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<strong>2018</strong><br />



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If Not Us, Then Who?<br />

While We Are Still Here (WWSH) is a museum without walls. We hold curatorial<br />

meetings with professional curators. We conduct research and consult with scholars<br />

and other experts. We engage community residents, organizations, and institutions<br />

to actively engage in the process of determining how Harlem’s history should be<br />

documented, reflected, and presented in the future.<br />

WWSH is a historic-preservation organization similar to those that can be found from<br />

the Lower East Side of New York City to East L.A. We request access to individual’s<br />

artifacts and ephemera—their personal archives—in order to identify rare information<br />

and materials that enhance Harlem’s rich history.<br />

We are engaged in media documentation and have produced a feature-length film, In<br />

the Face of What We Remember: Oral Histories of 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue, which<br />

premiered in April <strong>2018</strong> at Columbia University’s Miller Theater. Currently we are in<br />

pre-production for a film about the oral history of the famed St. Nick’s Pub (see page 4),<br />

which was recently destroyed and later demolished due to a fire.<br />

Our mission helps to ensure that the post-gentrification residents and community<br />

respect and honor the legacy of African-American achievement and its connection to<br />

Harlem’s importance to world culture.<br />

WWSH seeks to build a broad and diverse audience, by presenting high-quality<br />

programs that are, generally, free and open to the public, including the Sugar Hill<br />

Music Festival. WWSH also seeks sustainability and institutional longevity, and<br />

we look to follow the example of impresario Voza Rivers, who has helped transform<br />

Harlem Week into an internationally renowned celebration of Harlem, “The Black<br />

Capital of the World;” and Melissa Walker, founder of Jazz House Kids (an artseducation<br />

organization), who is also the executive producer of New Jersey’s Montclair<br />

Jazz Festival.<br />

WWSH encapsulates and highlights the varied aspects of Harlem’s history, especially<br />

that which emanates from 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue. Our efforts have attracted<br />

national media attention— Ebony Magazine, the New Yorker, the Amsterdam News, the<br />

New York Times—as well as international attention in Milan, Italy.<br />

As we honor the contributions of the people of Harlem—the everyday people, the<br />

famous, and the infamous—those whose presence altered culture and style; inspired<br />

intellectual discourse; and sparked social-justice activism, WWSH’s mission and<br />

programming will continue to identify and bring these Harlem-based, culturally rich<br />

narratives to the fore.<br />

WWSH receives the support of<br />

Columbia Community Service<br />

and generous individuals!<br />

Partnership for Parks<br />

Cover photo, Regina Carter; page 1, Firey String Sistas! (Top row, L-R: Mala Waldron, Marlene Rice;<br />

Bottom row, L-R; Nioka Workman, Melissa Slocum, Camille Gainer Jones.<br />

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<strong>2018</strong><br />

When Sugar Hill Was Sweet<br />



<strong>2018</strong> |<br />

1<br />

3rd Annual Sugar Hill Music Festival<br />

(formerly Echoes of the Eras)<br />

Regina Carter-Xavier Davis Duo<br />

Sugar Hill Quartet with TC the 3rd<br />

Firey String Sistas!<br />

Uptown Brass Quintet<br />

An afternoon of music, featuring artists of<br />

international renown.<br />

Sugar Hill Luminaries Lawn<br />

Edgecombe Avenue and 155th Street<br />

Harlem, NY<br />

(co-sponsor Jazz Foundation of America)<br />

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2<br />

| <strong>2018</strong><br />

<strong>2018</strong><br />

When Sugar Hill Was Sweet<br />


Reading and Book Signing with MaryLouise Patterson, MD<br />

Letters from Langston: From the Harlem Renaissance<br />

to the Red Scare and Beyond, MaryLouise Patterson and<br />

Evelyn Louise Crawford, eds.<br />

MaryLouise Patterson, a pediatrician in clinical practice, and Evelyn<br />

Louise Crawford, a retired arts administrator and consultant, are the<br />

daughters of Langston Hughes’s cherished friends Evelyn Graves<br />

Crawford, Matt N. Crawford, Louise Thompson Patterson, and William<br />

L. Patterson. Hughes was a frequent guest in the homes of the two<br />

families and was like an uncle to Evelyn Louise and MaryLouise.<br />

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<strong>2018</strong> |<br />

