing at the Harlem Arts Festival, which is attended by more than 6,000 people each year
- Showcasing their work regularly in venues around Harlem and New York City
- Conducting workshops, classes and residencies in local schools (paid)
- Media and photography footage that can be used to create EPKs
- Discounted and free rehearsal space
- Discounted and free recording studio time
- Establishing relationships with mentors and professional artists to provide guidance for their artistcareers.
- Being seen by individuals that program some of Harlem, and New York’s leading performing institutions, including The Apollo, Harlem Stage, the Hip Hop Theater Festival, Alvin Ailey, Casa Frela Gallery, The Studio Museum, and more.
All opportunities for HAF Artists are compensated with honorariums. The Harlem Arts Festival also has a number of relationships with organizations and individuals that become part of the artists’ network, as well.