Harlem Festival of Culture, Inspired by Questlove’s Summer of Soul, Announced for 2023

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Today, the inaugural Harlem Festival of Culture has been announced. The event was inspired by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s awardwinning documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), which centered on the long-forgotten Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969. The reimagined festival will take place in the summer of 2023 at the same location as the original event: Marcus Garvey Park, formerly known as Mount Morris Park. Exact dates have not been revealed, but the lead-up to the event will consist of a series of live entertainment and social and economic development programs, culminating with a multi-day outdoor music festival, according to press materials.

The Harlem Festival of Culture was founded by Musa Jackson, (editor in chief of Ambassador Digital Magazine) who appears in Questlove’s film, and attended the original festival when he was 5 years old. Jackson is spearheading the event alongside Nikoa Evans and Yvonne McNair. “Being rooted, watered, and grown in this village of Harlem, I believe HFC is our moment to show the world the vibrancy of today’s Harlem—the music, the food, the look, all of it!” Jackson said in press materials. He continued:

The original event was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience—one that I will never forget. With this initiative, we want to create something that evokes that same sense of pride in our community that I felt on that special day in 1969. We want to authentically encapsulate the full scope—the energy, the music, the culture. We want people to understand that this Festival is being built by the people who are from, live and work in this community.

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