3<br />



Reel Sisters Film Festival Harlem Kick-off<br />

Celebrating Community and Self-Care!<br />

A Collaboration Between Reel Sisters and<br />

While We Are Still Here<br />

This is the Harlem Kick-off of the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival<br />

and Lecture Series. Join us for an afternoon of films produced, directed,<br />

and written by women of color from across the globe! One of the films will<br />

be a 15-minute cut of the feature-length In the Face of What We Remember:<br />

Oral Histories of 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue. Families and students<br />

are welcome! Films will celebrate community, self-care, and wellness. For<br />

information, please visit reelsisters.org or call 212-865-2982.<br />

Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and Lecture Series makes history<br />

this year by becoming the first Academy Qualifying Film Festival for<br />

narrative shorts devoted to women of color!<br />

Miller Theatre at Columbia University<br />

116th Street and Broadway<br />

Harlem, NY<br />

Join Reel Sisters 21st Anniversary Celebration!<br />

Harlem Kick off - October 6, <strong>2018</strong><br />

Enjoy a provocative selection of 30+ films produced, directed<br />

& written by women of color!<br />

Miller Theater, Columbia University<br />

Alamo Drafthose Cinema, Brooklyn (Oct. 20-21, <strong>2018</strong>)<br />

Tickets & Info:<br />

www.reelsisters.org<br />

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<strong>2018</strong><br />

When Sugar Hill Was Sweet<br />



3PM (Oral Histories)<br />

7:30PM (Music)<br />

Videotaping the Official Oral History of St. Nick’s Pub<br />

Featuring the<br />

Sugar Hill Quartet<br />

and a Jam Session<br />

On March 22, <strong>2018</strong>,<br />

the famed Harlem<br />

nightspot, St. Nick’s<br />

Pub, burned down.<br />

For decades, the<br />

Sugar Hill Quartet<br />

was the house band<br />

for the Monday<br />

night jam sessions.<br />

While We Are Still<br />

Here will be taping<br />

the oral histories<br />

of the members of<br />

SHQ— Patience Higgins, Marcus Persiani, and David F. Gibson—as<br />

well as Bill Saxton, who was also a Pub presence, and other musicians,<br />

patrons, and some of the proprietors, for a film short that will stream<br />

on the internet, beginning March 22, 2019—the one-year anniversary<br />

of the accident.<br />

The tapings take place at the historic Bill’s Place (owned by Bill Saxton<br />

and his wife, Theda). It was the site of Billie Holiday’s first gig in New<br />

York City.<br />

If you would like to share your oral history of St. Nick’s Pub, please<br />

visit wwsh.nyc to register, or call 929-266-3952.<br />

Bill’s Place<br />

148 West 133rd Street<br />

Harlem, NY<br />

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Mission<br />

While We Are Still Here (WWSH) ensures that the “post-gentrification” community<br />

of Harlem and beyond will honor and find a meaningful connection to the legacy<br />

of African American achievement, and its paramount importance<br />

to world culture.<br />

Heritage in all its forms must be preserved, enhanced, and handed on to future<br />

generations as a record of human experience and aspirations…<br />

—The United Nations “Declaration on Cultural Diversity and Creativity.”<br />

Founder and Executive Director<br />

Karen D. Taylor<br />

Board of Directors *<br />

Yvonne Dennis Wakim, Author; Native American Rights Activist | Board Secretary<br />

Marline Martin, Greene County Council on the Arts | Board Treasurer<br />

Henry L. McCurtis, MD, Private Practitioner<br />

Stephanie Renee Payne, Instructor, University of Southern California | Board President<br />

Byron C. Saunders, Independent Consultant<br />

Paulette J. Tabb, Educator, New York City Department of Education<br />

Karen D. Taylor, ex-officio<br />

Steering Committee Members *<br />

Herb Boyd, Project “Scholar-Historian-In-Residence;” Professor, City University of<br />

New York; Journalist, Book Author and Editor<br />

Monica L. Gray, Conference and Event Planning Director, National Urban League<br />

Stephen Robinson, MD, MPH<br />

Cheryl Scott, MD, MPH<br />

Judith Stafford, Educator (In Memoriam)<br />

Board of Advisors *<br />

Alexa Birdsong, Co-founder Jazz at Lincoln Center, Independent Concert Producer<br />

Marie Dutton Brown, Literary Agent, Marie Brown Associates<br />

Carmen Cruz, Curator<br />

Jamal Joseph, Professor, Columbia University<br />

Rosemari Mealy, Ph.D., Professor, City University of New York<br />

Mark Naison, Ph.D., Professor, Fordham University<br />

Vera E. Sims, Educator, New York City Department of Education; Board<br />

Member, African Voices Magazine<br />

Michael Thelwell, Professor Emeritus, Founding Chairman of the W.E.B. Du Bois<br />

Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts,<br />

Amherst College<br />

* Institutions Listed for Affiliation Only<br />

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