"#realmusicrebels - The Exhibition" celebrated Jazz Appreciation month with conversations with the next wave of music icons, whose artistic expression and high powered community is paving a new path for musical freedom, marginalized voices and social revolt. Produced in via Neal's work at Harlem Arts Festival, this exhibition interrogated how cultural capital, identity politics, appropriation and privilege play into how music is positioned, understood and experienced. This was an exploration of the multiplicity of (black) identity by musicians at the intersection of protest and privilege, whilst carrying the torch of musical integrity and activism in the new chapter of the civil rights struggle.
#realmusicrebels was founded by Freda Knowles and Steph Thom aka CROWN, cross disciplinary creatives with a commitment to the power of art as activism and a passion for activating the potential of the radical imagination. Ambassadors include Grammy Award winning artists Lalah Hathaway and Robert Glasper, and CHRISTIAN SCOTT QUINTET.
‘“We’re part of a new tribe that I call #RealMusicRebels,” says Hathaway of a creative collective that also includes Robert Glasper, KING, Thundercat, The Internet and others representing a new wave of music. Adds the singer, “It’s a movement of socially conscious artists pushing the artistic envelope and advocating quality musicianship.”’
- Gail Mitchell, Billboard
The 4-week multimedia immersive exhibition, in the heart of historic Harlem at La Maison d'Art gallery, featured works by HAF visual artists Lance Ljayart, J.T. Liss, Tania L. Balan-Gaubert, Marthalicia Matarrita, and Alice Mizrachi. Their work was based on statements made by the aforementioned featured music artists, navigating the building-space of musical reciprocity and shared social consciousness.FEATURED MUSIC ARTISTS included Marcus Gilmore, Christan Scott, Samora Pinderhughes, Logan Richardson, Keyon Harrold, and Jasmine Mitchell
Below are a few samples of exhibitions Neal Ludevig and Moon31 has curated in the past:
Black Woodstock Lounge.
Taking a step into the past, this exhibition brought to life one of America’s most iconic events (that you may never have never heard of): The Harlem Cultural Festival, also known as Black Woodstock.
Taking place from 1967 - 1969, this event featured some of the most iconic artists of today, including Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Glady Knight & the Pips, Max Roach & Abbey Lincoln, B.B. King, Fifth Dimension, Moms Mabley, Hugh Masekela, Ray Barretto, among many others. Over the course of 8 weeks of the summer spanning from June 29th - August 24th, these concerts took place at the center of African American culture in Harlem, New York, at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park (then known as Mount Morris Park). Nearly completely community organized and with no major sponsors or coverage from major networks, the Harlem Cultural Festival peaked in 1969 with an all-star lineup that was attended by more than 100,000 activists, families and concert-goers.
Curated by Neal Ludevig, the Black Woodstock lounge featured never-before-seen photos, articles, memorabilia, and footage from the original event, a one-of-a-king live mural painting collaboration with renowned mural/graffiti artist Lance Johnson and Jake Warren, Dance Captain of the internationally acclaimed Pilbolus dance company, beats by acclaimed DJ, producer and professor Brain “Raydar” Ellis, and a chance to meet and hear accounts from some of the original attendees and people that worked the 1969 festival.