Contact: Sunny Mindel (212) 788-2958
Edward Skyler (212) 788-2969
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today proclaimed this week to be "Harlem Week" in New York City during a ceremony at City Hall. The Mayor was joined by Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington, City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce President Lloyd Williams and leaders of the Harlem community.
The Harlem Week kick-off event, "Uptown Goes Downtown," featured a musical address by trumpeter Joey Morant. This is the 25th annual celebration of Harlem's history and culture.
"On this Silver Anniversary of Harlem Week, not only does Harlem continue to be a cultural treasure, but the dramatic drop in crime coupled with an economic renaissance has brought new life into this community," Mayor Giuliani said. "Harlem has seen over 200 new businesses begin since 1994, and, as construction continues on the $300 million Harlem USA project, Magic Johnson Theaters, HMV Music, the Gap and New York Sports Club are all on their way to Harlem," the Mayor continued. "Through public-private partnerships and intergovernmental initiatives, Harlem is enjoying its greatest vitality since the days of Duke Ellington."
Harlem Week, which has grown into a month long event and runs from July 21st through August 22nd, will feature a series of concerts and events in a variety of Harlem locations. The theme of this year's festival, "Discover Harlem," honors the contributions of family, friends and community groups to the development of the neighborhood.
This year also combines Harlem Week with the second Harlem Jazz and Music Festival which will showcase music ranging from jazz, Latin jazz, gospel and rhythm and blues, to reggae and hip-hop.
The annual Harlem Week Festival was started 25 years ago by the Uptown Chamber of Commerce, now the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce in order to revitalize the Harlem community. A group of civic-minded community residents, including Lloyd Williams, the current President of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, created Harlem Week to celebrate Harlem's tremendous wealth of history and culture.
Events during Harlem Week will include an historic bike tour, educational music symposiums, an international food festival, "Family Unity Day," an open house salute to Greater Harlem's museums, a musical tribute to Harlem's night clubs and restaurants, a scholarship tennis tournament, and the tenth annual Upper Manhattan Auto Show.
During the ceremony, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce President Lloyd Williams presented the organization's 1999 National Corporate Achievement Award to Mark Willis of the Chase Community Development Group and the 1999 National Culture and Historic Achievement Award to the Cast Members of It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues.