Leonard Lopate and Max Bond (and More) Talk Harlem: 'Art, Culture, Place'

Big L keeps it real

Panel discussions aren’t always our kind of thing, but tomorrow night the estimable Leonard Lopate (WNYC, y’all!) hosts a very promising symposium on “The Role of the Arts in the Future of Harlem.”

Why so promising? The choreographer Bill T. Jones will be there, hangout out with the powerful Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III (from Harlem’s powerful Abyssinian Baptist Church).

Then there’s Mr. Max Bond, an architect who spends his time these days worrying about the the World Trade Center Site Memorial. And for some bureaucratic zest he’ll be joined by Kate Levin, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The free shebang is at the new Gatehouse–one’s got to call 212.650.7100 for reservations. The release is after the jump.

Max Abelson

Visioning Harlem: Art, Culture, Place.
A Panel Discussion on the Role of the Arts in the Future of Harlem

Date/time: Thursday, September 21, 2006, 6:00-8:00pm. The event is free; reservations required.
Please call 212.650.7100.

Location: The Gatehouse, Harlem Stage’s new space at West 135th Street and Convent Avenue and the first new performing-arts facility built in Harlem in more than 20 years.

Event: Over the past 30 years, we have seen artists effect the transformation of New York City neighborhoods, from Soho to Williamsburg to the South Bronx. But as change has swept through these areas, the very people who spurred this evolution have found themselves displaced. This panel discussion will explore from multiple perspectives how arts organizations like Harlem Stage, as cultural cornerstones of newly revitalized communities, can help preserve a community’s essential character while seizing opportunities for positive change. Tours of the Gatehouse will be available after the discussion.

Participants: Leonard Lopate, moderator: Mr. Lopate is a prominent voice in the New York community, addressing local and national issues weekdays on his program, The Leonard Lopate Show.

Bill T. Jones, artist: The co-founder of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Mr. Jones has choreographed and performed internationally and produced some of the company’s earliest commissions with Aaron Davis Hall, Inc., precursor to Harlem Stage.

The Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III: Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and President of SUNY College at Old Westbury, Reverend Butts was one of the founders of Abyssinian Development Corporation, a community-based philanthropic and economic development organization that has funded housing and commercial development in Harlem since 1989.

Max Bond, architect: a co-founder of Bond Ryder Associates (1969-90), a Harlem-based firm specializing in urban building, and now a principal of Davis Brody Bond, currently engaged in the design of The World Trade Center Site Memorial, Mr. Bond has been at the forefront of urban planning and architectural preservation issues in Harlem since the 1970s.

Kate D. Levin: Ms. Levin is Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Organizer: Visioning Harlem is organized by Harlem Stage under the supervision of Executive Director Patricia Cruz. Harlem Stage, formerly Aaron Davis Hall, Inc., continues the organization’s tradition of providing resources and exposure to promising artists of color with the opening of The Gatehouse this October.

Directions: The Gatehouse is located at 150 Convent Avenue at West 135th Street (across from Aaron Davis Hall). To get there by subway, take the 1 train to 137th Street. Exit and walk two blocks south to 135th Street, then two blocks east to Convent Avenue. For more information and directions, please visit www.harlemstage.org. Leonard Lopate and Max Bond (and More) Talk Harlem: 'Art, Culture, Place'