Questlove’s “Summer of Soul” Doc Inspires Harlem Fest for 2023

Questlove’s Summer of SoulThe Oscar-winning documentary titled ‘Harlem Cultural Festival’ has inspired organizers of a new festival to be held at the location of the 1969 event.

Harlem Festival of Culture, scheduled for summer 2023, will focus on a multi-day event at Marcus Garvey Park. The site was previously known as Mount Morris Park at Harlem Cultural Festival.

According to Billboard, Ambassador Digital MagazineMusa Jackson, editor-in-chief (who attended the original 1969 fest) and was featured in Summer of Soul), Nikoa Evans, and Yvonne McNair will serve as co-founders of the new festival.

Summer of Soul executive producer Joseph Patel said in a statement, “One of the things we hoped would happen with Summer of Soul is that it would open the door for other stories to be told, in all their forms, especially by people from Harlem. I couldn’t think of a better person to charge through than Musa, whose devoted roots in the community make him the perfect person to represent for Harlem.”

“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 added. “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.”

In the lead-up to the summer of 2023, organizers have planned a year-long series of events that includes film screenings, open mic nights,And musical performances at Marcus Garvey Park, as well as concerts spanning all genres at venues throughout the Harlem neighborhood.

To help, the co-founders also created the non-profit HFC Foundation. “foster Harlem’s next generation of leaders in music, media, art, fashion, science, technology, and entertainment.”

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