Five Harlem Week Events to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

This year’s celebration boasts a lineup of experiences that sit at the intersection of artistic expression, wellness, and social activism.

Brandee Sanders
August 09, 2022

Since its inception in 1974, Harlem Week has evolved into a pillar of Upper Manhattan culture; celebrating the beauty of the storied New York City neighborhood’s past and the promises of its future. The annual celebration of community returns this week with a hybrid lineup of virtual and in-person events designed to amplify the creativity of the neighborhood’s arts scene, celebrate local entrepreneurship, and spark community engagement. This year’s theme is "Inspiration. Impact. Legacy." We’ve rounded up a few Harlem Week events to add to your calendar.

Celebrate the Legacy of Jazz

Harlem Summerstage

August 11 | 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

From music legends who graced the historic Lenox Lounge during the 1940s to quartets who play at Uptown Sunday brunches, the genre of jazz has historically been synonymous with Harlem. Kick off your Harlem Week festivities with a memorable performance delivered by the National Jazz Museum All-Stars. The collective of musicians will sonically pay homage to the late jazz trumpeter and baritone horn player Joey Morant.

Dance Under the Apollo Theater Lights

Harlem Week At-Home Dance Party

August 12 | 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Bring your best moves to Harlem Week’s hybrid dance party. During the event, which will be hosted by the “musical conductors” of the Harlem Connection radio show, Uptown Vinyl Supreme’s DJ Sunny Cheeba will spin nostalgic tunes under the iconic theater’s marquee. Join in on the fun from the comfort of your living room or attend in-person at the Apollo.

Walk for Change

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K/Anti-Gun Violence Health Walk

August 13 | 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Beyond the arts, Harlem Week has been used as an engine to drive community engagement forward. Inspired by the legacy of the late Harlem political pioneer Percy E. Sutton, the 5K run—which is sponsored by New York Road Runners and The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce—serves as an homage to his contributions to the local community and beyond. The Anti-Gun Violence Health Walk empowers residents to band together and take a stand against violence in Harlem.

A Space for Artistic Wellness

Healing, Joy and Liberation: Mental Health and the Arts

August 18 | 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

This Harlem Week session will explore how artistic expression is interconnected with mental wellness. The three-part event will feature two panels dubbed Healing from Trauma and Joy as Liberation that will center the voices of licensed therapists and life coaches. Contemporary jazz violinist and vocalist Charisa the Violin Diva will perform and the work of figurative sculptor Vinnie Bagwell will be presented.

A Festival for Youth

NYC Children’s Festival

August 20 | 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Harlem Week is an intergenerational celebration and this year’s lineup of events includes festive experiences for youth. Among them is the NYC Children’s Festival where youngsters between the ages of 5 and 12 can enjoy a fun-packed afternoon of music and dance performances, storytelling, face painting, and double dutch competitions.

Visit Harlem Week’s website for a full list of events.