All New Yorkers know 311 and 911 are the numbers to call for issues (311) and emergencies (911). But, starting today, dialing 988 will connect you to a combined mental health, suicide prevention and substance use disorder response team. This new 988 number is part of a nationwide initiative to better address those needs without always involving the police.

Calls to 988 from local area codes will route to NYC Well, a 24/7 hotline, chat and text service where mental health professionals provide support and offer referrals for treatments and resources. If needed, the hotline staff can dispatch a Mobile Crisis Team, which includes mental health professionals, to an urgent but “non-emergency” situation. But those units only go out between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

988 is intended to address issues that are not criminal justice issues, but still require professional assistance.

Anyone can call 988 and a person from NYC Well, operated by Vibrant Emotional Health, will answer the call, listen to concerns and provide guidance about how to handle the situation, share resources or possibly dispatch members of the Mobile Crisis Unit — when available.

On scene, a counselor may speak to a person from the other side of the bedroom door, for example, or help them go to a clinic safely, and the team members may also stay in touch with a caller or concerned friend or family member for a period of time after the crisis to make sure they’re getting the support they need.

A huge hitch with this roll-out of 988 is phone technical – people who live in New York City and use cellphones that don’t have a local area code will not be routed to NYC Well, but to the local hotline as the area code indicates.

That means if you got your phone in Idaho, your 988 call is going to a mental health team in Boise…

Let’s hope they get this rediculous situation sorted out, but if you call 911, you can always stress this is a mental health crisis, and the operators will connect you to 988 resources.

The Studio Museum Rises

The Studio Museum of Harlem has now risen far beyond its neighbors. Admittedly the number of floors is low (because much of the space is for displaying/storing art), but the building is soaring above 125th Street between Lenox and ACP.

See Wax Print, Tonight

Click here.

This ImageNation x FDBA program is co-presented with Harlem Needle Arts.

About the Film:
Wax Print traces the vast and multi-stranded global history of a fabric that has become an iconic symbol of Africa and her children worldwide. This beautiful, transnational two-year journey has taken director Aiwan Obinyan around the world, in search of African wax prints and the untold story of how wax print fabric came to symbolize a continent, its people, and their struggle for freedom.
The film brings forth issues of fast fashion and mass-produced wax print copies, while detailing an Indonesian, English, and Dutch history of the fabric itself and its significance for pan-African identities. As seen in Batik and Kente techniques, bright bold patterns and colors become a significant part of the culture, as well as the identities of the African diaspora that have kept the heritage alive. With names like “The Ungrateful Husband,” which is worn by women to shame their disloyal husbands, each wax print has a pattern and identity embodied in the cloth, and an origin story that is then accepted and integrated into the culture by consumers.

Our Meeting with Mark Levine and The NYC Accelerator Program

We had a great meeting on October 12th with Mark Levine. If you missed it, and want to learn more about his vision for Manhattan (or learn more about the NYC Accelerator Program), please see:


Passcode: 5Rn^1!L#

Sculpture in Marcus Garvey Park

On view through October 1, 2022, Thomas J Price: Witness celebrates a familiar everyday form rarely monumentalized within a public setting. In the artist’s words, “I want to interrogate [notions of] presence, movement, and freedom. Who do these spaces belong to? And what bodies are provided more or less autonomy to move with liberty through public [space]?” 

Thomas J Price: Witness is presented as part of The Studio Museum in Harlem’s series of collaborative initiatives, inHarlem, which are being undertaken while the Museum is preparing for the construction of its new building.

Stop by Marcus Garvey Park starting this October and view this monumental work. 

Mice and Rats!


MacKenzie Scott Donates to El Museo and The Studio Museum

MacKenzie Scott, one of the richest women in the world, promised to keep giving her fortune away “until the safe is empty” following her divorce from Jeff Bezos in 2019. Over the past year, Scott has donated some $6 billion to more than 500 nonprofit organizations, and this week announced a new round of grants worth a combined $2.7 billion. The funds will be distributed to 286 higher education, social justice, and arts organizations working to support marginalized and underserved communities.

FILE – In this March 4, 2018, file photo, MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. Scott, the billionaire philanthropist known for her impromptu multi-billion dollar donations to charities and racial equity causes, announced Tuesday, June 15, 2021, that she has given $2.7 billion to 286 organizations. It is the third round of major philanthropic gifts Scott has made, which together rival the charitable contributions made by the largest foundations. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Among the arts organizations receiving funds are the Studio Museum in Harlem and El Museo del Barrio.

