Marcus Samuelsson Discusses Importance Of Arts In Harlem

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Eateries throughout Harlem have been a driving force in cultivating a new renaissance. They serve as artistic hubs, giving patrons the opportunity to not only indulge in good cuisine but to experience live music, artwork, and interact in thought-provoking conversations. Restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson (pictured) has incorporated these elements in to his Harlem establishment, Red Rooster, to evoke a larger conversation about arts in the community.

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In an interview with the Village Voice, Samuelsson discussed how Harlem and the arts are intertwined. He plans to host conversation sessions with various artists at his restaurant. “Art and culture sit so well with Harlem and the Rooster,” he said. “I think about our music and storytellers — chefs and artists are part of that segment. When I was building the Rooster, I thought, I know today’s artists and today’s storytellers and I want them to walk in to this restaurant. I’m not looking at art — I’m solely looking at uptown as a narrative.”

Red Rooster has featured artwork from local artists on their walls, but he wants to take things to the next level: The restaurant will host salons that will be open to the community in efforts to unite artists and other thought leaders. “Part of the work we’re doing here is local investment in the community,” said Samuelsson. “We’re introducing local artists in a contemporary way that feels fun and exciting.”

Lorna Simpson, Brandon Cox, and Gary Simmons are just a few of the artists whose work has been featured at the restaurant.

Read more about what’s happening in Harlem on Meet Me Uptown.

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