The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance considers parks and open spaces an opportunity to advocate for cultural equity, health and wellness and the quality of life for the neighborhood residents living on all 4 sides of Marcus Garvey Park. In 2017 we expanded our programming with monumental public art installations created by local artists and cultural events honoring and featuring iconic performers to preserve and celebrate the creative culture that Harlem is famous for. We also collaborated with community residents and small businesses on beautification projects and expanded our free library program. The Marcus Garvey Park Farmers Market grew from 4 vendors in our first week to an average of 2 farmers and 8 local vendors each week creating a neighborhood gathering place. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to engage with so many of our neighbors and to hear their thoughts on the park and the surrounding communities. We are grateful to all of our collaborators, volunteers and donors. Scroll though the year in pictures below. ~ Connie Lee President, Marcus Garvey Park Alliance
The Community Flower Garden began on It’s My Park Day and continued throughout the summer. The adopted flower bed was sponsored by Cheri Restaurant, Sottocasa Pizzeria, Connie Lee Curated, Joseph Troche, CPA, Lynn Lieberman AKA AFineLyne and the Urban Garden Center.
Fall Bulb Planting. Residents who live on all 4 sides of the park helped plant more than a thousand bulbs. Look for Tulips, Daffodils, Allium and more to bloom in the Spring. Bulbs were donated by Partnerships for Parks, the Residents of Fifth on the Park and New Yorkers 4 Parks.
Public Art Installations
Atlas of the Third Millennium, Jorge Luis Rodriguez, 2017 Galvanized Steel, Painted Column, Concrete Base. Presented by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Public Art Initiative and NYC Parks Art in the Parks Sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Marcus Garvey Park Alliance – Public Art Initiative, Harlem Community Development Corporation and Jorge and Evelyn Rodriguez.
East Harlem at Play, Giannina Gutierrez, Ralph Serrano, Jeremy Vega, 2017. The Public Art Initiative of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance was awarded the funds to facilitate this installation in White Park. Presented by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, NYC Parks, and the Fund for Public Health NYC on behalf of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Sponsored by the Center for Disease Control. The Public Art Initiative program sponsors local artists and facilitates public art installations in parks and public spaces through out East and Central Harlem.
Arts & Cultural Programming
Uptown Artist Portrait, A collaboration with the Hunter East Harlem Gallery, Artist in Residence: Jason Lazarus, Wallach Art Gallery and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance. As part of the Uptown Triennial 150 uptown artists posed for this iconic photo in Marcus Garvey Park. Special Thanks to Sou L Eo
Make Music New York in Collaboration with Sing for Hope and Jazzmobile a day of pop up performances featuring musicians from around the city including Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble with Bobby Sanabria pictured above. The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance was happy to host a Sing for Hope piano again this Spring and organized a small army of volunteers to look after the piano for the 3 weeks that it was in the park. Special thanks to Lynn Lieberman, Cynthia M. Reed and Susan Huck who covered, locked, uncovered and unlocked the piano every day for 3 weeks.
Lena Horne at 100, Presented by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and Produced by Jazzmobile in collaboration with Musa Jackson Productions. Maurice Hines, Danny Mixon Trio, Patience Higgins, Alyson Williams, Marva Hicks, Cartier Conway. This event was sponsored by the Harlem Community Development Corporation, Artimus Construction, the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and Con Edison. Special thanks to Robin Bell-Stevens and Gwen Gilliam for their expertise. Photos Kerry Jean
The El Barrio Latin Jazz Festival Presented by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance in collaboration with Jazzmobile and festival organizer Jeremy Vega. The Mambo Legends Orchestra with special guest Jeremy Bosch performed in front of a crowd of 1800 people. This concert was sponsored by private donors and the Harlem Community Development Corporation
Dance Harlem, Dynamic Tap Trio Dormeshia Sumbry – Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith and Derrick K. Grant of Divine Rhythm Productions. This event was sponsored by Historic Harlem Parks, the Bradley Group, Valerie Jo Bradley and the Harlem Community Development Corporation. Photo Hakim Mutlaq
Poets in the Park, In Celebration of the installation of the third free library in Marcus Garvey Park. Def Poetry Alum Kraal “Kayo” Charles, Iyabo Ibo Mandingo, Elisabet Velasquez were joined by next generation poets Parlay and Victoria Awogbemi. This event was sponsored by Partnerships for Parks, Carla McIntosh and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance.
Marching On, A Project by Bryony Roberts, Mabel O. Wilson and the Marching Cobras of New York. Presented by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, Storefront for Art and Architecture and PERFORMA . Marching On explores the legacy of marching and organized forms of performance. Commissioned by Storefront for Art and Architecture this new project interweaves echoes of the 1917 Silent Parade against racial violence with references to the revered Harlem Hellfighters. This event will be part of an exhibition Spring 2018 at the Storefront for Art and Architecture.
Children’s Programming and Literacy
The Reading Circle program expanded this year with the installation of a third free library aka book box in Marcus Garvey Park. Artist Susan Stair designed the new book box creating tile mosaics depicting the Fire Watchtower, Drum Circle, Public Art Installation InHarlem by artist Simone Leigh and the children’s playground. We also refurbished the two book boxes installed back in 2014. Collaborating with community residents, Urban Innovations and the AHRC Fisher Center we have distributed approximately 8500 books to children and 500 books to adults. The Little Free Library program is sponsored by Partnerships for Parks and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance. Special thanks to Paul McIntosh for leading the reading circle events that keep children interested in reading throughout the summer months. We also want to thank Ms Griggsby for supplying the blankets and bringing many of the children from nearby daycare centers.
Health, Wellness & Community
The Marcus Garvey Park Farmers Market, every Saturday throughout the Summer and Fall. With an average of 10 vendors each week the market became a gathering place for neighbors. Special thanks to all of our vendors, Amuse Bouche, K’s European Jams, Seed Song Farm, Makers Guild, Black Snapper Design, Health is Wealth, Pastry Girl, ChatmanJ Cakes, Boozy Desserts, Janie Bakes, Dines Farms, Harlem Honey and Jacqueline’s Crochet Designs to name a few. Thanks to Susan Huck for helping to set up and break down the Market each week.
Community Holiday Celebration
This year we chose to illuminate Marcus Garvey Park by covering three trees in white lights. Commissioner Castro and State Senator Brian Benjamin were special guests along with the children and performances by the Marching Cobras.
The Tree Lighting After Party
For the third year in a row Vy Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir performed and kids from the after school program performed a choreographed dance. Thank You to Commissioner Silver and Assembly Woman Inez Dickens for coming by.
Park Clean – Up Volunteer Events
There are a lot of beautiful trees in Marcus Garvey Park which means there are a lot of leaves that fall. Cleaning the leaves is vital to the health of the lawns and each fall we partner with volunteers from NY Road Runners to get this massive clean up project done. Thanks Suzan Marciona for stepping up and getting your hands dirty in all of our beautification and clean up events. Photos Cynthia M. Reed and Connie Lee.
We are happy to host Harlem Run every Monday Night in Marcus Garvey Park and once a year on Marathon Sunday we cheer for all of the runners but mile 22 is for the runners from Harlem. Photo at the cheer station courtesy of Terria Clay. Thanks to Cynthia M. Reed for sponsoring the Cow Bells.
Thank you to all of our sponsors, collaborators and community partners
If you like what we do in and around Marcus Garvey Park!