Musical Legends Fly in Harlem

Banners featuring Holiday, Baker, Hendrix, etc., adorn streetlight poles

Thirty-six banners spotlighting the diversity of culture in Manhattan’s famed Harlem can now be seen flying on streetlight poles along the world-renowned 125th Street corridor. Six winning designs were chosen from among 41 submissions as part of the 125th Street Business Improvement District’s BID on Culture 2011 project, in conjunction with Black Music Month.

Soyca Mphahlele with New Colors, a BID on Culture banner
By Kwame Braithwaite
Artist Corine Campbell with copy of BID on Culture banner: Billie Holiday
By Kwame Braithwaite
125th Street BID President & CEO Barbara Askins, artist Misha McGlown, and Michael Unthank, Harlem Arts Alliance Executive Director
By Kwame Braithwaite
Artists Hubert Williams, Misha McGlown and Corine Campbell; Barbara Askins; artists Tomo Mori and Soyca Mphahlele; Wayne Benjamin, Harlem Community Development Corporation and Michael Unthank, HAA
By Kwame Braithwaite

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The winning banner designs are the work of five professional New York visual artists and celebrate Harlem’s musical legacy, as well as personalities and venues closely associated with Harlem’s contribution to the history and development of music in America.

The selected artists and banners are:

Corine Campbell: Billie Holiday
Misha McGlown: Jimi Hendrix and Josephine Baker
Tomo Mori: Somos la Musica
Soyca Mphahlele: New Colors
Hubert Williams: True Colours

Barbara Askins, President and CEO of 125th Street BID, said, “The designs, the colors, the creativity and concepts all began to define the culturally sensitive streetscape improvements that the BID is seeking to bring to Harlem’s major commercial corridor. We are pleased to exhibit the work of great artists and, and we believe these banners will enhance the pedestrian experience of those who are walking across 125th Street over the coming year.”

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