The operative word for last night was renaissance.
When I started using the term Uptown Renaissance almost 3 years ago to describe the emerging arts and culture movement that was taking shape in the neighborhood, things were just beginning to coalesce and take form.
The drive to totally redefine, reimagine and remix our community was but a faint whisper heard only by those with their ears firmly planted on the ground. Things were happening but it was, in many ways, a period of gestation – the calm before the proverbial storm.
Last night it was all lighting and thunder. Last night, it was a roar; it was, downright, palpable. Last night, the renaissance was a force in the room felt by all those present at the launch of the United Palace of Cultural Arts Program. The community came out to celebrate what was about to be born but also what came before. Last night, the renaissance was present in the open mics, in the Hip-Hop cypher, in the community theatre and youth orchestras. Last night the renaissance was rapping, singing, acting and dancing. Last night, the renaissance was in full bloom.
From there the renaissance went further Uptown to the listening party for Audubon put together by the good folks at the Privileged Marketing in group in collaboration with the UC at the absolutely gorgeous Ganesha Outdoor Room. On a picture perfect fall night, Uptown came together to see one of their own share his music, his voice and his soul. It was a sexy, sophisticated and swank affair. The renaissance in party mode! Last night Uptown had two truly remarkable events in the matter of hours. That is how Washington Heights does it on a Thursday night.
Long Live the Uptown Renaissance!
Pa’lante Siempre Pa’lante!