I recognized 23 cultural leaders in Manhattan’s African American community at a September 14 reception at the Schomburg Center in Harlem to kick off the annual African American Day Parade.
All of the honorees are creative professionals, entrepreneurs, and community advocates who have shaped arts and culture across the borough for many years.
Some, like Teresa McKinney, Ade Williams, Anna Glass and Anthony McGill are part of venerable institutions: the Juilliard School, the Apollo Theater, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the New York Philharmonic, respectively. Others have launched their own businesses and initiatives. Harriet Rosebud designs and makes colorful hats sold around the country. Yuien Chin started Harlem One Stop when she moved to the area in the 1990s.
All of the honorees have made a deep impact on the neighborhoods and communities they are a part of. I was also happy to see former Mayor David Dinkins in attendance supporting these talented people.
Here are all of the honorees, listed in alphabetical order.
- Joyce Adewumi, Community Board 9
- Robin Bell-Stevens, Jazzmobile
- Michelle Bishop, Harlem Needle Arts
- Debra Ann Byrd, Harlem Shakespeare Festival
- Yuien Chin, Harlem One Stop/Harlem Cultural Collaborative
- Michael Downie, Community Board 10
- Melanee Farrah, Community Board 11
- Anna Glass, Dance Theatre of Harlem
- George Harrell, Community Board 10
- Diedra Harris-Kelley, Romare Bearden Foundation
- Gregory Hopkins, Harlem Opera Theater
- Glenn Hunter, Harlem Cultural Archives
- Ty Jones, Classical Theater of Harlem
- Traci Lester, National Dance Institute
- Burt Mason, Chamber Orchestra of NY
- Monique Martin, Harlem Stage
- Anthony McGill, NY Philharmonic
- Teresa McKinney, Juilliard
- Gary Padmore, NY Philharmonic
- Michelle Fizer Peterson, Harlem School of the Arts
- Harriett Rosebud, Community Board 9
- Ade Williams, Apollo Theater
- Curtis Willocks, Photographer