Page 15 - Mar2019
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                                 THE HARLEM ART SCENE
       The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a world-renowned institution (top left). The Laura Gadson Gallery (top right) and art work from the gallery, Laura Gadson shown here (bottom right).
opened a temporary programming space on W 127th Street. McGlown, who credits the museum for being a voice on “Black America,” says she is looking forward to seeing the next and long overdue reincarnation of the institution.
Although Harlem has changed since the Renaissance, one thing that hasn’t changed is its place in the world. There is no
denying its significance for African American creatives. McGlown says its impact is “manifold,” and that we are still
learning from the Renaissance.
“It’s still feeding us. I mean the fact that we are now
getting to see one of James Baldwin’s books made into a beautiful film,” she said. “Langston Hughes poems are not any less relevant and impactful, it’s still food for the soul.”
Many creatives in Harlem agree with McGlown and are doing their part to celebrate all the great things that came
from the Harlem Renaissance.
Michelle Bishop, from the Harlem Needle Arts Inc. is
putting together curriculum that she plans on passing out to schools in and outside of the community. She also plans
on having two public art exhibits in St. Nicholas Park.
“In the year 2020, our public art exhibition will showcase
a textile art piece that is honoring Harlem,” she said. “This year, we’re doing a public art piece that’s celebrating 400 years of Africans being brought to this country. We’re honoring the shoulders that we stand on and the reasons
why we are here.” Orange is planning on doing a Harlem Holiday windows display. Windows at different businesses in Harlem will be decorated based off of artists from the Renaissance and artists inspired from the time. She plans on working with local institutions in Harlem to bring the windows to life on the day of her kickoff.
“At each window, the guide will tell a little blurb about the window. If a window is about dancers, we’ll have dancers performing in front of it,” she continued. “Maybe the next window will be about a poet, and someone is reading a poem from Langston Hughes and then the next window is inspired by Hughes, but it’ll be a rap song. So, it’s not just on the Harlem Renaissance but also those who were inspired by it.”
As of now, it’s a combined effort with the Fashion Institure of Technology and local artists, but she plans on expanding it to others.
Through its history, there’s no doubt that Harlem will continue to be Harlem.
“Harlem is one of the most famous neighborhoods in the world, if not the most famous!” said McGlown. “Even tourists who come here want to experience it. They want to stand in the place where this great history happened. They want to see, feel and taste the culture.” And that’s what they’ll get as Harlem prepares to celebrate 100 years since the Renaissance.

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