The Apollo Theater is one of Harlem’s most recognizable cultural institutions, with more than a million visitors a year. Its iconic neon sign towers over 125th Street; its marquee advertises some of the biggest names in entertainment as well as its famous amateur night, introduced in 1934. In 2017, Barnard will offer a class in partnership with the Apollo called “Black Women, Performance, and the Politics of Style” that will focus on some of the well-known—as well as some lesser-known—women who have appeared at the Apollo and whose careers have contributed to the wider discourse on entertainment, the performing arts, and iconography. Students will also examine the history of the Apollo and the ways that it intersects “socially, politically, and economically with Harlem and Black culture,” says Shirley Taylor, the theater’s director of education.
“The Apollo Theater Education Program extends
the Apollo Theater’s commitment to enhancing the life of the community.”