In 1985 New Heritage started a collaboration with South African musician and dramatist Mbongeni Ngema that brought to Harlem and NYC revolutionary masterpieces like Woza Albert, Asinamali, Sarafina, and Township Fever.
PRESS RELEASE: February 17, 2020
(February 2020 – Harlem, New York) Classical actress and producer Debra Ann Byrd undertook a remarkable journey to take on the role of Shakespeare’s noble general Othello — which she recently performed for Southwest Shakespeare Company at Taliesin West, winning her the 2019 Broadway World Arizona Lead Actress Award. This past fall the actress recorded her experiences on becoming ‘The Moor of Venice’ as writer-in-residence at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in the UK, where she first performed her new solo show.
Now Southwest Shakespeare Company in partnership with Phoenix Art Museum are working together to celebrate Black History Month and Women’s History Month in Phoenix featuring visiting artist Debra Ann Byrd, as she performs her one-woman show BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl’s Journey for a limited run at the Phoenix Art Museum, February 22 – March 29, 2020.
Celebrating Heroes of the Pandemic And the Spirit of Community
In response to coronavirus, Community Works in association with New Heritage Theatre Group has launched a digital celebration called Harlem is . . . HEALING: Celebrating Heroes of the Pandemic in the spirit of its 20-year effort to spotlight local heroes, famous or not, who make a difference. The disease has prompted Harlem’s activist people and institutions from every field to stand up to help keep our community healthy.
Over the next few weeks, we will be publicly thanking several who act for many in showing us how to heal. The tributes have started appearing as posts on Facebook, Instagram, Constant Contact and other social media.
These include the First Graduates of the CUNY Medical School, immediately thrown into the fray, artist Andrea Arroyo, whose work celebrates a community response to disease, JJ Johnson, a chef who has helped serve emergency workers, Dr. Calvin Sun, an emergency room physician, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s outreach to those at home, restaurateur Melba Wilson for her citywide efforts on behalf of restaurant owners to keep serving, the nimbleness of Dr. Steven Corwin, CEO and President of NY Presbyterian Hospital, and the community commitment of the Rev. Al Sharpton.
These stories and those that follow will become part of exhibitions known collectively as Harlem is . . . Music, Theater, Dance and Community first on a website under construction and later at Harlem Hospital where Community Works is developing its Harlem is. . . installations at Malcolm X Boulevard at 136th Street. Clearly, the hospital display is delayed while the institution deals with the crisis of coronavirus.
Community Works and New Heritage Theatre Group are partnering with the hospital to present a free, permanent physical exhibit in the famed Mural Pavilion and on the hospital’s second floor with more than 100 multimedia exhibits drawing from portraits, photographs, films, and archives from previous installations around Harlem and the city over many years. The partners also have commissioned an interactive mural by noted artist Paul Deo which will be displayed on the website as well as outside the Mural Pavilion, home to WPA-era murals that were the first to depict people of color in professional roles, and a 30-foot timeline reflecting a century of Harlem cultural history.
Through all of these exhibits, Community Works has maintained a common mission to use the arts, performance and workshops to unite communities across differences and to share the legacy of local heroes in the blossoming of a unique neighborhood we see in Harlem.
For information, please email Barbara Horowitz, Founder and President, Community Works at email@example.com or call 917-757-2242.
A SPECIAL PROJECT OF COMMUNITY WORKS' HISTORIC "HARLEM IS ..." SERIES
First Graduates of the CUNY Medical School
Dr. Calvin Sun
Dr. Steven Corwin
Rev. Al Sharpton
THE FANNIE LOU HAMER STORY, The Voice of The Empowered (VOTE)
Award- Winning One-Woman Play Announces
FACEBOOK LIVE and INSTAGRAM PERFORMANCE
June 19, 2020 8PM
New Heritage Theatre Group, Harlems’ own and New York’s oldest black not for profit black theatre, celebrating its 56th anniversary. invites you to the premiere live performance of THE FANNIE LOU HAMER Story, the critically acclaimed, award winning, one-woman play, written by and starring Mzuri Moyo Aimbaye, directed by Byron C. Saunders. The Fannie Lou Hamer Story is the story of Fannie Lou Hamer’s fight for freedom and voting empowerment, the story of one of American History’s most powerful civil rights activists.
New Heritage Theatre Group Executive Producer Voza Rivers is pleased to join forces with Healing Through the Sound of Music, a non-profit 501 c-3 theater production company located in Altamonte, Fl. who developed the presentation and has presented it over the last 6 years at over 50 select performing arts venues across the U.S. in support of voting rights.
The award winning solo performance of the Fannie Lou Hamer story will debut as a live online event in Celebration of Juneteenth, on Facebook Live and Instagram Live on June 19, 2020 at 8pm. from the historic Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford, Florida. home of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, one of the many symbols of social injustice.
This powerful and uplifting play follows Fannie Lou Hamer’s rise from Jim Crow’s Mississippi all the way to the halls of Congress leading the Voting Rights Movement in 1964 and is very timely today.
“The realities of Covid -19 and the on going challenges and continuing struggles for social justice has brought communities together to deal with the a situation that harkens back to and reminds us of the civil rights struggles of the 1960s,” - Voza Rivers, Executive Producer, New Heritage Theatre Group
“This unprecedented time of our lives brings with it a sense of urgency that we honor all of those on the front lines who have dedicated their lives to preserving our basic rights of freedom, safety, quality and democracy where all people can thrive.” says Djehuty Se Hotep, Producer Healing Through the Sound of Music.
For more information about The FLHS visit at www.thefannielouhamerstory.com