Harlem is… The Gospel Tradition
harlem is… The Gospel Tradition: The Spirit of Community tells the stories of four churches at the forefront of the migration of African Americans from Downtown to Harlem, honors
contemporary religious leaders who have had a significant impact on the Harlem community and the congregations they serve, and encourages a deeper understanding of Harlem's rich spiritual heritage.
harlem is… The Gospel Tradition: The Spirit of Community includes contemporary photographic portraits by renowned documentary photographer Ruth Morgan; archival photographs
from the Schomburg collection; commentaries by contributing writers; and poetry
and prose by Harlem youth in public schools and youth organizations who participate in Community Works’ Making A Difference workshops and research and document the
honorees. Participating Harlem schools/organizations include: Frederick Douglass Academy II, Abyssinian Baptist Church, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture's Junior Scholars, and The High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College.
Churches at the Forefront:
• The Abyssinian Baptist Church
• Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
• Mount Olivet Baptist Church
• St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church
• Mother Reverend Cecily P. Broderick y Guerra (Retired), St. Phillip's Church
• Reverend Calvin O. Butts, III, Abyssinian Baptist Church
• Reverend Dr. Eugene S. Callender (Retired), St. James Presbyterian Church
• Reverend Dr. Charles Curtis, Mount Olivet Baptist Church
• Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes Jr. (Retired), The Riverside Church
• Reverend James Gilmour, St. Cecilia's Parish Services
• Reverend Dr. Earl Kooperkamp, St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Manhattanville
• The Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski, Cathedral of St. John the Divine
• Lucille McEwen, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc.
• Imam Izak-El Mu'eed Pasha, Masjid Malcolm Shabazz
• Reverend Gregory Robeson Smith, Mother AME Zion Church
• Reverend Wyatt T. Walker (Retired), Canaan Baptist Church of Christ
“Harlem is a beautiful word in my spirit.
It’s a place of energy, and it makes me feel
that it’s great to be alive.”
Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes Jr. (Retired)
The Riverside Church
“We believe that art inspires,
that inspiration builds community,
that community works”
Founder & President, Community Works
Co-Director, Dwyer Cultural Center
Community Works is an award-winning nonprofit arts organization founded in 1990. Its mission is to build bridges between diverse cultures and neighborhoods, enriching arts curricula in public schools, and extending the benefits of the arts to underserved populations. Its programs are rooted in the belief that every community has its own unique history, with powerful stories and legacies that can inspire and connect us all. Today it serves over 350,000 youth and community members through highly acclaimed performances, workshops, exhibits, and mentoring programs.
A pioneer in arts education and community learning, its signature program model Making
a Difference was the impetus for the award-winning harlem is… series, which has come full circle to find a permanent home at Dwyer Cultural Center. Dwyer Cultural Center is a multimedia cultural destination dedicated to preserving, celebrating, and documenting Harlem’s history and traditions through exhibitions, performances, workshops and public programs for intergenerational audiences. Recently deemed “the most important Harlem institution to open in decades,” Dwyer Cultural Center is the program home of Community Works. Dwyer Cultural Center is a partnership of Community Works and International Communications Association.
Popular Community Works programs include:
Theater Connections--- A broad array of affordable multicultural performing arts events presented at professional venues throughout New York City.
Theater-to-Go--- Professional performances and workshops representing diverse cultural traditions, brought directly into public schools and community centers.
Community Connections--- Hands-on workshops for youth and families, held in schools and
neighborhood centers, led by expert teaching artists in the performing, literary and visual arts.
Making a Difference--- Signature program model that celebrates diversity and promotes community through projects that honor local heroes, commemorate the multicultural history and traditions of our neighbor hoods, and tell the stories of people involved in making change.
Commissions and Premieres--- Special projects providing creative and performance opportunities to artists of color, ranging from the emerging to the legendary, including Ladies Singing the Blues and Triharlenium.