Photos Courtesy of: Aleathia Brown, GRAPHITE HOUSE, HarlemCLX, Plugdin, Robert L. Newman III & Tai Chunn

HarlemCLX: A Heartfelt Thank You for Joining Us at the aspire Harlem Design Tour

Dear Esteemed Guests,

We want to express our deepest gratitude for your presence at the aspire Harlem Design Tour during the NYCxDesign Festival on Sunday, May 19, 2024. Held at the historic HomeToHarlem, this event was a true celebration of creativity, cultural heritage, and the vibrant spirit of Harlem.

Highlights from the Event:

  • Press Conference: The day began with an inspiring press conference featuring Richard E. Pelzer IISteering Committee Member of NYCxDesign FestivalMaria GranvilleOwner of Home To HarlemRobert NewmanDirector & Lead Curator of Artfull Walls Fine Art Gallery, and heartfelt thanks from Steven MandelPublisher of aspire design and home magazineLouann BerglundFounder of Magik BeansEmmai AlaquivaFounder of Ya Momz HouseKarris ParrisOwner of NiLu Gift BoutiqueTony RogersExecutive Director of Harlem Tourism BoardMichael Henry Adams, Harlem-based preservationist and writer spoke about the challenges in saving and preserving sites important to African American history and culture along many others who contributed to the success of this event.
  • Live Jazz Performances: Grammy-nominated Ron Jackson and Harlem Jazzmobile filled the air with soulful jazz melodies, enriching our exploration of Harlem’s rich tapestry.
  • Trolley Tours: Guided by the insightful commentary of Michael Henry Adams, we ventured through Harlem’s architectural gems and cultural landmarks, gaining profound insights into their historical significance.
  • Taste Your Way Through Harlem: Featuring a specially designed space by Habanero Papi, offering specialty drinks by Revanche Cognac, accompanied by delights from Harlem Biscuit CompanySylvia’s Soul Food, and Melba’s American Comfort Restaurant.
  • Fireside Chat: Engaging conversations with furniture designer Grace Williams and artist Ademola Olugebefola, moderated by Kartrina Parris of NiLu Boutique and Ulysses S. Williams of ArtCrawl Harlem, provided deeper insights into their creative processes.
  • Speakeasy Vibe: At Cafe MeloOwner Dwight Smith, we looked into Harlem’s prohibition-era speakeasy culture, enjoying specially curated ambiance and engaging conversations with local artist Saint – James.
  • Harlem Local AI-Enabled Tours: Led by Louann Berglund of Magik Beans and powered by HarlemCLX, these interactive walking tours offered a deeper understanding of Harlem’s vibrant streets and cultural heritage.
Looking Ahead to 2025:
“As we witness the resurgence of Harlem’s creative spirit within the design landscape, we are poised for an unprecedented journey of innovation and influence,” shares Richard E. Pelzer II, Founder of HarlemCLX and Steering Committee Member of NYCxDesign Festival. “Over the next five years, Harlem’s unique blend of culture, history, and creativity will not only captivate the design world but also set a new standard for global inspiration and collaboration.”

The success of the aspire Harlem Design Tour would not have been possible without the unwavering support and collaboration of our esteemed partners, including Aspire One Communications, ArtCrawl Harlem, Cafe Melo, Harlem Arts Alliance, HarlemCLX, LA Inc., Magik Beans, NiLu Boutique, NYCxDESIGN Festival, Ya Momz House, and the Harlem Tourism Board (HTB). Special thanks also go to Ilena ShawExecutive Director of NYCxDesign, the entire Aspire Magazine staffFitgi Saint-LouisRobin Bell-Stevens of Jazzmobile Inc., Rene Foster of the Hip Hop MuseumDion Clarke of the Harlem Fine Arts ShowDavid J Montini of PlugdinTai Chunn of A Fashion Moment with Tai Chunn, our internsvolunteersRodney LoveJones of Graphite House, and Kevin Davis of Klub Cart Tours.

Once again, thank you for being part of this extraordinary event. We eagerly anticipate continuing this journey with you and creating even more exciting opportunities in the world of design.

Warm regards,

Richard E. Pelzer II
Founder, HarlemCLX

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