Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Memphis Goes to Harlem

Photo: Harlem Week

A cohort of Memphis entertainers will travel to New York to perform during Harlem Week 2019 festivities.

Harlem Week is an annual celebration that promotes Harlem’s rich African-American, African, Caribbean, Hispanic and European history, as well as arts, culture, religion, business, entertainment, and sports. Harlem Week runs July 28 – August 31st this year and will include multiple events that will highlight talent from Memphis.

Why? Well, it’s kind of like when Memphis in May honors a country. Two places that dig each other learn more about each other and become besties. In all seriousness though, there’s a deeper point.

Noting similarities in the “two iconic communities” Harlem and the City of Memphis have entered a multi-year partnership to showcase their respective cultural contributions to the world, side by side. One of the first things to come out of the partnership is that Harlem has chosen to honor Memphis’s bicentennial by embracing the theme “A New Century of Soul.”

If that sounds familiar, it’s because the Memphis end of the cultural exchange is being stewarded by We Are Memphis, the folks behind #BringYourSoul. They’re working with various entities in Harlem, New York City, and New York State to put Memphis innovation in music, food, and more center stage during Harlem Week.

Some influential Memphians have already been up to rep the city including Hattiloo Theatre founder and executive director Ekundayo Bandele, Old Dominick head distiller Alex Castle, Chef Eli Townsend of Sage, Unapologetic label founder IMAKEMADBEATS, and artists Preauxx and Talibah Safiya, to name a few.

Check out the video recap from the Harlem Week kickoff.

A full week of Memphis programming will take place within Harlem Week starting August 12th. While some of the events are private ones crafted to introduce media, influencers, and stakeholders to what Memphis is all about, there are also some performance events that are free and open to the public. If you’re in the area between August 15-18, you can catch free concerts featuring Cameron Bethany, Keia Johnson, Kiña Del Mar, The PRVLG, and Memphis Jookers.

SCHEDULE

August 15
Outdoor Concert at the Plaza of Adam Powell State Building on 125th

  • 5:10 – 5:40 performances by Cameron Bethany and Keia Johnson

August 17 
Summer in the City

  • The PRVLG performing 1:30 – 1:45 PM and 3:45 – 4 PM on the St. Nicholas stage on 135TH St. and St. Nicholas Ave.
  • Kiña Del Mar performing at 6 PM in St. Nicholas Park in advance of film screening

August 18

Harlem Day Performances

  • Kiña Del Mar will perform on the St. Nicholas stage on 135th St from 4-4:20 PM
  • The PRVLG will perform on the YMCA stage on 135th between Adam Clayton Powell and Malcolm X Blvd from 3:35 – 3:50 PM
  • Memphis Jookers will perform on the YMCA stage from 4:45 PM to 4:55 PM and also on the 5th Ave. stage on 135th St. from 5:05 – 5:15 PM

Learn more about the Harlem and Memphis partnership at wearememphis.com.

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