Funded by Citi, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture commissions Powerhouse Productions to write, direct and produce the film, premiering May 13th
NEW YORK, NY (May 4, 2015) - Sonia Armstead and Rochelle Brown of Powerhouse Productions, known for creating quality culinary/lifestyle content, have commenced work on a new project, Harlem On My Plate, a short documentary film that explores the history of Harlem's food renaissance. The film chronicles how food has remained at the center of the past, present, cultural, social and economic growth of Harlem. Funded by Citi in support of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the film will be housed at the Schomburg.
"Food represents everything that Harlem is; its rich history, art, culture, music, and people! Harlem is a culinary destination filled with all of these things and in this film, we're going to let the people of Harlem tell their story of how food and the restaurant scene brought life back to Harlem, as they once knew it,"says the film's co-executive producers Rochelle Brown and Sonia Armstead.
Harlem On My Plate will be packed with interviews from Harlemites, foodies, chefs, politicians, historians, and celebrities. The film will examine the Great Migration of African-Americans from the South to Harlem in the early 1900's, to the renowned Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's and 30's, to the preservation of recipes and traditions as it relates to the present-day New Food Renaissance in Harlem. Eateries such as Wells Famous Home of Chicken & Waffles and the original Red Rooster in the 1930's, and later, the pioneering Sylvia's, and other popular restaurants such as Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too, Amy Ruth's, Melba's, Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster, and The Cecil, have all contributed to the evolution of Harlem, establishing the community as a top culinary destination.
In its 90th year, the Schomburg remains a focal point of Harlem cultural life and serves as a repository for the artifacts of both the Harlem of today and that of a bygone era. As such, Harlem On My Plate will feature numerous rare historical food- and culinary-related items from the Schomburg's unique collection.
"Harlem is a great place to share food but it's also a great starting point to learn about the historical and cultural events that shaped black urban life. We're pleased that the Schomburg is able to help facilitate this new discovery of cuisine culture in Harlem through the richness of the food-related items in our collection," says Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Executive Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Harlem On My Plate will have its world premiere screening on Wednesday, May 13th at the Schomburg Center, located on Malcolm X Boulevard (Lenox Avenue) at 135th Street, and it leads up to the Harlem EatUp! Festival, which takes place from May 14th to May 17th. Citi is a founding sponsor of the inaugural festival, and the initiative is another way Citi is working with local organizations to enable progress in the communities where it has a presence.
About Powerhouse Productions
Powerhouse Productions was founded in 2003 by Executive Producers Rochelle Brown and Sonia Armstead. The "dynamic duo" pride themselves on the passion and dedication they give each project. Their slate of programming includes shows on the Cooking Channel, Food Network, TV One, TBS, HGTV, BET and Disney. Their shows have won twelve Telly Awards, been nominated for the esteemed NAACP Image Award and the prestigious James Beard Award. For more information, visitwww.powerhouseproductions.tv
About the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The Schomburg Center, a division of the New York Public Library, is one of the world's leading research facilities devoted to the preservation of materials on the global African and African diasporan experiences. Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the Center has collected, preserved and provided access to materials documenting black life, and promoted the study and interpretation of the history and culture of peoples of African descent. Educational and Cultural Programs at the Schomburg complement its research services and interpret its collections. Seminars, forums, workshops, staged readings, film screenings, performing arts programs, and special events are presented year-round. More information about Schomburg's collections and programs can be found atwww.schomburgcenter.org
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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