( ENSPIRE Interviews ) Influential Harlemite Voza Rivers Talks Harlem Week
HARLEM WEEK is one of America’s biggest and most significant arts and cultural celebrations. It attracts over 2 million people, HARLEM WEEK, which includes over 111 events comprised of conferences, seminars, expos, sporting events, festivals, live music, food & beverage tastings, fashion shows, an auto show and parade, art exhibits, culinary initiatives, entertainment, dance workshops, vendor exhibits, film screenings and outdoor farmers’ market, has become one of New York State’s and New York City’s most important and well known tourist attractions.
In case you didn’t know Harlem Week was created in 1974 by a group of Harlemites under the leadership of the Honorable Percy E. Sutton who was then Manhattan Borough President. The assembled committee included Congressman Charles Rangel, Hon, Basil Paterson, State Senator, the Hon. David Dinkins, 106th
Mayor of the City of New York, Hope R. Stevens, Esq., Hon. Lloyd Dickens, Assemblymember, leaders of Harlem’s cultural, civic, business, religious and political organizations. A partial listing of participants in the August 1974 “HARLEM DAY” kickoff event included: Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Rev. Wyatt T. Walker, Voza Rivers, Ossie Davis, Joe Cuba, Nancy Wilson, Gloria Lynne, James Baldwin, Max Roach, Ruby Dee, Ornette Coleman, Tony Bennett and Lloyd Williams. They were dedicated to supporting the goal of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce to combat the negative image which then prevailed at the time in all urban “Inner-city” communities throughout the nation.
is the 1st Vice President of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and 1st
Vice Chairman of HARLEM WEEK. Rivers
who is internationally known as a theatrical producer has an additional responsibility as Executive Producer for entertainment and cultural activities for HARLEM WEEK. Rivers
also oversees special presentations and events for The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. Watch our interview with Voza Rivers as he tells us the story of how Harlem Week started.