The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance was formed in August of 2000 to take back Marcus Garvey Park and to put a stop to illegal activities that were keeping neighborhood residents out of the park. It is now the major advocacy group for one of the oldest parks in New York City. And because of the efforts of the Alliance in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the park is a greener, safer place and attracts quality cultural events that are enjoyed by community residents, New York City residents and beyond.
The Alliance hosted neighbors, arts and cultural organizations and other community stakeholders to several visioning sessions to plan for a new design to revitalize the amphitheater. A plan was developed that the designers used as reference for creating a state-of-the-art out door performance space that was named after Broadway musical genius Richard Rodgers, who provided funds to build the first amphitheater in 1970, and whose family foundation, The Rodgers Family Foundation, provided additional funds for the revitalization. The Alliance is planning a similar strategy in partnership with other community based organizations for the revitalization of the Acropolis that sits atop Mount Morris and is the site of the Historic Fire Watchtower. Community residents are invited and encouraged to share their ideas.
The Alliance has collaborated with the the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and has leveraged more than $16 million in capital and expense dollars to re-green the park, repair paving areas leading up to the Acropolis, revitalize the Madison Avenue side of the park, provide the initial facelift for the Physical Fitness Center, a Gator vehicle for the park staff and collaborated with Architect & Preservationist Angel Ayon and the Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association to restore the fire watchtower.
The Alliance also brings Arts & Cultural Programming to Marcus Garvey Park including films to the park through the Historic Harlem Parks Coalition and produces the annual Dance Harlem festival that features the pulse and direction of Black modern dance in New York City. The Alliance encouraged the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival to expand its performance venue and come uptown to Marcus Garvey. The Summer of 2015 we will launch a multi year series of public art installations in collaboration with Harlem Based artists, Museums and International artists with roots in Harlem.
In the Summer of 2014 the Alliance installed two little free libraries in Marcus Garvey Park and launched an ongoing series of literacy based programming to encourage early reading. Through the Little Free Libraries and a collaboration with Urban Innovations and the AHRC Fisher Center we distributed several thousand books to children from the Harlem community.
The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance is an all volunteer organization and we encourage residents to become involved.