The mission of the Harlem Arts Festival is to provide resources,
visibility and career opportunities to artists connected to Harlem;

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.


Each year, artists are selected for the festival through an application process, vetted by HAF’s Artist Selection Committee. Artists that are selected each year join the HAFamily, which gives them a number of opportunities.

There are a number of benefits to being an HAF Artist. These include:

  • Performing and presenting at the Harlem Arts Festival, which is attended by more than 6,000 people each year
  • Free or discounted tickets to all HAF events
  • 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 artist careers.
  • Being seen by individuals that program some of Harlem, and New York’s leading performing institutions, including The Apollo, Harlem Stage, Hi-ARTS, Harlem School for the Arts, 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.


It all started with our kickstarter!

Co -founded in 2010 by three young arts entrepreneurs living in Harlem, the Harlem Arts Festival (HAF) presents multi-disciplinary performances in venues throughout Harlem over the course of each year, 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. Our goal 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 200 artists, garnered accolades from CBS News, ABC News, The New York Times, Time Out New York, and more, and has served more than 17,000 audience members. In 2015, Congressman Rangel proclaimed June 27th to be “Harlem Arts Festival Day” to recognize HAF’s contribution to the community.

Contact us to become involved!