8 Things You’re Missing If You Don’t Visit Harlem

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6. Studio Museum in Harlem

Enough about colonial heritage; let’s talk about the rich African-American cultural history that Harlem is famous for. The Studio Museum is one of the best ways of getting at some of that legacy—the museum is famed for exhibiting works by artists of African descent and has been doing so since 1968. The museum’s artist-in-residence program has supported over 100 highly regarded artists as their careers developed, and it has played a significant role in expanding public awareness about African-American art and literature. To accomplish this, the museum hosts a number of public education events, including lectures, performances and interpretive programming, all of which aim to foster awareness and appreciation for an oft-overlooked group of modern artists and writers. The museum is open for tours Thursday through Sunday, and is open late on Thursday and Friday evenings.

5. El Museo del Barrio

African-Americans were long the largest group in Harlem, but they weren’t the only ones to claim the neighborhood as home. Many immigrants landed in Harlem; Harlem also has a large Latino community. El Museo del Barrio is an homage to that heritage, and is one of New York’s leading Latino cultural institutions. Located on the city’s famous Museum Mile, El Museo celebrates Latino artists, Caribbean cultures and Latin American heritage. It also functions as a meeting place for those looking to discover more about these vibrant art scenes and cultures. El Museo’s wide-ranging collections have won awards and are complemented by films, literature and performances of visual and dynamic art. Current exhibits include works by Rodriguez Calero, Presente! The Young Lords in New York and a number of collages.

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