Harlem Stage: An Evening of „Art and Activism”
This evening is co-hosted by poet and playwright, Carl Hancock Rux and Harlem Stage artistic director and CEO, Patricia Cruz, and directed by Filemaker, Sekou Luke.
Award-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson and his company, Firelight Media, whose influential work epitomizes art and activism, will be honored with the organization’s “Transformative Artist Award.”
The evening of music and spoken word will feature performances by hip hop artist and author, Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité; singer and songwriter, Maimouna Youssef (a/k/a Mumu Fresh); composer and pianist, Vijay Iyer; hip hop and jazz artist, José James; hip hop dance artist, Sun Kim; vocalist and flutist, Elena Pinderhughes; Carl Hancock Rux; artist and dancer, Joseph Webb; a special video contribution by Carrie Mae Weems; and more.
Additionally, the celebration will include special appearances by MSNBC’s Joy Reid, who will kick off the evening; gala co-chairs, John Josephson and Carolina Zapf; Harlem Stage board members: founder and CEO of Policy Link Angela Glover Blackwell, supply and manufacturing executive Mark Thomas, actors Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy, actor, director and producer Tamara Tunie; and Ford Foundation president, Darren Walker.
Patricia Cruz, Artistic Director and CEO: “The intersection of art, activism, and social justice are at the very foundation of Harlem Stage. It’s more fitting than ever, that we’ve chosen “Art and Activism” as our 2021 gala theme given our long, rich history as an institution devoted to lifting up artists of color and fighting for the recognition of their transformative and visionary work.”
Cruz continued, “This year, we honor Stanley Nelson and his Firelight Media company with our ‘Transformative Artist Award.’ Stanley’s films focusing on Miles Davis, the Black Panthers and the crack epidemic among other notable works, reveal the truth and demand justice. And, as the calls for ‘no justice, no peace’ are once more ringing loud and clear through our streets, I am reminded of the many historical works commissioned and presented at Harlem Stage, that have called out such injustices for decades. Art and activism are truly inseparable.”
(Donations are welcomed and strongly encouraged. Viewers can donate via QR code during the event, as well as make donations online, in advance).
Support of this year’s gala and funds raised from the evening help Harlem Stage ensure that the work of visionary artists of color continues, and is accessible to thousands.
GALA SPONSORS: SESAC, John Josephson and Carolina Zapf, JPMorgan Chase and Co., Stavros Niarchos Foundation, BET, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Manhattan Beer Distributors, Warner Media LLC, American Express, JoAnn Chase Company, Vision Marketing, Yamaha, ABC7, DRINKS, Uncle Nearest, Eleni’s and Steep’t