The acclaimed documentary Summer Of Soul directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson was the darling of award season this year. The stunning film about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival ended its victory lap with wins for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards and Best Music Film at the GRAMMY Awards within days of each other. That’s not the end of the story for the Harlem Cultural Festival, however, with plans for a revival in 2023.
Inspired by Summer Of Soul and its lingering buzz, the Harlem Festival Of Culture has been announced as a multi-day outdoor festival arriving in summer 2023. The HFC will take place in Harlem at Marcus Garvey Park, the original site of the Harlem Cultural Festival when it was then known as Mount Morris Park.
Co-founders Musa Jackson, Nikoa Evans and Yvonne McNair are the masterminds behind this reimagined festival. Jackson, who attended the festival as a child in 1969 and appeared in Summer Of Soul, is very excited about this new venture and what it means for his neighborhood. “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,” he stated via press release.
“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,” Musa went on to share. 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.”
Details are forthcoming about 2023’s Harlem Festival Of Culture, but organizers have a slate of events leading up to next year’s festival planned, including concerts, open mics, film screenings and additional cultural activities. Follow the Harlem Festival Of Culture on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and its official website to stay in the loop.