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The mission of the Harlem Arts Festival is to produce a multidisciplinary arts festival, showcasing local performers and visual artists that will inspire and nourish the artistic community in Harlem. It 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 will be part of Harlem’s addition to the larger, citywide commitment to provide free art in the public parks during the spring and summer months.
Founded in 2010, the Harlem Arts Festival (HAF) takes place in the newly renovated Richard Rodgers Amphitheater and the surrounding park. The goal of HAF is to fuel the prosperity of our neighborhood and mark the Amphitheater as a world‐class cultural venue. We are interested in presenting artists across genres - dance, music, theater, and visual arts - whose work contributes to the contemporary and popular dialogue of the Harlem community.
In only 3 years, HAF has showcased more than 115 artists on its two stages. HAF 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 founding in 2012 with more than 6,000 attendees in 2014 alone. The festival’s reputation continues to grow, marking the amphitheater as a performance destination for world-class artists while cultivating local talent.
Since its inauguration, HAF has expanded its yearly programming from the single multidisciplinary arts festival held in Marcus Garvey Park to include an extended performance-exhibition series entitled "HAF Sessions", workshops at schools, activities at community-organized events, and an annual gala. HAF programming attracts a collective audience of over 8,000 people from all over the five boroughs of New York and encourages business and new industry to join the project in a dedicated commitment to Harlem’s future promise.