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Photo Flash: Over 100 Black Cultural Leaders And Artists Celebrate Iconic Photo with "A Great Day in New York"

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The event commemorated the 62nd anniversary of the original photo and celebrates the legacy of Black activism in the arts.

On August 12, 1958, in the midst of this nation's burgeoning civil rights movement, a legendary group of jazz artists gathered in Harlem to be forever captured in the iconic photo, "A Great Day in Harlem."

Galvanized by demonstrations against anti-black violence and systemic racism, we find ourselves at the beginning of another civil rights era with a need to document Black artists who are centered at the intersection of the arts and activism."A Great Day in New York," which took place on Wednesday, August 12. 2020 in Bedford- Stuyvesant, Central Brooklyn - home to the largest African American community in the nation, commemorates the 62nd anniversary of the original photo and celebrates the legacy and contributions of Black activism in the arts. This marked Part One in an ongoing series.

Photo Flash: Over 100 Black Cultural Leaders And Artists Celebrate Iconic Photo with

Attendees included: Nikkole Salter (award-winning actress/writer; Board Chair, Theatre Communications Group), Lisa Arrindell (TV, Film and Broadway actress), Carolyn Adams (AUDELCO Award-winning costume designer), Rome Neal (Award-winning actor, producer, director, jazz vocalist; Artistic Theatre Director, Nuyorican Poets Cafe), Chris Berry (President-elect, Black Theatre Network), Jamel Gaines (Choreographer, Director, Founder/Artistic Director, Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn), Liza Jessie Peterson (award-winning actress/playwright, The Peculiar Patriot), Russell G Jones (Actor/Director, recently seen in CBS television show TOMMY starring Edie Falco), Richard E. Pelzer (Film & Event Producer), Jim Joseph (Arts administrator/theater manager), Erich McMillan (Founder, Project1Voice).

"As over one hundred Black artists stood six feet apart on the Black Lives Matter mural with face masks on, we captured this historic moment of converging pandemics that have disproportionately impacted Black communities across the nation: COVID-19 and ongoing racial injustices," stated Dr. Indira Etwaroo, Executive Artistic Director, The Billie Holiday Theatre. "More importantly, as we stood in unity, our fists high in the air, this photo embodies the triumph of the human spirit and that we, as a people, are not done fighting for systemic change that has not, yet, come."

"I have the privilege of working with Black institutions and Black artists across NYC. This moment in time has impacted us profoundly," stated Marcia Pendelton, Marketing Executive and founder of Walk Tall Girl Productions. "Watching these artists come together, while remaining socially separate, at this moment in time...it is not just historic, it is priceless."

The historic photo took place at the first Black Lives Matter Mural in the state of New York. Organized by The Billie Holiday Theatre and Councilmember Robert E. Cornegy. The mural is located on Fulton Street between Brooklyn and New York Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The mural is 565 feet long and includes the names of 158 women, men, and children killed at the hands of racially motivated violence in this country.

"A Great Day in New York" is conceived and produced by The Billie Holiday Theatre in partnership with Walk Tall Girl Productions led by Marcia Pendelton.

For more information, visit thebillieholiday.org/



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