Harlem

IMREY STUDIO LLC / HSANYC.ORG

When Harlem School of the Arts founder Dorothy Maynor was raising money to build the facility, New York City was a much different place. 

“They really wanted to create this safe haven with this oasis on the inside,” said Eric Pryor, president of Harlem School of the Arts.  

The funding from the Herb Alpert Foundation will fix some issues, such as air conditioning, but it’s the 18,000 square foot glass curtain wall set to be installed in the front of the building that will transform HSA.

Kamilah Forbes
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The first major expansion of The Apollo in Harlem is underway, part of the iconic theater's 85th anniversary season. 

The Apollo's Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes spoke with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about the expansion and the upcoming show Twisted Melodies, a powerful one-man show based on the life of ’70s soul singer and composer Donny Hathaway.

The non-profit is expanding with a new theater, The Victoria, and becoming the Apollo Performing Arts Center.

The 25th Herb Alpert Award in the Arts is on May 13th in New York City. To honor the 125 Winners of the award who received $75,000 each from the Herb Alpert Foundation.

Ang Santos: The Herb Alpert Foundation has been supporting organizations that promote the arts for a few decades. Particularly in education arenas.  What prompted you to take such action?

Dizzy Gillespie Bigger Than Life

Nov 10, 2017
Dizzy Mural
WBLS Program Director Skip Dillard for WBGO News

Last month, Harlem hosted a 100th birthday tribute to trumpeter and innovator Dizzy Gillespie. The celebration included wonderful music and the unveiling of huge colorful murals of the jazz legend.

Global street art and human rights campaign, Education Is Not A Crime, announced the creation of the John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie 100th Anniversary mural at 229 West 135th Street. The mural is the project’s 20th and largest in New York.

Ang Santos / WBGO

87-year-old saxophone legend Sonny Rollins donated what’s essentially his life’s work in handwritten papers, documents, video’s and records to the Schomburg Center in Harlem.

“Really what it allows us to do is to continue to get to know him better over the decades whether he’s here with us or not,” said Schola Lynch, curator of the Moving Image and Sound Division at the Schomburg.  Lynch welcomed several dozen members of the public into their new space to view pieces from the Rollins collection.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The 115th Street library in Harlem is being named after singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte.

“I grew up in this very space.  I lived on 114th Street and Manhattan Avenue.  I used to go to Manhattan Park to hang out and do mischief.  But this library and this community did a lot to shape my life,” Belafonte said.  “I’ve done a lot in my life, but this particular ceremony has deeper resonance and deeper meaning than I think many of you would realize.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made it official.

abyssinian.org

Cyrus Chestnut wrote 'Saga of the Cross' only a few months back, a new composition to be performed with The Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir in Harlem.

“I teach at Howard University in Washington, DC of which there’s a great music program.  What stands out from the program is this vocal jazz group called ‘Afro Blue’ under the direction of Connaitre Miller.  So I’ve been hearing around the vocalists and hearing all of these vocal arrangements and all.  So it’s kind of gotten planted in the ear,” Chestnut said.

Melba Wilson
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Melba Wilson is the Queen of Comfort Food who holds court at Melba’s restaurant in Harlem, a neighborhood eatery that often attracts celebrities, movie stars, politicians and the media.

Melba honed her culinary skills in her grandmother’s kitchen, and later in Sylvia’s, the legendary eatery of her late aunt, Sylvia Woods, internationally known as the Queen of Southern Soul Food. 

Wilson showed off her talents on the Food Network when she bested famed chef Bobby Flay in an old fashioned Throwdown.