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Celebrating the Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was an explosion of African-American art and culture in Harlem that started in 1918 and spanned the 1920s and 1930s. During January and February, we’ll have art exhibits, movies, book clubs, concerts, and more, all celebrating the movement and people of Harlem - including an artist from right here in Kansas.


The Art of Aaron Douglas

Main, January & February

Topeka-born artist Aaron Douglas is considered one of the most influential artists of the Harlem Renaissance. View a digital exhibit of his artwork.


Aaron Douglas & African-American Art w/The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

West, 6:00 pm, January 25

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will be presenting on Aaron Douglas and African-American Art. A craft will follow. Register here.


The Art of Aaron Douglas at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 6:00 pm, February 1

There will be a special private viewing and discussion of Aaron Douglas's Study for Aspects of Negro Life: An Idyll of the Deep South, as well as other important works of art by African-American artists. Register at here.


Book Discussion: The Harlem Renaissance: Hub of African American Culture, 1920-1930

Main, 6:00 pm, February 8

Complete with 70 photos, this shows the important history of one of America's most influential cultural phenomenons.


Documentary: Been Rich All My Life: Classy Hoofers of Harlem’s Golden Age

Turner, 5:30 pm, February 12

Meet the age-defying Silver Belles, still "bustin' a move" and donning sequins for sold-out crowds. From their days in chorus lines of the Harlem Renaissance, their love of dance and of each other hasn't wavered, and the film sparkles with their candor and sly humor. 


African-American Art w/The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

South, 6:00 pm, February 15

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will provide information on several African-American Artists and lead the group in an art project in the style of those artists.  


Documentary: The Harlem Renaissance & Beyond

Main, 6:30 pm, February 15

The spirit of Harlem and its people is evoked by excerpts from Hughes, Cullen, McKay, Wright, and more.


Harlem Renaissance Storytime

Main, 1:00 pm, February 17

Join us as we celebrate the poetry and music of the Harlem Renaissance with stories, songs and crafts for children of all ages. Refreshments will be provided.


A Night at the Savoy

Main, 7:00 pm, February 17

Travel back in time to Harlem’s famous Savoy Ballroom! The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra will be performing hits from the 1920s. Come as you are or dress up in your best 1920s inspired outfits to listen and dance the night away.