Harlem Postcards

Every year the Studio Museum in Harlem celebrates our community as a beacon of African-American history and culture. The Studio Museum, along with other cultural landmarks such as the Apollo Theater, Abyssinian Baptist Church, and Malcolm X Corner, at 125th Street and Seventh Avenue, serve as popular postcard images for visitors and residents.  

The Studio Museum’s Harlem Postcards, an ongoing project, invites contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds to reflect on Harlem as a site of cultural activity, political vitality, and creative production. The resulting images reflect each artist’s oeuvre with an idiosyncratic snapshot taken in, or representative of, this historic locale.  

Each photograph in Harlem Postcards: Winter 2020—21 is available as a digital postcard to be downloaded for free and shared.

This season, featured artists include María Berrío, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, Robert Pruitt, and Summer Wheat. 

Covid Relief Available

Applications have reopened for NYS’s COVID-19 Rent Relief program. If you lost income from 4/1/20-7/31/20 visit hcr.ny.gov/rrp for more information. Deadline to apply is 2/1/21.

For more info, contact [email protected] or 1-833-499-0318.

See original post:


Worrisome Harlem COVID Trends – Wear a Mask!

In East Harlem’s 10035 ZIP code, the positivity rate more than quadrupled from 0.37 to 1.53, and it more than doubled in Central Harlem’s 10030.

Here is the four-week testing data through Oct. 24 for the eight ZIP codes covering Harlem:

  • 10026 – Central Harlem (South): 38 positive cases, 1 death, 1.01 percent positivity
  • 10027 – Central Harlem (South)/Morningside Heights/West Harlem: 49 cases, 1 death, 0.69 percent positivity
  • 10029 – East Harlem: 112 cases, 0 deaths, 1.59 percent positivity
  • 10030 – Central Harlem (North): 34 cases, 0 deaths, 1.38 percent positivity
  • 10031 – Hamilton Heights/West Harlem: 101 cases, 3 deaths, 2.1 percent positivity
  • 10035 – East Harlem: 51 cases, 0 deaths, 1.53 percent positivity
  • 10037 – Central Harlem (North)/East Harlem: 15 cases, 1 death, 0.83 percent positivity
  • 10039 – Central Harlem (North)/Washington Heights (South): 23 cases, 0 deaths, 1.22 percent positivity

To see more, see: https://patch.com/new-york/harlem/harlem-sees-widespread-increase-coronavirus-positivity-rate

And to see the data: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data-boroughs.page

Give Us A Poem – Glenn Ligon

While the Studio Museum is currently not only closed, it’s actively under demolition (it will be rebuilt in the same location on West 125th Street as designed by the West African/British architect, David Adjaye), many of the artworks that museum-goers came to expect to encounter during a visit to the Studio Museum, are in storage.

One of my favorite pieces currently in storage is a neon work by The Bronx artist Glenn Ligon. This work called Give us a Poem (Palindrome #2), is built around an incident that occurred at Harvard in 1975, when Muhammad Ali had just finished a speech and a student in the audience asked him to improvise a poem: “Me/We” was the pithy verse Ali offered. Even then, at the height of the Black Power movement, it was an intriguingly opaque statement that could have been read as a gesture of solidarity between the black boxer and his white audience, or as an underlining of their difference. In Ligon’s work, the two words become a visual palindrome, of sorts–symmetrical top and bottom–and alternate being lit (white) and unlit (black).

Glenn Ligon is also well known for his works on paper and for years I’ve been fascinated with an early series of lithographs where he approached the issue of contemporary (self) identity as seen through the lens of 19th-century runaway slave notices.

Ligon’s series (in which the accompanying text are descriptions given by various friends who were asked to describe Glenn) powerfully combine the humorous with the terrifying.

All of this links to something I came across recently, the earliest known record of a Harlem runaway slave notice:

Whereas, there is lately a Negro Servant run away from his Master’s service, and supposed to be gone your way toward New England. These are to require all persons within this government and to desire all others, if the said Negro can be found within your liberties or precincts, that you forthwith seize upon and secure him, and cause him to be safely conveyed to this place, or to his Master, Daniel Tourneur, at Harlem, upon this Island. The Negro is big and tall, about 25 or 26 years old, and went away from his Master four or five days since. Given under my hand at Fort James, in New York, this 28th day of June, 1669. 


For more on Glenn Ligon’s powerful work, see: