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HAF presents multi-disciplinary performances throughout the year in Harlem and New York City, culminating in an annual festival that takes place in Marcus Garvey Park at the Richard Rodgers amphitheater. HAF’s purpose 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.

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.

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Executive Director

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Creative Director

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Marketing Director

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Funded in part via Kickstarter, Harlem Arts Festival's first season began in 2012, presented more than 30 artist groups, and was attended by more than a 1,000 attendees.

Harlem Arts Festival (HAF) is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization co -founded in 2010 by three young arts entrepreneurs living in Harlem: Neal Ludevig, J.J. El-Far and Chelsea Goding. 

Today, Harlem Arts Festival has grown into a year-round organization that truly is unique unto its innermost parts. Selecting all of its artists through an application process in partnership with a number of the institutions in Harlem, Harlem Arts Festival supports its artists beyond just presenting them.



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 and benefits, which 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.

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